CD Reviews - August 2000



Chai Qin Min Ge 24K HDCD/Japan Pressed


I have always felt shy about reviewing a Chinese disc but after some request, I thought I would give it a try. Picking the disc is however an easy task. Chai Qin (Min Ge) has always been the best seller. Endowed with a sweet and melodic voice, she is able to deliver ballads with apparent ease that hints of professional voice training. Now available in the 24K HDCD version (which gives more depth and resolution), the reference tracks are The Ferry (track 8) and Just Like Your Tenderness (track 10). Accompanied by the acoustic guitar, electric bass, light percussion and occasional violin interjection, track 8 would be suitable to test the depth (as in Bass) of your system (much akin to Jennifer Warner/Hunter "Way Down Deep" track). Track 10 is the acoustic unplugged version. Chai Qins voice is delivered "full bodied" just in the centre and foreground. The main "rhythm" is provided by the acoustic guitar to the right. There is another guitar providing light background accompaniment to the left, and yet another guitar giving some lead occasionally behind the voice. See if you can pick up the three guitars in this track.




Haitiando (CubAyiti)


Much alike the concept in Pink Martini, Fred Paul has brought together a myriad of great Latino musicians in pianist Eddy Prophete, accomplished bassist Ranses Colon, guitarists Rene Luis Toledo with Jaunito Marguez and renowned jazz flutist Nestar Torres to support singer Boulot Valcourt in this production. This piece showcases the highlights of Haitian music. Recorded in the U.S. and pressed in France, this Edenways production is set to overshadow the World Circuits Buena Vista Boys. Tune to track 1 and be immediately mesmerized by Valcourts hot-throaty voice accompanied with foot tapping cha-cha rhythms. The instruments should take on a natural, spacious tone with Valcourts voice just rising higher but not overly dominating the mix. This is the latest hot-selling Latin CD in town, with the first imported batch sold out within two months.




Carol Kidd (24K Linn Gold)


Yes, this is an oldie. But then Carol Kidds approach to jazz singing is timeless. Once described by London Times as one of the best jazz singers in the world, Carol started her recording career way back in 1984. A CD collectible to die for, the reference tracks are "When I Dream" (track 1), and "Georgia On My Mind" (track 6). A favourite of mine is track 4 "Bad Boy Leroy Brown". Her sophisticated delivery, flawless sense of timing and articulate phrasing is arguably her greatest gift. Unfortunately, only the 24K version seems able to project these qualities across and they come in limited numbers.





Patricia Barber Companion


Recorded in Chicago July 17-19,1999, this US recording gives 2 new Patricia Barber originals with other uniquely interpreted covers. Touted as impossible to imitate and difficult to resist by the Chicago Tribune, Patricias album showcases her easy going jazz style and sense of perfect rhythm yet again but only in a more emotive manner as it is captured in a live setting. Tune to Track 4 (Let It Rain) and get immersed in the set up, with Patricia singing right in your living /sound room.

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