It’s gratifying to have a new jazz SACD release since some labels (Concord, Columbia) seem to have given up on them in spite of more classical SACD activity than ever going on. Also it’s strictly a two-channel effort – just the thing for the multichannel holdouts who have invested goodly sums in the high end phenomenon of stereo-only SACD playback equipment. Rather than licensing a master from a jazz label such as Concord, Singapore-based audiophile label Groove Note has done another original recording session at a Hollywood studio, as they did with their previous Anthony Wilson SACD, Our Gang.
There’s one thing different about this second session with one of the most promising guitarists in jazz today – the first one was recorded direct to DSD two-track, and this one used a two-track analog ATR 102 recorder. So those with both discs might do some A/B comparisons and see if they can discern any sonic differences. The combo of electric guitar and B-3 organ seems made in heaven, and even via recordings of questionable quality it captivates ones ears – not to mention body. However, with the exemplary reproduction ensured by Groove Note’s efforts on this disc, one hears a richer and more detailed presentation of the delicious duo. I don’t know what mix of direct guitar feed plus a mike’s pickup of the guitar’s speaker was used, but it sounds exactly right.
Wilson is the son of famed big band leader/composer Gerald Wilson. Album title tune Savivity was a name coined by a friend of guitarist Wilson when they were students at Bennington College. It describes a quality of knowingness, compassion, inquisitiveness, depth, rare humor, love of The Beatles, and belief in the healing and regenerative power of music. The track combines a number of musical influences. It is followed by the most energetic track and funky track of the SACD: Sea Blues. Wilson opens his eight-tune album with a Django original and it features four of Wilson’s own originals. I’m frankly tired of A Child Is Born, but Wilson’s closing treatment of the standard is so fresh and sensitive that I was won over.
– John Henry