Trilok Gurtu: Living Magic (1991, CMP)
I mentioned before the ability of a good stereo system to place sonic images far behind the speakers. A great system can put them behind the listener too. The best demonstration I’ve heard of this is “Once I Wished a Tree Upside Down,” the third cut from Trilok Gurtu’s Living Magic, in which Gurtu and fellow percussionist Naná Vasconcelos apparently circle the stereo microphone with shakers, rain sticks, and bell trees while Jan Garbarek’s alto sax holds down the center. Electrostatic speakers and open-back planar magnetic headphones, in particular, will make the percussion and Daniel Goyone’s keyboards seem to fly around your head, enveloping you like a swarm of benevolent buzzing insects.