Octave Records The Art of Hi-Fi Woodwinds

Octave Records The Art of Hi-Fi Woodwinds is the latest in The Art of Hi-Fi series captures the rich tonalities of woodwind instruments in high-resolution audio jazz, classical and pop selections –

June 13, 2024 – Woodwinds are among the most beautiful and expressive musical instruments, and The Art of Hi-Fi Volume 05: Woodwinds from PS Audio’s Octave Records features a variety of woodwinds and musical styles, all recorded in startling clarity. From the deep, sonorous authority of baritone sax and bassoon to the sweetness of a flute or piccolo, The Art of Hi-Fi Volume 05: Woodwinds offers an entertaining variety of jazz, classical, and pop music, played by world-class artists and captured in fantastic-sounding high-resolution Pure DSD audio.
Paul McGowan, Octave Records CEO noted: “There’s nothing quite like hearing the rich, full-bodied sound of an alto or tenor saxophone or the purity and vocal-like quality of an oboe on a high-resolution audio system. On a good recording and system, the body and presence of these instruments can sound amazingly realistic. We worked hard to capture all the instrumental textures of the woodwinds on this album, to make it feel as if you’re in the studio with the players – and having as much fun with the music as they are.”

Recording woodwinds is among the most difficult challenges for producers and engineers, because of the great variety of timbres and tonal ranges of the various instruments in the woodwind family, and because they’re acoustic instruments that move air and excite the listening room in complex ways. The Art of Hi-Fi Volume 05: Woodwinds was recorded using Octave’s Pyramix-based Pure DSD 256 recording system, and great care was taken in the use and placement of the Gefell M930 condenser mics used as the primary microphones, which were used in conjunction with Manley vacuum-tube preamplifiers.

The album was recorded, mixed, and produced by Paul McGowan, with Terri McGowan and Jessica Carson assisting in the recording and production duties, and mastered by Gus Skinas.
The recording gets off to a rip-roaring start with Charlie Parker’s “Moanin’” by the David Bernot Quartet. David starts the song with a solo baritone sax intro, and the presence of the sax is almost tangible in the room – and then the band kicks in with some serious swinging improvisation.

The Quartet contributes two more songs: a spellbinding version of “Body and Soul,” this time with David on tenor sax, and a whimsical take on “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” from Walt Disney’s Fantasia, featuring a very low, growling bassoon – you can picture Mickey Mouse being chased by the lumbering, possessed broomstick, and then breaking free in a jazz-flavored ¾-time happy dance.
Daryl Gott offers a sublime rendition of the jazz standard “Tenderly” on alto sax, accompanied by Octave Records’ own Tom Amend on organ. This track is particularly warm and deep-sounding, from the sweetness and body of the sax to Tom’s intense Hammond B3 organ and bass pedals. Daryl follows up this cut with the original composition “Circle,” an impressionistic duet for soprano saxophone and Tom Amend on piano.

Tom is heard with his quartet on the Irving Berlin standard “How Deep is the Ocean,” with Daryl Gott featured on alto sax, and Wayne Shorter’s “Tom Thumb.” Tom Amend plays all the instruments including clarinet, bass clarinet, piano, guitar, and percussion on the meditative “Gentler Times,” and on the sonic spectacular “Reel Talk,” featuring multiple recorders and some very powerful percussion and bass synthesizer.
“Hall of Ghosts” features Francesca Lujan in a solo piccolo performance. It’s a pure, elemental sound yet one that will challenge a system’s upper midrange and high-frequency capabilities. Classical music is represented by “Trois Pièces: 1 Moderato,” a duet with Jennifer Stucki on oboe and Aaron Stampfli on piano; and Ernest Bloch’s From Jewish Life B54 1: Prayer, with Jennifer on English horn and Aaron accompanying her. Both are presented in rich, spacious yet intimate sound.

The Art of Hi-Fi Volume 05: Woodwinds features Octave’s premium gold disc formulation, and the disc is playable on any SACD, CD, DVD, or Blu-ray player. It also has a high-resolution DSD layer that is accessible by using any SACD player or a PS Audio SACD transport. In addition, the master DSD and PCM files are available for purchase and download, including DSD 256, DSD 128, DSD 64, and DSDDirect Mastered 352.8 kHz/24-bit, 176.2 kHz/24-bit, 88.2 kHz/24-bit, and 44.1 kHz/24-bit PCM. (SRP: $19 – $39, depending on format.)

If you would like The Art of Hi-Fi Volume 05: Woodwinds please contact Frank Doris at frank@psaudio.com or 631-645-5668.


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