ISO audiophile blues and jazz on CD

Hi all, I am having a hard time finding high quality recordings of jazz and blues that I like on CD. I love the great artists like B.B. King, Albert King, and John Lee Hooker. Also looking for any other recommendations based on my likes and notes listed below:
  • Even though it isn't what some would consider an ideal recording environment, I find that the recordings of John Lee Hooker and Albert King on the CD "I'll Play the Blues for You" (Tomato Records) are pretty good in that they do give a "you are there" experience inside a small club with live music. I like that very much.
  • B.B. King's "Live at the Apollo" CD has been a favorite of mine for a while. I do prefer live recordings when possible.
  • Jazz at the Pawnshop is another favorite CD.
  • The Leon Thomas Blues Band CD that I bought in the 1990's is a good recording, and I like the music. I wish they had recorded it live.
  • Even though they are very early and somewhat harsh all-digital recordings, I like Tunnel and Big Notes by Flim and the BB's. I wish they had been recorded on analog equipment instead of very early digital, but back then (early 1980's) all-digital was sold and hyped as the best thing since sliced bread. It wasn't, as demonstrated by so many of the CDs of that era.
  • I own all of the CDs from Sheffield Labs except the ones that are classical music. Although much of their music is oddball stuff, they always did a decent job of recording I thought.
Any and all recommendations welcome. I'm having a hard time finding new music CDs to listen to on my recently upgraded system. I am looking for CD only, no streaming or vinyl at this point. I miss the days (1980's) when I could walk into high-end audio shops and almost immediately find new CDs that I liked as they played them on demo systems. One by one, every such store anywhere near me has closed over the decades.
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If anyone knows of a really good sounding CD with Ray Charles, that also would be a welcome addition to my collection, especially if its live.

Note: If it's a live recording, "good sounding" to me means it truly sounds "you are there" when played on a good system, even if was recorded in a small venue with screaming crowd noise, occasional feedback squeals, and other irregularities that are to be expected at small venue live events. John Lee Hooker and Albert King "I'll Play the Blues for You" (Tomato Records) is full of these irregularities, and I love the CD anyway.

I had the pleasure of seeing B.B. King play live twice, at a small venue, and Ray Charles twice at a large open air venue. They are missed. Ditto for Allen Toussant, who I never saw live in person, but have seen perform live on TV at the New Orleans Jazz Festival.
I am not a big jazz listener but use the recording and music for my audio work,I have the usual suspects,I do like the mark isham tribute to the MD kind of blue it's very well recorded
The sound track the hot spot is a must have
Yet link below.
I know the guys that work here so I was given these CDs and enjoy them
The Stanley Clark one is fantastic with a direct 2 track with no mixing,editing or overdubbing
The other label is
The east axis stuff was done at east side sound (lots of crazy audio freaks like me there)
Have fun
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Never Get Old:

You might want to spend some time at I buy downloadable FLAC files from them, but they also sell CDs and LPs (while supplies last). Some of the material on bandcamp is high resolution, which you might also appreciate (e.g. Michael Formanek Very Practical Trio). Unlike traditional music publishers, bandcamp pays the artists something like 90% of the price paid for the music; personally, I strongly approve of a music distribution system in which the artists make the bulk of the money.

The downside? To be kind, there's a lot of amateur and less-than-great stuff there. But the search can be a lot of fun.

Big dissapointment so far. I went to the local used CD shop, and I bought five CDs from "reputable" bands like Manhattan Transfer, Trombone Shorty, Bela Fleck, etc. All were among the worst recordings ever, and most were poor performances too. Fortunately, the shop has a return policy, so back they went. Now I know why they were in the used bin.

So I ordered the 6 CD Ray Charles set True Genius specifically to get the CD that was recorded live in Sweden in 1972. Sadly, I must report that the recording and mastering is terrible. So I tried the remainder of the CDs in the set, and they are equally terrible. I don't know who mastered the recordings, but they sound like very badly worn, old records with horrible dynamic range compression. So, the whole 6 disc set will get sold too.

Still looking for true blues high-quality recordings, preferably live, like: BB King Live at the Apollo or Albert King and John Lee Hooker I'll Play the Blues for You. See original post.

I did pick up the last three Sheffield Labs CDs that I was missing - Pat Coil Just Ahead (ok I guess), and the relatively rare Pat Longo's Super Big Band, Billy May For President (technically released under the Town Hall label but was listed on the Sheffield Lab site), and the little known McNeely Levin Skinner Confederations album, which is terrible (Sheffield Labs dropped the ball on that one).
Well, it appears that you actually like more recently recorded (i.e., within the last 40 years or so...since 1983) blues, jazz, and soul with high crest factor (dynamic range). Jazz and blues albums that go back to the 50s-70s usually have lower crest factors less than 11 dB (see this site for many "DR Database" ratings), There are a few exceptions, but typically these older recordings sound flat due largely to the phase shifts introduced by middling quality analog tape machines of that era.

I think that there are a few jazz, fusion and blues albums that you may not have heard before (and some of which you have), all but the first of which have album crest factors of 15 dB or above--if you're careful which versions of each album you select from the DR Database. Avoid all "remasters": the dynamic range always takes a big dive so that they can be "louder":

1) Blues Singer - Buddy Guy (2003)
2) Time Squared, Altered State, and Lifestyle hybrid SACDs -- The Yellowjackets (these are excellent recordings in multichannel DSD mode)
3) Junjo - Esperanza Spalding (on double bass and vocals)
4) (All Flim & the BB's albums)
5) Portraits of Cuba - Paquito D'Rivera (Chesky)
6) Jimmy Cobb / Roy Hargrove hybrid SACD (Chesky)
7) The Legendary Oscar Peterson Trio Live at the Blue Note (4 discs)
8) Rhapsody & Blues - The Crusaders with Bill Withers
9) The Montreal Tapes - Charlie Haden, Joe Henderson, Al Foster
10) You Get more Bounce with Curtis Counce! - Curtis Counce
11) Club Del Sol - David Chesky
12) Kamakiriad - Donald Fagen
13) Boss Tenor - Gene Ammons
14) Harold in the Land of Jazz - Harold Land
15) Head Hunters hybrid SACD - Herbie Hancock
16) No Absolute Time - Jean-Luc Ponty
17) Voices in the Rain - Joe Sample
18) Tiger in the Rain - Michael Franks
19) Companion - Patricia Barber (hybrid SACD - live performance)
20) Transformation - Tal Wilkenfeld
21) Geri Allen and the JAZZPAR 1996 Nonet
22) Live at the Lighthouse - The Modern Jazz Quartet (1967)
23) Soular Energy - Ray Brown
24) Parker's Mood - The Roy Hargrove/Christian McBride/Stephen Scott Trio (excellent performance)
25) Catching the Sun, Freetime albums - Spyro Gyra
26) As We Speak - David Sanborn

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Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong - "Ella and Louis Again"

there's three collections of this absolutely amazing music, Ella and Louis Together, Ella and Louis Again volumes 1 and 2.

but there are good and not-so-good mastered releases, make the effort to find the better remastered versions. the distortion on the not-so-good drives me up the wall.
sorry but I don't have a reference for the good ones...
For older jazz (1958-1970 approx) almost anything on Blue Note Rudy Van Gelder editions is worth considering; we have about twenty in the collection and they all sound very good. The label has artists like Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Kenny Burrell, Art Blakely and Lee Morgan.

Billy Cobham's 'Spectrum' is a great 'fusion' album from the mid-70s which sounds great on LP or CD, well worth a listen; it has the late Tommy Bolin on guitar. More recently, Nigel Kennedy's Blue Note Sessions is a very good sounding and enjoyable listen.

Happy Hunting!

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there's three collections of this absolutely amazing music, Ella and Louis Together, Ella and Louis Again volumes 1 and 2.

but there are good and not-so-good mastered releases, make the effort to find the better remastered versions ... sorry but I don't have a reference for the good ones ...

Suggestions anyone?

Sadly, I find that many "remastered" versions of recordings are worse than the originals. Sometimes it sounds like they remastering for earbuds and highly compressed MP3 playback maybe?