Hi-Fi In Focus
LP to Digital [FLAC] transfer bundle
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Richard S. Ginell [allmusic.com]
Hi-Fi was one of the biggest buzz words of the 1950s before stereo supplanted it (the term made a comeback in the mid-'80s when the VCR reached a refined stage), and Chet Atkins was the recipient of its name value on this LP. There is nothing more inherently ''hi-fi'' in the sound of this album than its immediate companions in Atkins' catalog; suffice is it to say that this is another lovingly played collection of a dozen tunes from what is now considered the great guitarist's most prized period on recordings. This time, the unaccompanied pieces are mixed in with those containing a smartly recessed rhythm section, and the song selection ranges widely between pop standards, a couple of crypto-Latin arrangements (''Anna'' is a particularly lovely display of strumming and staccato playing), and a Bach encore. ''Portuguese Washerwoman'' gets the most varied rhythmic treatment, from sophisticated jazz to two-beat country fingerpicking. Almost every line of the liner notes dwell on a now-forgotten photo contest for the abstract, high-tech art on the album cover, whereas it is the music that will be more remembered.