Jimmy Cobb Quartet – Jazz In The Key Of Blue (2009)
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DSD/DST64 2.0 & 5.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 55:25 minutes | Scans included | 3,83 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 973 MB
Ten mostly ballads, played in a super-relaxed fashion and reproduced with a realism in hi-res surround that fulfills the label’s slogan.
What a totally delightful laid-back jazz quartet outing! No free jazz, no unwhistlable tunes, no overpowering drums (in spite of Cobb being the leader) – just ten mostly ballads, played in a super-relaxed fashion and reproduced with a realism in hi-res surround that fulfills the label’s slogan of “You can hear the difference.” Right up my alley.
Cobb and the producers selected mostly standards that they thought Hargrove would like to play and would sound good playing. They’re also not the same tunes we seem to be hearing over and over on so many jazz releases. Hargrove is a terrific trumpeter and never strains for effect; he is ably supported by guitarist Malone. One never misses the presence of a piano in the band. There are two tunes in ¾ time: Billy Preston’s With You I’m Born Again, and Johnny Mandel’s Emily. Hargrove really shines on the rather serious treatment of Stairway to the Stars, and the tempo is picked up considerably for I Had the Craziest Dream.
Chesky’s surround offers often astonishing presence and realism, with the players obviously performing in a very natural slightly-reverberant space (a church in NYC). The effect is quite a contrast from the usual studio recording, with each player cordoned off behind soundproofed partitions and wearing headphones. That may be OK for the typical overly-compressed, unnaturally boosted solo pickups of instruments heard on most two-channel jazz and pop recordings, but it would ruin the very natural spatial relationship of the performers on this hi-res surround disc. Chesky includes a diagram of where the four players and the Soundfield mike are located, like many Japanese audiophile discs. I got a kick out of their note that one may hear Hargrove’s trumpet changing places from track to track because sometimes he just felt like moving around.
Another audio aspect to the success of this session is Cobbs’ use of only brushes on nearly every track. The 80-year-old drummer is one of the very few in the biz who plays the drums like a real musical instrument and not a noisemaker.
01. Every Time We Say Goodbye
02. With You I’m Born Again
03. I’ll Still Be in Love With You
05. Stairway to the Stars
06. I Had the Craziest Dream
07. Missing U
08. What Will I Do
09. If Ever I Should Leave You
10. We’ll Be Together Again
Jimmy Cobb – Drums/Leader
Roy Hargrove – Trumpet/Flugelhorn
Russell Malone – Guitar
John Webber – Bass
Produced by: David Chesky and Eleana Steinberg Tee.
Executive Producer: Norman Chesky.
Recorded, Edited, and Mastered by Nicholas Prout.