Patricia Barber – Cafe Blue (1994/2013)
DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz | Time – 01:02:52 minutes | 2,48 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: AcousticSounds | Front Cover | © Premonition Records
Cafe Blue was recorded at Chicago Recording Company in early 1994 by recording engineer Jim Anderson. It was the first release Barber recorded for Premonition Records. Recorded in 16/48 kHz on a 32-track Otari machine, the original multitracks were then transferred and remixed in 2011 at Capitol Studios in Holywood, California. The idea was to reimagine the album, which had become one of the most widely praised jazz recordings of the 1900s, at one of the legendary recording facilities of the golden era of jazz recording, the late 1950s. Utilizing Studio B’s remarkably warm Neve 808 console, which was actually the first Neve console in the U.S., and Capitol’s EMT plate reverbs and live chambers, Anderson delivered a stunning reinterpretation that has become the standard versiion of this recording. The album was mastered from the original analog mixes by David Glasser of Airshow Mastering.
Cafe Blue itself is so special that it outshines its peers. This recording of an outstanding female vocalist won more than 15 awards of best reviews from international major magazines of music institutions. But the most important aspect of this disc crystallizes in the two songs for which Barber herself has written the lyrics. The down-and-out sophistication of “What A Shame” and the self-effacing wonderment of “Too Rich For My Blood,” show a serious jazz musician exploring the emotional domain normally occupied by pop and rock artists.
Patricia Barber, who is both a fine keyboardist and an atmospheric singer, contributes roughly half of the material to her Premonition debut. Her dark voice and the generally esoteric program takes awhile to get used to (listeners will have to be patient), but after two or three listens, this thought-provoking and rather moody set becomes more accessible. The music ranges stylewise from sophisticated pop sensitivities to the avant-garde and even touches of minimalism, while not fitting securely into any category. Barber gives a new slant to “The Thrill Is Gone,” “Ode to Billy Joe,” and even “A Taste of Honey,” and her vocals are all quite haunting and contemporary. An added plus to this unusual music is adventurous guitarist John McLean. –AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow
1 What A Shame 5:24
2 Mourning Grace 6:59
3 The Thrill Is Gone 4:40
4 Romanesque 4:27
5 Yellow Car III 5:08
6 Wood Is A Pleasant Thing To Think About 0:57
7 Inchworm 5:03
8 Ode To Billie Joe 5:20
9 Too Rich For My Blood 8:00
10 A Taste Of Honey 4:28
11 Nardis 9:03
12 Manha De Carnaval 3:21
Patricia Barber, piano, vocal
Michael Arnopol, bass
John McLean, guitars
Mark Walker, drums, percussion, body parts
Recorded: Chicago Recordings Company, Studio 5, Chicago IL. June 28-30, July 1, 1994.
Analog 2-track mixes transferred to 24/192 kHz by Doug Sax. Converted to DSD from the 24/192 by Gus Skinas