Sonny Rollins' 1956 album The Sound of Sonny is another very fine recording from one of the best saxophonists ever. If you like the sound of Sonny's sax this is the album for you. The album features Sonny front and center on every song. Very few times does Sonny take a step back for anyone. One great exception is on the song "Just In Time." There is a little lull in the song with some mellow piano, but that is followed with a fabulous drum solo. The drums are sonically spectacular just like the rest of the recording. "It Could Happen To You" is the only Sonny solo track on the album. The song is 3:45 of pure Sonny sax. I absolutely love the lush sound of his tenor on this song. Music lovers looking for some jazz without too many instruments competing for the floor will surely want to purchase this album.
Format and Sound
I downloaded this complete album from the MusicGiants online store as 24 bit / 88.2 KHz DRM-Free Windows Media Lossless files. You read that correctly, DRM-Free 24/88.2 Sonny Rollins from MusicGiants! Over the past year MusicGiants has been increasing their selection of DRM-Free music. In addition, they have added what they call Super HD music. These albums are often 24/88.2 or 24/96 downloads. Nowhere else on the Internet can you download music of this quality from the major labels. Comparing iTunes downloads to MusicGiants is like comparing apples and oranges. iTunes downloads are for portable devices like Apple's iPod. MusicGiants downloads are for audiophiles and anyone who wants the best sound quality available. Of course this music can also be put on a portable player. If your player doesn't support 24/88.2 files you'll have to downsample the album. This is pretty easy and again only necessary if you want to copy the files to a portable player.
As many of you know I use a Mac with iTunes for my music server and I listen to my music as uncompressed AIFF files. I do have Windows installed on a Boot Camp partition and I have Parallels to access that OS while simultaneously using OS X. Since the current MusicGiants store is only available with Internet Explorer I downloaded the music from my Windows virtual machine. The songs all download as WMA lossless files and need to be converted to play on a Mac. Since this album was DRM-Free this was possible, but not without some experimentation. Fortunately I can tell you exactly what you need to know so you don't have to reinvent the wheel. Here are the steps I used.
1. Download the lossless wma music
2. Use the Windows Media Audio 9 Lossless to PCM Converter to convert the wma files to wav files. This tool will keep the sample rate and size at 88.2 KHz & 24 bit. Beware it is a command line utility, but the syntax is real easy.
3. (Optional) Move the files to your Mac and use the MAX application to convert wav to aiff. This is necessary to support tags and cover art.
4. Import into iTunes and you done. MusicGiants 24/88.2 music on your Mac!