David Manley Recordings is a DSD Sampler from Fone. It includes 10 tracks with music from Jazz stars including Doc Powell, Sekou Bunch, Munyungo Jackson, Todd Cochran, John Clayton, Karen Knowles, Darek Oles, Vickie Leigh, Karen Briggs, Charlie Bisharat and Brown Burnett.
Fans of the DSD releases from Groove Note Records will recognize Darek Oles and Charlie Bisharat as studio musicians who have been a key part of albums by artists including Vanessa Fernandez and Jacintha. The Groove Note DSD albums are also available from NativeDSD Music.
David Manley was a famed recording engineer and designer of audiophile amps and preamps sold under the name Vacuum Tube Logic (VTL). Manley designed his own recording studio and used it to record a series of Jazz albums with tube-based equipment using an Analog Tape Recorder. Several of these recordings initially appeared on the VTL label and have since been transferred to DSD and released by Fone.
This album – David Manley Recordings – along with two earlier Jazz samplers at NativeDSD Music from Fone – More Best of the Best and Percorsi Sonori No. 2 (Sound Paths No. 2) – provide an overview of the Manley Jazz recordings. You will also find it at NativeDSD Music along with some of the VTL Jazz recordings by artists including Karen Knowles, Kate McGarry, and Sekou Bunch.
Doc Powell – Guitar (Tracks 1,2)
Sekou Bunch – Tenor Bass (Tracks 1,3)
Munyungo Jackson – Percussion (Track 3)
Todd Cochran – Piano (Tracks 3,4,5)
James Leary – Bass (Track 4)
John Clayton – Unknown French Rarity (Track 4)
Karen Knowles – Vocals (Track 6)
Darek Oles – Bass (Track 6)
Josh Sklair – Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar (Tracks 6,7,9,10)
Sam Sklair – Arranger (Tracks 6,7) & Clarinet (Track 7), Percussion (Track 9)
Vickie Leigh – Vocals (Tracks 6,9,10)
Karen Briggs – Violin (Track 8)
Charlie Bisharat – Violin (Track 8)
Brown Burnett – Vocals, Mississippi Sax (Track 9)
Total time: 00:49:27
|Original Recording Format|
|Release Date||October 20, 2021|
All the selections on this DSD sampler were recorded by David Manley of VTL fame with imaging so real you can reach out and touch the musicians. I used to own several of these recordings in their original 45 RPM double LP sets released back in the 1980’s. I am quite impressed sonically with this sampler and if my memory serves me correctly these are very close to the sound of those original LPs.
The musical styles vary, and the sonic quality is consistently excellent throughout. The DSD sampler begins with Sekou Bunch’s “Catano” which is a pretty cool jazz piece, one of the ones I used to own on LP. Next up is Doc Powell’s “B.B.” with really great percussion that will show off the high frequency capabilities of your system. Munyungo Jackson’s “So Happy” has very accurate sounding steel pans and on James Leary’s “Ambidextrous” I really like the interplay between the bass and drums.
Todd Cochran’s “Behind the Mask” is from my first ViTaL LP and the one that got me excited about VTL, it is a great piano, bass and drums jazz piece. Karen Knowles’ “Don’t Say” has very realistic ambiance and vocals and Sam Sklair’s “Just Maybe” which is a larger jazz band and the sax sounds really sexy. Karen Briggs’ “Cantos de Los Gitanos (Songs of the Gypsies)” is violin lead jazz which is an instrument that is a real challenge in digital and this DSD release pulls it off as it sounds silky smooth and very analog-like and the music is very spicy Latin inspired. Brown Burnett’s “Baby Please Don’t Go” really rocks and is proof positive that rock-style music can sound great if recorded naturally. Why are so many artists and recording companies afraid to try?
The final track Vickie Leigh’s “Into The Light” is a jazz vocal and my least favorite cut, just not my style, even though sonics are superb; however, this is expected in a sampler.
My only complaint is this DSD release is not as warm sounding as I usually expect from tubed analog. This was true of the VTL 45 RPM LPs as well. However, the very accurate sonic realism and perfect tonal accuracy more than makes up for this. I am quite sure this is what the ViTaL studio really does sound like. Highly recommended.
So, while David Manley will be missed, he left a wonderful legacy behind.
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