Fire & Rain: A Tribute To James Taylor (2018)

Unknown, James Taylor, Carole King


Fire and Rain is Jacintha's first new album since 2007.  It features a fabulous selection of hits from the James Taylor catalog including You've Got A Friend, Sweet Baby James, Walking Man, Fire & Rain, Shower The People and several others. Jacintha's first popular music vocal album represents a striking change of pace from this audiophile favorite.

Several of the best LA-based musicians associated with James Taylor during his lengthy and stellar career appear on this album including Lee Sklar (bass), Russ Kunkel (drums), Jim Cox (keyboards & currently touring with James Taylor), and Dean Parks (acoustic guitar & currently touring with James Taylor). All songs are arranged by Tim Pierce (Vanessa Fernandez - Use Me and When The Levee Breaks, also available from NativeDSD) who also plays acoustic guitar on several tracks.

The entire album is recorded 100% pure analog at The Henson Studios in Hollywood, formerly know as A&M Studios (and the original location of the Charlie Chaplin film studios). In 1999, A&M Records was sold to Universal Music. Subsequently the studio location, including all the recording studio facilities and equipment, was purchased by The Jim Henson Company. Henson Recording Studios was established in 2000 and continues the legacy of technical expertise and excellent service founded by A&M.

The album was tracked to 2 inch Multitrack Analog tape running at 30 ips and mixed down to 1/4 inch tape also running at 30 ips. All tracking and mixing was done at Sunset Sound by recording engineer and co-producer Michael C. Ross. The album was mastered and transferred from Analog to DSD by Bernie Grundman at Bernie Grundman Mastering using the 1/4 inch 30 ips master tape. 

* NativeDSD makes this recording available for the first time as a DSD Download to a wider audience, outside the US and Canada.
* NativeDSD exclusively offers this recording as DSD 128 and DSD 256 Downloads (see Tech Specs for more info).

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Jacintha is a popular vocalist, actress and journalist known for her performances and writing in both the United States and Singapore. She was born in 1957 to musician parents, the Sri Lankan classical guitarist Alex Abisheganaden, a recipient of the Cultural Medallion, and a Chinese mother who sang and played the piano. She studied piano and voice from her early teens and also sang in the Singapore Youth Choir, where she met her future collaborator Dick Lee.

Growing up, Jacintha listened to a wide variety of music – not only vocal jazz and traditional pop, but also artists who ranged from Stevie Wonder to Joni Mitchell to South African singer Miriam Makeba. Jacintha was a big fan of Brazilian bandleader Sergio Mendes during her upbringing. Jacintha was educated at Marymount Convent School, Raffles Institution and the National University of Singapore, where she graduated with an honors degree in English. She then went to America where she studied creative writing at Harvard University. Jacintha first came to prominence in 1976 when she won a local television talent contest, Talentime, singing jazz. She continued this winning streak in 1981, when she nabbed the Best Female Performer award for her role as Nurse Angamuthu in General Hospital at the Drama Festival.

In 1983, Jacintha released her debut album Silence. The new wave album, containing a cover of the Bee Gees' "Run to Me", was reviewed positively, with The Straits Times calling it "probably the most impressive debut album...from a local singer." In the mid-1990s, actor Lim Kay Tong introduced Jacintha to Ying Tan, who signed her to his Groove Note label. Her first jazz album was released in 1998: Here's To Ben – A Vocal Tribute To Ben Webster. Jacintha's second album for the Groove Note label, Autumn Leaves: The Songs of Johnny Mercer (1999) has seen the title track being used for TV series Alias, while the bonus track "Here's to Life" was used as the title track for the Hollywood movie Play It to the Bone.

In 2004, Jacintha performed her own cabaret jazz show, The Angina Monologues at the Old Parliament House, Singapore. In 2006, she served as a judge on the second season of Singapore Idol. In 2012, she returned to the stage after 13 years, playing herself in Ong Keng Sen's National Broadway Company, a musical commissioned for the Esplanade – Theatre on the Bay's 10th anniversary.

photo: from booklet 'The Girl from Bossa Nova'

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Fire & Rain: A Tribute To James Taylor (2018)

Unknown, James Taylor, Carole King


    Vinyl Reviews -

James Taylor’s music always reminds me of another guitar-playing singer-songwriter, Jackson Browne. Both were born in 1948 and have a gift for writing lyrics that force you to slow down and listen. Groove Note is a small boutique record label run by Ying Tan of Singapore and Los Angeles. He started out selling records off a mailing list, then became one of the founders of Classic Records before branching out on his own. Tan formed two record labels—Original Recordings Group, a reissue mark, and Groove Note, which releases original jazz, blues, and vocal music. While not a big name in the U.S., Jacintha (Abisheganaden) remains well known in Singapore. She began as an arts journalist before becoming a recording artist and theater actress. Fire & Rain is her sixth release for Groove Note, with the relationship dating back to 1998’s Here’s to Ben—A Vocal Tribute to Ben Webster. The album’s title gives away its function as a James Taylor tribute. Jacintha sings 11 of Taylor’s “greatest hits” backed by a stellar lineup of Los Angeles studio musicians (two guitars, bass, keyboards, drums, and violin). She possesses a gorgeous voice and enjoys the advantage of top-notch arrangements. Performances aside, the exceptionally well-recorded Fire & Rain stands out because of its outstanding sound. Compare this set to most any other album on with a sound rating of five and add another point—the sonics are literally off-the-charts good. It was recorded at the Henson Recording Studio, the former A & M Studios in Los Angeles where Joni Mitchell recorded Blue. Yet Fire & Rain far exceeds the recording quality of Mitchell’s iconic record—and, I’d venture to say, surpasses the sonics of any recording of a female vocalist not issued by Groove Note. Take that, Diana Krall.

Dennis Davis [read full review]

    The Absolute Sound -

Jacintha’s first album in ten years, Fire and Rain pays homage to James Taylor. As everyone familiar with the Singapore-based singer knows, she can really put over a song, especially in the torch, blues, and jazz veins. Her approach here is lighter and a bit laidback, which perfectly catches the sunlight that flickers through these lovely songs without slighting their melancholy, yearning, and even pain. “Sweet Baby James” opens with one of Jacintha’s peerless a capella deliveries; the way she eases into the chorus and the accompaniment steals in is one of the most exquisite moments of music-making I’ve heard in a new recording this year—the breath-catching high point of an album that admits of no lows. Praise also to guitarist Tim Price’s superb arrangements and producer Ying Tan for bringing in Taylor regulars Jim Cox (keyboards) and Dean Parks (guitar). Groove Note’s sonics are predictably superlative, not “audiophile” as such but natural and true to timbre. Our music editor tells me this album was the top seller at 2018’s Axpona, and everyone I’ve played it for has ordered a copy. So Ying—and Jacintha—please, not so long until the next one.

Paul Seydor [read full review]

    Stereoplay Magazine, Germany

Recording Engineer Michael C. Ross created the well-balanced wide open and dynamic sound of this pure analog recording. Bernie Grundman, admired as mastering genius prepared the analog tapes for the transfer to DSD. Fire and Rain by Jacintha is a real treat for the ears. It is our Audiophile CD of the Month for June 2018!

Winfried Dulisch

Fire & Rain: A Tribute To James Taylor (2018)

Unknown, James Taylor, Carole King


Executive Producer: Ying Tan
Mastering Engineer: Bernie Grundman, Analog to DSD Stereo Transfer
Mastering Room: DSD 128 and DSD 256 Download Files Created by Tom Caulfield at the NativeDSD Mastering Lab, Marshfield, MA

We are pleased to announce the availability of Groove Note releases in DSD 128 and DSD 256, in addition to the original DSD 64 releases. These higher bit rate DSD 128 and DSD 256 releases are all pure DSD created by NativeDSD Mastering Engineer Tom Caulfield.

They are not up samplings, for there are no PCM or DXD conversions involved in their production. They are re-modulations of the original DSD 64 encoding modulation that produced the DSD 64 releases. The sonic advantage to these new Stereo and Multichannel DSD 128 and DSD 256 releases, as with all higher DSD bit rate releases, is the wider frequency passband prior to the onset of modulation noise.This results in the listenerís DAC using gentler and more phase linear filters for playback of the music.

Producer: Ying Tan & Michael C. Ross
Recording Engineer: Michael C. Ross
Recording Location: The Henson Recording Studio, Hollywood, CA, September 2, 3, 4 and 6, 2017
Recording Type & Bit Rate: Analog

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Album Download duration price
GRV1099: Fire & Rain: A Tribute To James Taylor
00:47:44   Select quality & channels above
Fire and Rain
James Taylor
00:04:51   N/A
Something In The Way She Moves
James Taylor
00:03:16   N/A
Walking Man
James Taylor
00:04:55   N/A
Sweet Baby James
James Taylor
00:03:55   N/A
Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight
James Taylor
00:05:20   N/A
You've Got A Friend
Carole King
00:05:26   N/A
Long Ago And Faraway
James Taylor
00:03:31   N/A
The Water Is Wide
00:04:38   N/A
Shower The People
James Taylor
00:04:33   N/A
Fire and Rain (Bonus Cut - Alternate Mix)
James Taylor
00:04:34   N/A
On The Road Jam
00:02:45   N/A

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