Audiophile Masters Volume IV (SRP: $29) is playable on any SACD, CD, DVD, or Blu-ray player. It also has a high-resolution DSD layer that is accessible only using a PS Audio SACD transport, or by copying the DSD tracks on the included DVD data discs. In addition, the master DSD and PCM files are available for purchase and download from psaudio.com at this link. Audiophile Masters Vol. IV was recorded, mixed and produced by Steven Vidaic, and mastered by Gus Skinas. Octave Records’ Jessica Carson was the executive producer.
“Midwinter” by the Briana Harris Quintet kicks off the album with a blast of straight-ahead jazz that exudes classic cool and a lush ensemble sound. Fans of acoustic-based folk, country and Americana will find much to enjoy in Taylor Sims and Kyle Donovan’s acoustic guitar duo “Coming Home,” the dazzling guitar and mandolin flatpicking of Eric Wiggs on “Lickskillet” (with Dylan McCarthy on mandolin and Bradley Morse on upright bass), Tyler Thompson’s earthy “Stone Tree,” and Bonnie and Taylor Sims’ “Caught Between” with its propulsive bluegrass feel and plaintive vocal harmonies.
The Magee String Quartet offers a nuanced and impassioned performance of Smetana’s String Quartet No. 1 in E Minor in an intimate acoustic environment. Other highlights include Michelle Pietrafitta’s drum solo, “Thunder,” guitarist Bill Kopper’s bossa nova-flavored jazz track, “Santa Amaro,” the solo piano of Deborah Schmit-Lobis’ “Wapiti,” and Alicia Jo Straka’s “Au Printemps,” a beautifully-sung piece with accordion and piano that is evocative of a tranquil stroll down the streets of Paris.
- “Midwinter” – Briana Harris Quintet
- “Stone Tree” – Tyler Thompson
- “Wapiti” – Deborah Schmit-Lobis
- “Thunder” – Michelle Pietrafitta
- String Quartet No. 1 in E Minor (Smetana) – Magee String Quartet
- “Caught Between” – Bonnie and Taylor Sims
- “Lickskillet” – Eric Wiggs
- “Santa Amaro” – Bill Kopper
- “Au Printemps” – Alicia Jo Straka
- “Coming Home” – Taylor Sims and Kyle Donovan