Originally Posted by jasonb
As for the ECM debate, I don't consider them to be cold, I just consider them to be crystal clear. The biggest thing that sticks out to me is just how clear the drums are recorded, the cymbals in particular.
Oh Jack Johnson is a good one. I also have Third Quartet but can't stand it nowadays after hearing it too many times. Just doesn't have the long-term replay value for me I guess. All the tunes just sound too familiar to me and I'm sick of them.
I do know what you mean. I don't ever remember having an issue with the sound of an ECM release. There is more to sound than clarity, however. Much more. Sometimes it can even be an unwanted thing. Depends entirely on the case.
There are some modern jazz records out there where I'm really not a fan of how they were recorded. Most recent example that comes to mind is Pat Metheny's The Way Up. I can see why many audiophiles would likely drool
over the sound quality on the record, but I have serious issues with it personally. Everything sounds so analytically and clinically clear it's just lifeless to me. The biggest thing is the cymbals, which sound WAY too crisp for my taste – it's like the equivalent of watching an over-sharpened digital image. The mix
, however, is one of the best I've heard in a looong time. And just based on hearing it through headphones. It's a truly phenomenal mix.
I'm sure painstaking work went into the engineering, but the sound of that record is not a thing that appeals to me. It is not a question of sound quality but "sound". I have however not heard the CD through my speakers yet, so I might still revise my opinion. I don't really care, though, for the music itself left me unimpressed. On first listen it was okay, but on consecutive listens it got progressively worse. Of all the players on that session, only the piano player really appealed to me. I might have to take a look at his discography at some point.
As far as modern jazz records go, Hiromi's albums on Telarc sound exceptional. The SACDs have some of the best sound quality I've ever had the pleasure of coming across. Michael Bishop knows what he's doing. If you like well recorded drums, those discs are the s***.