I have just received two new SACDs.
The first, which I got a few days ago, is the Elvis Presley - 24 Karat Hits. I find it to be a very uneven release. Some of the tracks really DO make it sound like you are listening to the original master tracks and really breathe new life into these Elvis classics. I have never heard some of these songs sound anywhere near this good. But some of the tracks sound rally pedestrian with a bunch of echo and reverb and are really unimpressive.
The tracks that sound good, sound really really good. The others...meh. But the ones that sound good make me glad I purchased it.
The other--which I am currently listening to for the first time is:
This is really knocking my socks off. I own the DVD-A of Sinatra Live at the Sands and it is nowhere near this good. This stereo recording sounds like it could have been made this past weekend rather than in 1966. I can only hope the same treatment is given to the Sinatra at the Sands tapes at some time in the near future.
This recording features songs that the Basie band played during their short sets before Sinatra would take the stage. They were all recorded and strung together for this release to make for one long set of Basie classics. (Some of these songs were featured as snippets on the Sinatra release--such as Making Whoopee and One O'Clock Jump.)
We could start with the musicianship of the Basie band (including the inimitable Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis) but the original engineers and present-day transfer engineers should also be congratulated for the professionalism and incredible sound quality. This may become my favorite high-rez disc in short fashion.
While I really wish it was multi-channel (I'm a sucker for immersive mixes), this stereo mix really fills the room with music. The separation really serves to put you there with the musicians like really good stereo production is supposed to do.
Oh man...this is good. I just heard One O'Clock Jump and after hearing the snippet on the Sinatra recordings over the years (LP, CD, DVD-A) this allows me to hear it like never before.
And I have just now jumped ahead to one of my favorite songs of all-time--Steve Allen's This Could Be the Start of Something Big. Suffice to say I am not disappointed. These guys could play! This is a true "big band."
The set list also includes Woody Herman's Jumpin at the Woodside, King/Goffin's Go Away Little Girl, Ray Charles' I Can't Stop Loving You, and Splanky.
If you are on the fence. Don't be.