44.1kHz/24-bit FLAC, Straightvibe Records/Brokensilence 11885 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)

Accomplished guitarist Richard Schumacher was born in Boston (1955) but grew up in Hamburg. In his mid-twenties he returned to Berklee College of Music to study jazz composition and arrangement. Back in Germany in the 1990s he formed the Vibe Tribe jazz collective project and his own Straightvibe Records label dedicated to jazz and world music. Despite Right Of Way being an analogue recording, ironically it delivers that rather ‘dark’ and dry sound reminiscent of the many ‘audiophile’ releases from Tom Jung’s digital-pioneering DMP label. It sounds great, with a good sense of space around the instruments and plenty of bass punch, even if leading-edges sound artificially smoothed-over and the sense of acoustic over-damped. Schumacher’s playing is divine alongside stellar tenor sax and trumpet contributions from Bill Evans and Michael Stewart. JB

Sound Quality: 75%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

An analogue recording that was subsequently digitally mastered at the CD rate of 44.1kHz (but with 24-bit quantisation), it’s only the very quietest interludes that will benefit, subjectively, over the silver disc’s 16-bit coding. PM