Audiophile: Digital, October 2022

hfnalbum.pngJudee Sill
Judee Sill
Intervention Records IR-SCD15 (two-channel SACD)

Where did five years go? It was Oct '17 when the 2x45rpm vinyl version of this record scored LP of the Month. Side-by-side comparison will prove a challenge even for those blessed with golden ears, so sweet and warm is the sound of this SACD. To remind you of the genius herein, Sill was a doomed singer-songwriter, beloved of 1960s rock royalty and a muse for everyone from Graham Nash and The Hollies to The Turtles, as well as the equally gifted songwriter, Warren Zevon. Fragile, heart-wrenching, intense: every time I hear this I get sucked further into her artistry, and grow sadder at the loss of what could have been another Joni Mitchell. Piano and guitar will ensure this sits atop your reference stack. KK


Ragtime World
Octave OCT0009 (SACD + DVD data disc)

Another delicious surprise from Octave, again making one wish that the audiophile labels of yore were as interested in musical content as they were in SQ. Dwelling somewhere between indie and alt-country/roots music, this Colorado group calls to mind myriad bands a generation or two behind, and inspired by, Neil Young, Jackson Browne and other Laurel Canyon icons. Think: Wilco, Long Ryders or even The Paisley Underground. Just when you're lulled into a country-esque groove, up comes outrageous mellotron or fuzz, while the rhythm section could probably keep up (power-wise) with headbangers. Great sound, especially drums and bass. KK


Various Artists
Eddie Piller Presents British Mod Sounds Of The 1960s
Edsel EDSEL0091 (four discs; part mono)

Flush as we are with Mod collections, I'm happy to announce this ranks with the best. Through 100 superbly-annotated tracks from A-listers to MIAs, it shows the depth and breadth of British rock of the first half of the '60s. OK, so The Beatles, The Stones, et al aren't here, but this superb sounding, mono-and-stereo anthology contains a genius mix of the familiar and the unknown, through hits and misses, originals and covers, to reveal how eclectic were the tastes of these sharp-suited individuals. Soul, jazz, blues, nascent psychedelia, cross-pollination among the bands: from The Action to The Zombies, this is why British bands conquered rock 60 years ago. KK


Various Artists
A Summer Of Soul (Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
Sony Music CD 1943995687-2

It was worth waiting for this CD, previewed in April's soundtracks round-up. Since then, the film has won so many awards, that they can't list 'em all on the sleeve. To recap, here are selections from the nearly-forgotten Harlem Cultural Festival of 1969, an event now regarded as the equal of Woodstock and Monterey Pop. It really was a Who's Who of the era's African-American A-list musicians, this set providing 16 tracks from Sly & The Family Stone, BB King, David Ruffin, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Nina Simone, the Staple Singers, Mongo Santamaria and more. It really warranted a multi-CD set of the entire show. KK