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

Stanley Clarke: East River Drive (Epic, 1993)

I found East River Drive through a speaker designer who uses it to make sure his company’s compact wireless speakers don’t choke when asked to play highly dynamic, bass-heavy music. Two tracks in particular, “Lord of the Low Frequencies” and “Funk Is Its Own Reward,” showcase Clarke’s signature slap-happy electric bass style, which will make most of the little woofers (bass-dedicated drivers) and passive radiators used in today’s popular wireless speakers literally scream for their lives. Or even worse, the tiny speakers may entertain you with an awkward dance of death, as Clarke’s intense low-end excursions make them scoot around on the shelf until they fall off.

Preview, buy or download East River Drive 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.