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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars overdue release but pity about the mastering, 9 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Caldera / Sky Islands (Audio CD)
Sky Islands featuring the voice of Diane Reeves on two tracks is a very strong jazz funk album from 1977. The vinyl copies of it are rare, and I'd not even heard the first eponymous album. Musicianship and the music writing itself is exceptional though rarely heard. For this genre it is a must have. I thoroughly enjoyed the first album on here having never heard it before now, nearly as good as Sky Islands.

So why only 4 stars? Well even that is generous. Sleeve notes claim this is remastered. So some years ago I bought a copy of the LP from the US, and using my own (OK fairly high quality) equipment, made my own digital copy from the vinyl. Cleaned it up and made a CD. Comparing my vinyl recording to the CD release, the CD is dull, lacks stereo depth, and tape hiss is evident. So the lack of brightness is nothing to do with trying to quieten the hiss.

Overall I am exceptionally disappointed with the mastering. I will be contacting the company that remastered this and ask their comments, because, if I, with only semi professional equipment, can arrive at a far better digital sound than they can, something is seriously wrong in the remastering process. Don't get me wrong, this is not the only case of bad mastering I have heard (and where my vinyl transcriptions to digital are better than the official remasters) but the rarity of the material even in its original vinyl form means someone should have taken far greater care to get this right.

The music is something else, magical, enchanting, a pure delight. But it sounds no better than on a cheap cassette with dirty playback heads. We are talking around a 3 dB cut in the high frequencies, and the stereo sound stage is muddled. If you've never heard the vinyl, then buy the CD, you'll be happy, the music is a sheer delight. However if you already own the vinyl and have a good playback system, don't bother. I will be keeping mine because I've not managed to get that first album on vinyl, but I'm determined to get a copy now.

I love this music so much, but the mastering is such a disappointment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome Re-release, 8 Oct. 2013
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Mr. P. Jones - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Caldera / Sky Islands (Audio CD)
I had a taped copy of "Sky Islands" in the '70swhich finally stopped working. I have been looking on and off since then to find the album. I admit that it sounds a little dated but I still love every single track and "Caldera" is also a fine album - well worth buying.
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Caldera / Sky Islands
Caldera / Sky Islands by Caldera (Audio CD - 2013)
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