CD Reviews - October 2000



 Bill Miller The Red Road


Recorded some years back, this album was recently given another lease of life by Top Music International. The album comes with a certificate of guarantee as it is a limited edition of 2500 copies. Mastered in 24 bit/96 KHz, the standards in quality were maintained. The album reflects Millers heritage which is presented powerfully with each passing track. Bill Miller's acoustic guitar melody is best depicted in Track 1 (Dreams of Wounded Knee). His easygoing vocals are captured best in Track 5 (Tumbleweed) and Track 11 (My People). Combining sharp song craft and contemporary acoustic arrangements with traditional Native American instruments, the result is a stunning contemplative piece of work that should catapult Miller to greater heights amongst acoustic musicians.




 Julie London : On TV


No, this is not a live rendition of Julie London. Pressed in Japan, this disc contains 20 of her evergreen hits and other cover songs like Cry Me A River, The End of the World, Misty, When I Fall In Love and I Left My Heart In San Francisco. Musicality wise, what can I say about Julie London that is not already mentioned in other reviews? Her sensual rendition of old favourites still rank her on top of the list of Jazz greats. Yes, the likes of Ella Fitzgerald or Diana Krall must take a back seat compared to Julie London. Audiofidelity wise this version is the best I have heard so far. Rendered in full stereo, the mixes have managed to capture the warm texture of Julies vocals in a manner that befits the varying emotional mood that she portrays with each track. A must for all true blue Jazzists and definitely a collectible.




 Yang Xiao Lin


Fresh from her latest success with KIIGO Productions (I Take You There), Yang Xiao Lin goes audiophile with special guest star, Eric Marienthal. Mastered in U.S.A., this 24 Bit HDCD is of a quality that augurs well for Chinese audiophile productions. Singing mostly familiar Teresa's hits in a jazzy style, this production does more justice to Xiao Lin's vocals than her previous CDs. Her versatility and ability to evoke varying emotions in the tracks is shown best in tracks 8 and 10. Kudos to Joe Gastwirt for the mastering process that is able to bring out her vocals without any accompanying mid-bass boom.





Teresa Teng (in XRCD)


Yes, it is finally here. Hear your favourite singer in the latest XRCD 2 20-bit format. Done by JVC, this CD production is clearly the best that I have come across as far as Teresa's recordings are concerned. I understand that this is the best-preserved master for Teresa's tapes and you will not find a better recording. It is evident from the first track that Mastering Engineer Hiromichi Takiguchi has taken care to capture and reproduce Teresa's vocals in its most natural state without the resonance enhancing that follows her other reproductions. Follow the vocal tracks closely and try to pick up the varying emotions that Teresa evokes. I am not a fan but am beginning to understand why she has such a following locally.

A Tip: try playing this album on inverted polarity if you can on your systems. I suspect that it was first recorded with the polarity inverted. You should find Teresa's voice to be better placed in the centre and forward with a clearer definition."


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