I found this one in the budget used CD section recently, because it has 5.1 surround and was 5 bucks, I bought it. I wasn't expecting anything but some ambience in the rear channels from a live recording, and the plain cover didn't suggest anything exciting. So I was surprised and pleased by the music and the sound. The musicians are all confident and are in top form, and they play great swinging jazz. The music comes at you from all directions in 5.1, the drums in particular are crazy, with different drums coming from different speakers. It's well recorded, with lots of dynamic range, and plenty of bass. This is just the sort of thing that I like, so this is my new favorite jazz recording, what a treat.
While many of the "live" surround recordings try to recreate the concert experience from the audience's perspective, with varying degrees of success, I enjoy the ones that are a bit more adventurous with the mix. To draw an analogy -- Aix Records' titles provide mix options from both the "audience" and "stage" perspectives; if we look at LIVE AT THE LOA in that light, this nudges closer to a "stage" mix with quite a bit of percussion in the rear speakers. It's not spread all over the place, but it's more discrete and (I think) more interesting than a typical "audience" mix.
A piano/bass/drums jazz trio, well executed and well recorded; one of the better "live" jazz surround recordings I have heard. I give it an 8.
Despite some ever-so-slight brittleness on the piano, this is an excellent MC mix. Ray's buttery tone is especially well-conveyed and, after all, that's what it's all about!
Musically, it's a solid, relaxed live date with all the expected poise and taste. Ray's sound is simply awesome--I've yet to hear a modern acoustic jazz bassist come close and one would have to go back to Charlie Haden and Reggie Workman to find anyone who can approach his richness.
Fans of straight-ahead jazz and especially bass fans should own this. Period.
Man, I love this one. It truly captures the energy, spontaneity and intimacy of a late-night club gig. The band is loose, playful and flat out bringing’ it! Three masters at the top of their game. The material consists mainly of standards with a definite slant towards the blues. Great fidelity and the surround mix is most impressive and immersive for a live trio recording with bass centered, drums leaning to the right front & rears, piano leaning left and audience in rears. 10
(Note that the full title is "Live at the Loa: Summer Wind".)