Properly compressed current jazz and blues?
April 25, 2012 8:12 AM   Subscribe

What are your favorite current recordings with good dynamic range, preferably jazz and blues?

I love blues, jazz/swing/standards, and roots-based rock & roll. Stuff like Lightnin' Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf, Willie Dixon, practically everything the Nat King Cole Trio ever recorded, The Ramsey Lewis Trio, most rockabilly and 50's rhythm and blues, I'm a huge fan of the White Stripes and I like some of the blusier Black Keys stuff I've heard.

What recent stuff (say, last 20-30 years) should I be listening to that intentionally is not over-compressed, super-loud and destroyed? Any old stuff that you care to mention that I have probably missed is more than welcome too.
posted by thrasher to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Sonny Rollins, Phil Woods, Paul Desmond, Ted Goia? You might also want to check out stuff from Pete Thomas, Saskia Laroo, Michael Garrick, Lee Konitz...

To my ear, they are all compressed to a certain degree, but still maintain a good dynamic range i.e. not overly compressed.
posted by TrinsicWS at 9:01 AM on April 25, 2012

For something a little different, I recommend Amy Ray (of Indigo Girls fame). Her solo career has produced some amazing music. She started touring solo in between Indigo Girls tours because she was a little to rock, blues, political for the Indigo Girls package. I couldn't stop moving at her last show.
posted by anya32 at 9:11 AM on April 25, 2012

Jeff Beck, he tends to fly under everyones radar because he flits between genres quite a lot.
posted by Lanark at 10:43 AM on April 25, 2012

It's not new, but since you said you're o.k. with things you might have missed I think it'd be worth your while to check out The Bobby Timmons Trio In Person, it's a fantastic album.

Newer stuff wise: on the blues end of things Otis Taylor's putting out some great stuff again. I remember there being a pretty wide range of dynamics on Truth is Not Fiction, but it's been awhile since I've listened to it straight through.

For Jazz, Dianna Krall's doing a great job with standards (although I remember being a little put off by the mixing on the album she let Elvis Costello produce), and I've recently got the singer I'm working with on a Karynn Alison kick.

And I've got to tell you the good news of Esperanza Spalding although Chamber Music Society is quite a bit different from Espranza, still great and the compression is minimal. Not only is she a great singer, but her bass playing is phenomenal, and musically she's good enough to hold her own with Bobby McFerrin...
posted by Gygesringtone at 5:34 PM on April 25, 2012

Eric Bibb! Check out Booker's Guitar, at least.
posted by CKZ at 10:59 PM on April 25, 2012

Not-overly-compressed jazz music is kind of the hallmark of the ECM label.
posted by softlord at 4:46 AM on April 26, 2012

Response by poster: Thank you all for the suggestions! Lots of digging and research to do, I appreciate the points in the right direction.
posted by thrasher at 7:52 AM on April 26, 2012

I just realized that I forgot to mention specific recordings for Dianna Krall and Karynn Alison, sorry.

I've got Dianna Krall's "Stepping Out," which I love for no other reason than it's hard to find a good recording of "42nd Street."

Karynn Alison has a great CD called "Ballads" that I really enjoy. Also, I just love the way she does Bossa Novas, so anything with song by Jobim, you're probably good.
posted by Gygesringtone at 11:27 AM on April 27, 2012

So I just found a couple CDs that I think you'd enjoy, both are from Rene Marie: Live at the Jazz Standard; and Serene Renegade.
posted by Gygesringtone at 8:00 AM on May 31, 2012

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