Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Review: Masada - Live In Taipei 1995

Masada possesses a rich catalogue of live albums, that in size almost rivals that of the studio works, but in quality is just something else. Like the studio sets however the live collections also suffer from having a dud here and there. ‘Live In Taipei 1995’ then is that dud.

The quartet is playing on top form throughout, delivering blistering takes on material from the studio albums volume 5 through to 7. And the highlights here are both exhilarating and enchanting, with typically brilliant interplay between the four men.

However it, surprisingly given Masada’s usual quality standards, is a substantially below-par sound recording. The acoustics are all wrong, and noticeably distorts Dave Douglas’ trumpet, while the bass is swampy and blurred. And that’s what effectively knackers the album for most, especially when a good number of the performances here exist in better recorded versions on other live sets. The sound is not terrible, but it is a deal below what you would expect – especially from an official release.

Not a terrible album, just a lesser quality one, and any fan would do well to get hold of every other live effort before this one, but for the dedicated many, once you have everything else, this isn’t a bad completion to the live collection.


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