Archive for January, 2012

Marcus Miller – Marcus (Concord Jazz)

January 26, 2012

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Once upon a time, good years ago, I was in a meeting with some audio friends. I was talking to my friend David (a great audio designer) about low frequency speakers (also known as sub-woofers). In that occasion, I told him that I wish I had an amp-speaker combination which would result in deep and precise bass. David looked at me a said: Everyone wants to have that.

In fact, what I wanted was simple: Frequency response with low reverb time for low frequencies. I was only able to know what I really wanted some time later.
At the time, I was a certain that the secret lied on amplifiers and speakers but, in fact, they are a percentage of that (probably a small percentage for those who always use good electronics and speakers).
Every ordinary room has a reverberation time much higher than mids and highs. Bass instruments (like acoustic bass) has a heavy load of higher harmonics in medium and high frequency range and they are the elements that define the instrument position on the stereo image. We usually end up taking the low response of our systems as good, not because they are really good, but because the instrument higher harmonics cause a fake low reverb time for bass. In this case, we have an undefined bass masked as defined.

There is no point having the best amplifier and the best speaker if the reverb time of B tone (around 60Hz) is 0.5 seconds. Any semi-quaver bass phrase will sound mediocre. Besides that, the upper harmonics will mislead you to think that you have indeed a good bass. After all, you spent a lot of money in your system.

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This Marcus Miller’s work reflects what I explained above quite well. He is a very required musician. Wanted by many other artists for recording sessions and still has few solo albums.
He mixes several styles like jazz, pop, hip hop, vocal, instrumental, etc. Plays with energy using slap almost all the time, resulting a deep bass loaded with upper harmonics.
The result of listening in regular rooms is satisfactory, but enjoying it in acoustically treated rooms is much more comfortable because we are clearly able to perceive each tone chaining played by him.

Thank you
Leonardo

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Scott Kinsey – Kinesthetics (Abstract Logix)

January 23, 2012

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Scott Kinsey is a very skilled keyboardist/pianist, both in creative and technical areas and, his appearance here has a specific reason. I have already written about Gary Willis and the relation between them is that both are members of Tribal Tech, one of my favorite contemporary jazz bands.

I have always enjoyed this band. The compositions explores rhythms, harmonies and unusual melodies. This is very suitable for people like me, who constantly look for high quality original music and, of course, having a nice recording quality.

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The Tribal Tech’s guitar, Scott Henderson, has already made a concert in my country (Brazil), on SESI theater and I was present there, me and my wife. To be honest, I didn’t like the event, tougth the musics too heavy for my taste, quite different from what I’m used to listen at home.
While listening this Scott Kinsey’s work and, being familiar with other albums from Gary Willis, I concluded that those two guys are the big names behind Tribal Tech’s geniality.
It is also interesting to listen this album knowing the meaning of “kinesthetics”: the esthetics of movement. Scott tried to use predefined themes and lots of improvisations. On top of that, put a richness of textures, percussions, harmonies and uncommon melodies, resulting in a fluid sound with a lot of aesthetic information.

Not limited to extreme creativity, he is a nice producer and knows music recording very well, showing us that he knows what high fidelity is.
It is a technical album, artistic as well, creating lots of movements, with extreme beauty.

Abra├žos
Leonardo