HiRez Poll Severinsen, Doc - RHAPSODY FOR NOW! [SACD]


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Rate the SACD of Doc Severinsen - RHAPSODY FOR NOW!

  • 10: Great Content, Surround Mix, and Fidelity

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 9

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  • 7

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  • 2

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  • 1: Poor Content, Surround Mix, and Fidelity

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  • Total voters


Hi-Res Moderator
Staff member
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Oct 31, 2008
Middle TN
Please post your thoughts and comments on this 2017 Multichannel SACD release from Dutton Vocalion of the classic Doc Severinsen album "RHAPSODY FOR NOW!" This Multichannel SACD features the original 1970s Quadraphonic mix and is available to purchase from the Dutton Vocalion webstore:
[PLEASE NOTE: The album "Doc" is also included on the SACD but in stereo only.]

(n) :) (y)

Rhapsody for Now!
The original LP APL1 0273 (1973) STEREO/APT1 0273 QUADRAPHONIC
1. Live and Let Die (P & L McCartney) theme from the film
2. Soul Makossa (Dibango)
3. Yesterday Once More (Carpenter; Bettis)
4. Touch Me in the Morning (Masser; Miller)
5. Shambala (Moore)
6. My Love (P & L McCartney)
7. Pictures (from Pictures at an Exhibition) Promenade (Mussorgsky) – The Great Gate of Kiev (Mussorgsky)

8. California Dreamin’ (Phillips)
9. The Look of Love (Bacharach; David)
10. A Song for You (Russell)
11. Sweet Caroline (Diamond)
12. You’ve Got a Friend (King)
13. I Remember Louis (A Tribute to Louis Armstrong)
When it’s Sleepy Time Down South (L & O René; Muse)
Struttin’ with Some Barbecue (Armstrong; Raye)
Blueberry Hill (Lewis; Stock; Rose)
Hello, Dolly! (Herman)
Mack the Knife (Weill; Brecht; Blitzstein)
When it’s Sleepy Time Down South (reprise) (L & O René; Muse)

Arrangers/conductors: Oliver Nelson [1-6], Lenny Stack & Doc Severinsen [7], Harry Betts [8-12], Tommy Newsom [13]

This hybrid CD can be played on any standard CD players


I just got through listening to this one and I'm surprised at how good it is. Every time D-V drop a large batch of easy listening titles there's usually one that's a real hidden gem, like the Michel Legrand '20 Songs of the Century' disc last year, and for me this one is the hidden gem of this batch.

Rhapsody for Now! was never released in quad in the US - only on Q8 in Canada and CD-4 in Japan, so it's always been hard to find. It's been on my want-list for quite some time, but I've never seen the CD-4, and when the Q8 has come up I haven't been prepared to the $45-$50 that it's been commanding. So to have it on SACD sounding as great as it does is a really welcome development for me.

I was a bit worried that maybe the reason it didn't see quad release Stateside was because the quad mix wasn't very good, but that isn't the case at all - I'm thinking it was just maybe because they didn't want to oversaturate the quad market with the two Mancini/Severinsen 'Brass & Ivory' albums out in '72 and '73 already. The quad mix is one of the more discrete ones I've heard from RCA - there are no flashy swirls or ping pong effects, but plenty of discrete front/rear separation, horns in the front, strings in the rear, that sort of thing.

The problem with a lot of easy listening discs (and my litmus test for judging whether they're good or not) is that they're generally covers of music that was popular at the time. When they're not good, listening to it just makes you want to listen to the originals instead, but I'm happy to report that this disc doesn't fall in to that category for me at all. The songs are well chosen (the Rhapsody for Now suite is music from the early 70s, and the Rhapsody for Then suite is music from the mid-late 60s) and the arrangements are a lot of fun - out there enough that they're fresh but not so radical that you can't figure out the song. This probably isn't news to anyone who grew up with the Tonight Show, but but Doc's facility with the trumpet is fantastic - a really nice 'round' tone and a smooth vibrato. Additionally, he isn't just doing the usual easy listening thing of playing the vocal melody on the trumpet (although he does quote them at times, jazz-style), rather he's actually improvising and soloing, something I find way more interesting and also an approach that stands up to repeated listening far better.

The real surprise for me on this album was the final track, 'I Remember Louis', which is a 9 minute stroll through some of Louis Armstrong's most well known songs. Again it's really discrete and made me wish there was more traditional and big band jazz available in quad.

I know this SACD is probably a bigger gamble to buy than some of the others because you only get one quad album instead of two, but if you're on the fence about it, give it a try, I don't think you'll be disappointed.