CD Reviews - May 2000



Pink Martini Sympathique


The honour of being the first software reviewed in the site goes to Pink Martini`s Sympathique. Described in a word as "Refreshing", it contains foot tapping latin inspired dance pieces. Having had raved reviews in the US, this 1997 work had recently got into prominence in the east - it was featured in Hong Kong Audiophile magazines in their March reviews. Done by a group of 14 musicians, it contains 12 numbers done with a classical - jazzy - latin flair. I personnally like track 1 (Amado Mio) - notice how the trumpet is able to blend into the rich instrumentation and track 4 (Que Sera Sera) - pick up the ice cream bells in the background. Some of my customers prefer Pepe Raphael`s rich vocal rendition of La Soledad (track 5). For Artistry in Performance, this piece would score highly with each number having its own unique flavour. For Sound Quality it would be rated as above average. Watch your speaker placements if you want to get the wider soundstage that this CD can give. Could do better in depth recording and in getting the vocals across.

A CD to die for - for die hard Latin fans !




Snow Rose


This premium recording from Vili (Hong Kong audiophile pressing) showcases an oriental female singer performing with a single guitar as backup. Armed with a good choice of favourites from the 80s, this piece has become a best seller. Snow Rose's effortless and sweet rendition of tracks like "Reality" (track 1) and "Memories" (track 5) will bring out the best of Tube systems and others with strong mid-ranges. As for details, check whether your system can pick up the poorly executed guitar chord in track 1 (located at 0:26). Recommended for easy listening.




ALR Jordan 2 Guitar Collection


No, this is not a piece of classic guitar works. Contrary to the title, this software is a compilation that focuses mostly on vocal tracks that stand out when the guitar is used more as a supporting accompaniment. A 24K German audiophile recording, this piece stands out for her choice of tracks that range from bluegrass to blues, to folk. Doug Macleods "Come to Find" (track 2) acoustic blues rendition stands out as a choice track which is used as an audiophile reference today. Other reference tracks are Livingston Taylors " Isn't She Lovely" (track 6) and Allison Krauss's "It Doesn't Matter" (track 10). This CD scores highly for both artistry in performance and sound quality. (Recommended for Blues fans and discerning rockers!)




Kari Bremnes - Norwegian Mood


As the title suggest, this is a Norwegian recording showcasing perhaps their most notable lady jazz singer today. Brimming with confidence with the success of her previous recording "Gate Ved Gate"(recorded in Norwegian language), Kari has finally done her first recording in English. Lyrics are provided if you have problems with her diction. Audiofidelity wise, this piece gives good value for money. Some of my customers even feel that it is as good as XRCDs. The imaging, soundstaging and vocal resonance is impressively done. Personally however, I prefer the earlier Norwegian version. Retailing at $23.90


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