JazzTimes 10: Great Jazz Albums to Test Your Stereo With

A collection of sides that will reveal your system’s strengths—and weaknesses

I only have Eyes for You by Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy
I only have Eyes for You by Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy

Houston Person & Ron Carter: Remember Love (HighNote, 2018)

Cover of Houston Person & Ron Carter album Remember Love

The frequencies from about middle C (262 Hz) on down are the toughest parts of music to reproduce, because they make speakers, headphones, and rooms resonate and buzz like crazy. The result is that some notes boom while others practically disappear. Although Remember Love was recorded at the famously lush-sounding Van Gelder Studio, this is one of the most intimate-sounding recordings of double bass I’ve heard; Carter sounds like he’s playing four feet in front of you. As he runs up and down the neck (especially on “Gentle Rain”), he covers practically every note in the instrument’s range, so if your system has a weak spot in the bass register, he’ll let you know.

Preview, buy or download Remember Love on Amazon!

Brent Butterworth

Brent Butterworth has been a professional audio journalist since 1989, and has evaluated and measured thousands of audio products. He is currently a writer at Wirecutter and editor of the SoundStage Solo headphone site; served as an editor at such magazines as Sound & Vision and Home Theater; and worked as marketing director for Dolby Laboratories. He also plays double bass with several jazz groups in Los Angeles.