I agree with your comments that this is an excellent performance and a very well done Surround Sound SACD.Let me start by saying, I'm not a huge Jazz fan, but I truly appreciate great Jazz performances when I hear them. That being said, this is a great Jazz performance, and stellar recording. Telarc hits a home run with Tierney Sutten's latest recording - On The Other Side.
The sound places you in an intimate club setting, and you have the best table, front and center. Only this is a private performance just for you. As each song was ending, I kept anticipating the applause from the audience that wasn't there. This is a studio recording, but the sound seems much bigger, with a widely dispersed sound stage.
She has a "Happy" theme with this disc as 9 of the 13 song titles contain the word Happy. But she gives the word Happy a different spin here, ranging from heartache to joy. On The Other Side, starts out very bluesy and melancholy, taking originally upbeat tempo pop songs and slowing them down to create a special mood. She then picks it up in the middle of the disc into a frisky fun vibe, with guest Jack Sheldon on vocals and trumpet. Then returns to a more bluesy finish.
The surrounds are used to tastefully create the club like ambience, with a few subtle fills of instrumentation. So if you are looking for the discrete separation of instruments like Telarc did with LAGQ's Guitar Heroes, it's not here. They did however create an audiophiles dream for imaging. If you close your eyes, you can't help but imagine that you're there, hearing it performed just for you. You can almost see the soft flicker of candlelight and smell the Champagne...... OK, that's a reach, but this recording takes you to another place, which I happen to think all great recordings should do.
I don't really think it is fair to compare recordings like this to artists like Porcupine Tree, or Donald Fagen with their awesome use of surrounds, because it is much like comparing apples to oranges. Obviously the artists intent is different. So on this one I'm basing my vote, solely in the category of Jazz recordings and it gets a 10.