One Microphone Recording – Tribute to the Music of Dave Brubeck
Sound Liaison returns to NativeDSD with the latest edition of their Live Stereo DXD Recordings that feature tributes to recording stars including Harry Belafonte, The Beatles, Eddie Harris and Les McCann, Louis Armstrong and now jazz great Dave Brubeck. The recording features Brubeck classics including Blue Rondo a La Turk, Unsquare Dance, The Duke and two versions of his most famous release Take Five.
This is also the second One Microphone Recording from Sound Liaison. Following up on their popular album Don’t Cry Now with Carmen Gomes Inc. which was their first live release recorded with just one Josephson C700S microphone.
“The Feenbrothers are an institution in the European music scene. They started out as a family band but were soon in great demand individually, called upon by likes of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, The Metropole Orchestra, Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw, Toots Thielemans, Han Bennink, Caro Emerald… the list would go on for several pages, should I name all the artists that have benefitted from their superb musicianship.
They each have their own taste in music, and they are not necessarily in agreement as to what they think of as great music, but one exception is the music of Dave Brubeck. So when looking for a theme to bring the Feenbrothers back together for a small tour, Brubeck’s music was an obvious choice.
Paul and Mark van der Feen, heard the first trial recording we did with the Josephson C700S and really liked the sound. So, when the Feenbrothers arrived in the studio for the sound check, they insisted that they wanted to record that way too. Frans was very skeptical as he thought the Brubeck repertoire, with its great dynamic variation between the tunes, did not lend itself to such a minimalistic approach. But Paul said not to worry; “Please, find the sweet spot and we’ll play in balance.”
It took about three hours to complete the sound stage by carefully moving each instrument closer or further away as well as left and right in relationship to the microphone.
The four Feenbrothers are quite different personalities. Where the brotherhood truly shows is when they start playing; anything and everything seems possible.
A good example is in the piano solo on ‘It’s a Raggy Waltz’ where Mark’s cell phone, used for reading the setlist, falls into the piano and for a full bar creates a distortion effect as it vibrates on the piano strings. Somehow the flow of the solo is not interrupted. The incident is merely a bump in the road, which sends Mark down a slightly different path, closely followed by Clemens and Matthijs.
And in ‘Gone With the Wind’ Paul starts off acapella, following a sudden inspiration, forcing his brothers to create a completely different arrangement of the song on the spot.
Such pure joy of playing is infectious, listen to ‘Unsquare Dance’ where the audience joins in clapping along in 7/4 meter!
On this recording the audience is more present than on our other live recordings from Studio 2. We prefer not to have more than 80 people present in the studio. That number leaves us room to move around, change a cable or a microphone if needed, reposition the musicians if needed and so forth. But as fate would have it, the computer system keeping count of the tickets sold for the concert, had a breakdown so instead of 80 tickets, 110 were sold. Extra seats were brought in, so the audience ended up being close to the band, creating a very lively atmosphere. And as Frans noticed during the extended applause following the end of the concert; “Look at the phase meter, it’s straight in the middle, phase coherent applause!.”
Peter Bjørnild – Sound Liaison
Paul van der Feen – Saxophone
Mark van der Feen – Piano
Clemens van der Feen – Double Bass
Matthijs van der Feen – Drums
Total time: 00:47:54
Horus, Merging Technologies
Pyramix, Merging Technologies
Mixing Room Headphones: Sennheiser HD800, AKG 702
Frans de Rond; DSD 512 downloads created by Tom Caulfield at the NativeDSD Mastering Lab in Marshfield, MA
Josephson C700S (One Microphone Recording)
Horus, Merging Technologies
These DSD 512 releases are all pure DSD created, they stayed in the DSD domain using professional software from Signalyst. 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 encoding modulations. The sonic advantage to these new Stereo DSD 512 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 listener’s DAC using gentler and more phase linear filters for playback of the music. Processed in the NativeDSD Mastering Lab by Mastering Engineer Tom Caulfield, the resulting DSD 512 files are exclusively available at NativeDSD.com
|Original Recording Format|
|Piano Tuning Technicians||
Charles Rademaker & Naomi van Schoot
Frans de Rond
MCO, Studio 2, Hilversum, The Netherlands, on November 18, 2018
Pyramix, Merging Technologies
|Recording Type & Bit Rate||
TAD Compact Evolution
|Release Date||April 19, 2019|
Another take on Brubeck, this time by the brothers van der Feen – and yes, they really are siblings. Starting out as a family band in the Netherlands, they have worked individually with artists from Caro Emerald to the Royal Concertgebouw, and now here they are back together as a band. Mark on piano, Paul on sax, Clemens on bass and Matthijs on drums.
The album was recorded in front of a small audience in Studio 2 of the Muziekcentrum van de Omroep. And a very knowledgeable audience it is, too, being able to clap along to Unsquare Dance in 7/4 time!
More people turned up than expected, increasing the intimacy – or at least the closeness – of the audience, and creating a presence that will be familiar to those of us who haunt smaller jazz venues: as recording engineer Frans de Rond noted as appreciation was shown at the end of the set, ‘Look at the phase meter, it’s practically straight in the middle – phase coherent applause!’
Recorded on a single Josephson C700S microphone, this set has a fabulous live feel to it. Aided and abetted by the sense of improvisation and the odd mishap – a cell phone falling into the piano at one point. Along with the sense of the performers not only bouncing off each other but also interacting with the audience. This is as close to ‘being there’ as you’re going to hear – and the performances are great too.
I had purchased the DXD edition of Feenbrothers Play Dave Brubeck and was on the fence about repurchasing the album in DSD 512 but I am very happy I did.
Wow. Don’t get me wrong, the DXD sounds awesome but the sound of that 512 is just fuller with this realism and “sheen” around the instruments. I can’t get enough of these 512s.
Don’t take my word for it though. Pay a few bucks to buy a track. “Take Five Reprise” is my favorite. If you hear what I’m hearing grab the album.
I had to mess with JRiver to get things to work. I set it to “8X Native DSD” output and DSD bit streaming. A fast hard drive doesn’t hurt either.
The highlight in the Sound Liaison catalog is the one microphone recording by the Feenbrothers, who pay homage to the music of Dave Brubeck.
The album starts and ends with the well-known ‘Take Five’ and also contains compositions such as ‘Gone With The Wind’, ‘Unsquare Dance’, ‘Chelsea Bridge’, ‘Blue Rondo a La Turk’ and ‘Someday My Prince Will Come’.
Alto saxophonist Paul van der Feen proves himself to be a worthy student of Paul Desmond and the quartet succeeds in giving a lively and up-to-date vision of this unique repertoire.
A special treat is that the album was recorded live with an audience in MCO Studio 2: On ‘Unsquare Dance’ the audience claps and joins in enthusiastically.
The second One Microphone Recording from Sound Liaison, Feenbrothers Play Brubeck, features Mark van deer Feen on piano, Clemens van der Feen on double bass, Paul van der Feen on saxophone and Matthijs van der Feen on drums.
Here, with no vocalist, all four musicians let it fly. Dynamics, tone, timbre, and soundstage are all superb. The piano, in particular, is a highlight for me. This is some of the best-recorded piano I have ever heard, capturing the tone of the instrument and the natural decay of the notes. Instrument placement in the sound field is spot on.
This is a superb recording all around and is one that I can recommend for all jazz fans. Superb musicianship and just fantastic sound.
I have just played Feenbrothers Play Dave Brubeck in DSD 512, my latest download. Truly spectacular music, playing and sound. I love it!
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