Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

This is the 1st of your 3 free articles

Become a member for unlimited website access and more.

FREE TRIAL Available!

Learn More

Already a member? Sign in to continue reading

JazzTimes 10: Great Jazz Albums to Test Your Stereo With

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

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.
I only have Eyes for You by Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy
I only have Eyes for You by Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy

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.

Preview, buy or download Living Magic on Amazon!

Originally Published

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.