Music Reviews

posted: July 10, 2009

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Anthony Wilson’s Jack of Hearts Jack of Hearts

Groove Note Records Hybrid SACD
Anthony Wilson’s Jack of Hearts

Sometimes the postman brings cool surprises.  I looked at the quilted envelope marked “Groove Note Records” and figured with a name like that, something good had to be inside and I was not disappointed.

Though I’m not terribly familiar with Anthony Wilson, my ears perked up when I saw Jim Keltner listed as one of the musicians, and popped this SACD in the drawer of the new Marantz Pearl SA-K1 SACD player I’ve been reviewing.  A few seconds later a big warm sound filled the room and about 15 seconds later, everyone that was hanging out had a big smile on their face.

Jack of Hearts is straight ahead jazz, served classic trio style.  Anthony Wilson is a great guitarist, who plays with a light touch and an exquisite sense of space on “Clark and Old Fender amps.”  Trio partner Larry Goldrings brings an equal level of tastiness to the Hammond B-3, mixed in with Jim Keltner and Jeff Hamilton on drums to round out the group.  The disc has a nice mixture of jazz standards from Ellington, Hawkins and Parks, with the remaining half of the disc Wilson originals.

This is one of those special records that has been flawlessly recorded and mastered, but isn’t boring audiophile music.  This is a record that you want to share with your friends and your favorite adult beverage with the lights down low.  The record was recorded in the legendary Oceanway Studio in Holly wood to 2 track analog and thanks to the care taken in the SACD mastering, Jack of Hearts will put these three guys right in your listening room. For those of you not possessing an SACD player, the CD layer sounds great too, so don’t let that stop you from purchasing this disc.

Let’s hope Groove Note releases this on LP for the analog lovers in the crowd!

–Jeff Dorgay