Claire Martin - Too Darn Hot! - Jazzwise

This came out two years ago but now makes its debut as a SACD multichannel release. the additional clarity gained by the extra separation is admirable and the mix is also aimed at separation between instruments. This being a Linn release, with their emphasis on aural quality, you would expect such things. The careful attention to a wide and detailed span of sound throughout all the surround speakers means that you do really feel that you're sitting either in the middle of the group or next to the band in a night club. From that point of view this an ideal release - it's difficult to conceive of a more advantageous setting for the music Martin and her cohorts deliver. There are one or two rough edges exposed by this heightened clarity, though - a sudden pull-back on the faders when the piano finishes its solo and has to sit back in the group, and things like that - which would never happen live with acoustic music such as this (it happens all the time with amplified bands, of course, where the guy at the sound desk is king for a night). So if you're a Claire Martin fan and have the gear, this is the ultimate listening experience for "Too Darn Hot"

30 November 2004