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Positive Feedback ISSUE 32
july/august 2007


Pilgrimage SACD
by Karl Lozier


Michael Brecker and Friends Heads UP Hybrid SACD HUSA 9095 

This release is from the last recording session of the well known and loved tenor sax player and leader, Michael Brecker. Go to the Archive Section of this issue and scroll down and click on Issue No. 31. There will be information about this last recording before Michael’s passing and mention of the outstanding five musicians accompanying him for the last time. There you will note the heading for the release plus David Russell’s superb release. The heading is: Music and Sound—How good they can both get! That release was then only available in CD form and I mentioned the fact in my next to last sentence.

"SACD Declared the Winner by a TKO!" That is my new heading for this rushed to me release, by the good folks at Telarc, namely Amanda Sweet, though Mike Wilpizeski first turned me onto the original CD recording. More than ever, in this form, it truly is a fitting final release for an outstanding jazz musician. Even if you purchased the earlier released CD version, if you love jazz you have to have this superbly natural sounding SACD ultimate version. There are many slight, subtle and many not so subtle differences between the versions.

Additionally, a not so fair comparison played on my rather modest home theater system showed the differences to be even more pronounced than with my reference two channel system and I shall have to think about the possible reasons for that. I am describing in a fair amount of detail, the first difference I noticed almost immediately. Those of you with your love of fine music, have at sometime or sometimes in the past, while walking up to the entrance doors of a performing location, noticed the following. In that corridor or entrance area the music was obviously live and not recorded. Yet when just stepping inside the performance room you were engulfed by the music and the ambience of that room with its inseparable fullness, richness and limitless airiness. That is exactly what the SACD version of this very musical release gave me to a great extent at this place in time, in my listening room. Highest recommendation is given, particularly to jazz lovers and an absolute must buy for that huge group of Michael Brecker fans.