Recommended CD's

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UPDATED March 13, 2013

It's no use having a great audio system if you're playing poor quality recordings. Following is a list of 'killer' CD's from some of my favorite artists. I've recommended a single CD from each artist's catalog. If you like the one I've selected, you would probably like their other work as well. I've also included a brief description of the type of music. These are not just great songwriting and great performances.....they're spectacular recordings as well. Super Audio CD was never necessary......just regular CD's from recording engineers that know what they're doing.


Click on this link to hear how today's recording 'engineers' are screwing up many contemporary recordings:

The Loudness War--Discussion

Good place to check out questions and answers on how audio is recorded:

Digital Domain

Another listing of great recordings:

Honor Roll


Individual Artists

Acoustic Alchemy--Against the Grain (jazz/pop/rock)

Eric Alexander--Live at the Keynote (jazz)

Rob Allen--Mysterious Measures (jazz/rock)

Stephen Anderson--Remembering the Rain: The Music of Bill Evans (jazz guitar)

Jann Arden--Happy (pop/folk vocals)

Susie Arioli Band (featuring Jordan Officer)--Live at the Festival Intenational de Jazz de Montreal (jazz)

Baltimore Consort--Watkins Ale...Music of the English Renaissance (small ensemble period music)

Patricia Barber--Cafe Blue (jazz/pop vocals)

Christy Baron--I Thought About You (Jazz)

Basia--Time and Tides (jazz/pop vocals)

Beau Jocque and the Zydeco Hi-Rollers--Pick Up On This(cajun blues)

Mary Black--Looking Back (celtic/folk vocals)

Chris Botti--When I Fall in Love (jazz trumpet)

Greg Brown--Slant Six Mind (one of the greatest singer/songwriters ever)

Michael Buble--It's Time (jazz vocal)

Calamus--The Splendor of Andalusia (spanish/new age)

Roseanne Cash--Ten Song Demo (folk/country/pop female vocal)

Nick Cave--No More Shall We Part (folk/pop/rock)

John Cephas and Phil Wiggins--Bluesmen (blues)

Tracy Chapman--(no title) (pop/folk vocals)

Craig Chaquico--Acoustic Planet (new age/jazz)

Craig Chaquico and Russ Freeman--From the Redwoods to the Rockies (new age/jazz)

Checkfield--Reflections On a Decade (new age/jazz/pop-some vocals)

Clannad--Landmarks (celtic/new age)

Holly Cole--Holly Cole (jazz)

Ry Cooder and V. M. Bhatt--A Meeting By The River (acoustic)

Paolo Conte--Best of Paolo Conte (european jazz)

Jesse Cook--Gravity (new age/flamenco/jazz)

The Coryells--The Coryells (jazz/blues/new age guitar/vocal threesome)

Cowboy Junkies--The Trinity Session (folk, country, rock)

Jamie Cullum--Twenty Something (jazz vocal)

DaDa--El Subliminoso (rock)

Jeremy Davenport--Jeremy Davenport (trumpet/vocal jazz)

Dave's True Story--Nature (jazz)

Miles Davis--Kind of Blue (jazz)

Al Dimeola--Heart of the Immigrants (guitar)

Dire Straits--Dire Straits (rock)

Candy Dulfer--Saxuality (jazz/saxophone)

Bob Dylan--Free Wheelin' (folk)

Eagles--Hell Freezes Over (country rock)

Ronnie Earl and The Broadcasters--Grateful Heart Blues and Ballads (blues/folk)

Michael Ellwood/Beth Galiger--Rolling Valentine (country/blues/folk vocals)

William Ellwood--Openings (folk guitar)

Tommy Emmanuel--Midnight Drive (jazz/rock guitar)

Enya--Shepherd Moons (new age/folk vocals)

Bill Evans Trio featuring Stan Getz--But Beautiful (jazz)

Fairfield Four--Standing in the Safety Zone (acappella Gospel)

Bela Fleck--Ufo Tofu (jazz/new age)

Flim and the BB's--Tricycle ( jazz/new age)

John Fogerty--Blue Moon Swamp (country/rock)

Antonio Forcione--Tears of Joy (acoustic guitar)

Fourplay--(no title) (jazz/pop)

Friedemann--Aquamarine (new age guitar)

Ed Gerhard--Counting the Ways (acoustic guitar)

John Gorka--Between 5 and 7 (new age/celtic)

Benny Green and Russell Malone-Bluebird (jazz)

Michael Gulezian--Language of the Flame (folk/new age guitar)

Charlie Haden and Pat Metheny--Beyond the Missouri Sky (folk/jazz)

Merle Haggard--If I Could Only Fly (country)

John Hammond--Got Love If You Want It (blues vocals)

Johnny Hartman--And I Thought About You (jazz)

Hayseed Dixie--A Hillbilly Tribute to AC/DC (I'm not kidding!--bluegrass)

Heart--The Road Home (Live Rock)

Michael Hedges--Taproot (folk/new age guitar)

Shirley Horn--You Won't Forget Me (jazz/pop vocals)

Scott Huckabay--Peace Dance (guitar/new age)

Brian Hughes--Straight To You (jazz/pop guitar)

Janis Ian--Breaking Silence (folk)

Ralf Illenberger--Sedona (jazz/new age/folk)

Benjamin Iobst--Seven Metals--Singing Bowls of Tibet (world/bells)

Chris Isaak--Heart Shaped World (pop/country/blues vocals)

Al Jarreau--Best of Al Jarreau (jazz)

David Johansen and the Harry Smiths--(no title) (blues)

Jack Johnson--On and On (alt pop/rock. Unique talent with unique phrasing)

Ricki Lee Jones--Pop Pop (jazz)

Sara K--Closer Than They Appear (folk/jazz)

Greg Karukas--Heatwave (contemporary jazz)

Keb Mo--(no title) (acoustic blues)

Mark Knopfler--Golden Heart (pop/country/folk vocals)

Diana Krall--All of You (Jazz, Female Vocal)

Alison Krauss--Forget About It (Country/bluegrass/folk)

Shawn Lane--The Power of Ten (new age/pop/blues)

K. D. Lang--Ingenue (pop/folk/country)

David Lanz--Desert Vision (new age piano)

Patty Larkin--Angels Running (folk/pop/rock vocals)

Max Lassar's Ark--Timejump (new age/folk/pop)

The Legendary Marvin Pontiac Greatest Hits (the only album....Frank Zappa meets the Lounge Lizards--esoteric rock/blues/jazz)

Adrian Legg--Guitars and Other Cathedrals (finger picking acoustic guitar)

Sharon Little--Perfect Time for a Breakdown (blues/rock)

Nils Lofgren--Acoustic Live (acoustic guitar)

Carla Lother--Ephemera (World/New Age?)

Lyle Lovett--Joshua Judges Ruth (country/folk)

Kevin Mahogany-Pride and Joy (jazz/motown classics)

Torquato Mariano--Paradise Station (Brazilian Jazz/pop/rock)

Keiko Matsui--Dream Walk (New Age)

Susannah McCorkle--Hearts and Minds (jazz)

Michael McDermott--Michael McDermott (Springsteen Rock)

Michael McDonald--Blue Obsession (jazz/rock)

Loreena McKennitt--The Mask and the Mirror (new age/celtic/folk vocals)

Sarah McLachlan--Fumbling Towards Ecstacy (folk/pop/new age)

Billy McLaughlin--Fingerdance (folk guitar)

Doug McLeod--Unmarked Road (acoustic blues)

Wynton Marsalis--Think Of One (jazz)

The Mavericks--Trampoline (Roy Orbison meets Los Lobos!)

Natalie Merchant--Tiger Lily (pop/folk)

Bill Mize--Tender Explorations (acoustic guitar)

Maria Muldaur--Fanning the Flames (blues)

Roy Orbison--Black and White Night Live (rock n roll)

Over the Rhine--Good Dog Bad Dog (ethereal pop/folk/jazz)

Dean Peer--Ucross (solo bass guitar)

Al Petteway--Caledon Wood (folk guitar)

Rebecca Pidgeon--The Raven (folk/jazz)

Plaid--Not For 3's (electronica)

Quadro Nuevo--Mocca Flor (latin jazz)

Quitana and Speer--Shades of Shadow (new age/jazz/rock)

Keith Richards--Main Offender (rock)

Kim Richey--(untitled) (country/pop female vocal)

The Rippingtons--Sahara (modern jazz/pop)

Randy Roos--Liquid Smoke (new age/jazz/pop)

Michael Ruff--Speaking in Melodies (pop/rock vocals)

Sade--Diamond Life (jazz/pop)

Joe Satriani--Surfin With the Alien (rock/pop guitar)

Neil Schon--Beyond the Thunder (jazz/new age)

Kate Schrock--Indiana (folk)

Steve Schuch--Crossing the Waters (celtic/folk)

Oystein Sevag--Close Your Eyes and See (New Age)

Frank Sinatra--Francis A and Edward K (Sinatra at his best)

Son Volt--Trace (folk/country/rock). Interesting mix of awesome quality acoustic recordings and terrible electric ones.....a great evaluation tool.

Special EFX--Collection ( jazz, new age)

Hillary Stagg--Dream Spiral (new age harp)

Steeley Dan--Two Against Nature (jazz/rock/pop)

SuperTramp--It Was the Best of Times (Live pop/rock)

Livingston Taylor--Ink (on Chesky Records) (jazz/folk)

Hans Theesink--Solo Hard Road Blues (blues vocals)

Toy Matinee (no title) (pop/rock)

Artie Traum--Meetings With Remarkable Friends (new age/jazz/folk guitar)

Leroy Vinnegar--Walkin' The Basses (jazz bass)

Andreas Vollenweider--Trilogy (new age electroacoustic harp)

Wailin' Jennys--40 Days (Country/Folk three part harmonies)

Billy Joe Walker--Warm Front ( jazz/pop guitar)

Jennifer Warnes--Famous Blue Raincoat (pop/folk)

Cheryl Wheeler--Different Stripe (folk/country)

Freddie White--My Country (pop/folk)....my favorite artist!

Peter White--Caravan of Dreams ( jazz/pop guitar)

David Wilcox--Home Again (folk)

Cassandra Wilson--New Moon Daughter (jazz/blues/R&B)

Work of Art--Lift (folk/Irish)

Yellow Jackets--Four Corners ( jazz/new age)

Anthologies

A Celebration of the Blues--Great Acoustic Blues

Celtic Treasure--The Legacy of Turlough O'Carolan (Celtic)

Guitar Fingerstyle (Narada)

Guitar Samplers I and II (Windham Hill)

Guitar Works (Narada)

Guitarisma (Higher Octave Music) (Guitar)

Jazz at the Pawnshop (Fim)

Passion--Music For Guitar (Narada)

The Six String (Mesa) (Guitar)

Sounds of Wood and Steel--Windham Hill

Summer Solstice--A Windham Hill Collection (New Age)


Hope you enjoy the music!

If you'd like to email me with other recommendations, I'd be happy to audition them.

If you have comments or suggestions, email David Dicks at:

speakers@charter.net