In 2011, some of Canada’s top session musicians - including legendary jazz drummer Steve Gadd (Paul Simon, Steely Dan, Chick Corea), multi-instrumentalist Joey DeFrancesco (Miles Davis, John McLaughlin) on Hammond B3 organ, and Alma Records head Peter Cardinali on bass - joined forces to record an exciting new repertoire as the supergroup Cinque (pronounced "Cheen-kwe").
Catch A Corner, the band’s only studio release to date, pays homage to the relaxed, super-tight mid-70s jazz/funk style made popular by artists like Bob James and Stanley Turrentine on Creed Taylor’s CTI label. DeFrancesco's use of the Hammond B3 also recalls the ‘organ trio’ style of the late-1950s and 60s, headlined by players like Jimmy Smith and Jack McDuff.
Cardinali stated the following about the recording process:
As good as the original CD edition sounded, it’s completely eclipsed by Juno/Grammy award-winning engineer John ‘Beetle’ Bailey’s new Dolby Atmos remix. Bailey was the original engineer and mixer for this project, with all the tracking having taken place at The Drive Shed, his studio space in Toronto.
The Atmos mix places the listener in the center of the performance, with each instrument largely isolated to a different set of speakers. Gadd’s drums are spread across the fronts, with Cardinali’s bass mostly confined to the center channel, while DeFrancesco’s organ fills out the side surround speakers and the horns blast from the rears. John Johnson’s sax in “Geppetto's Blues” appears centered in the rear speakers, directly behind the listener’s head.
The four height channels are an active part of the presentation as well, supplying an effective ‘you are there’ ambience in addition to distinct elements such as the percussion and horn blasts throughout “Saturday Night, Sunday Morning.” The overall sound quality is excellent as well, tonally pleasing from the highs to the lows and packing plenty of dynamic range.
Perhaps most interesting is the final track - an instrumental take on Paul Simon’s “Still Crazy After All These Years” - no doubt chosen by the band as it’s one of Gadd’s most iconic drum performances. It’s a much more soulful rendition of the song, with Johnson’s sax taking the place of the lead vocal.
Catch A Corner is the second in a series of high-resolution digital immersive releases brought to you by IAA in conjunction with Alma Records, an independent “music first” Canadian label focused primarily on Jazz and World music.
Alma is committed to remixing much of their back catalog in Atmos, with at least ten more albums from artists such as Hilario Durán, The Florian Hoefner Trio, Monkey House, and Ian Thomas already scheduled for release in the coming months.
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