This Is Always: The Ballad Session

Eden Atwood

Original Recording Format: Analog Tape
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Produced by Joe Harley and engineered by Michael C. Ross, this an awesome collection of romantic ballads and other standards and features the sensational Tom Harrell on flugelhorn and trumpet and Bill Cunliffe on piano/arrangements.

Eden Atwood has a voice that is many things – seductive, plaintive, sensitive, gifted with perfect intonation and phrasing, and entertaining. Eden Atwood is one of the best young female jazz vocalist today! This DSD release represents Eden’s best work to date. Her music shows the influence of many classic jazz and pop singers, including Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen McRae, Sarah Vaughn, Rosemary Clooney, Julie London and Billie Holiday. 

* 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).

“In modern times, the word “ballad” has come to mean a “slow, sentimental popular song, esp a love song,” or so claims Webster. That shallow definition ignores the fact that the ballad is a centuries-long tradition of human expression, one that spans Irish, Celtic, French and Mexican folk music, verse penned by Wordsworth, Keats and Shelly and 20th century standards from Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer, Sammy Cahn, Harry Warren and a host of others. Since ancient times, ballads have dwelt on love, good, bad and indifferent. No matter what time or place it hails from, the label “ballad” suggests form and function; rhythms, rhymes, stanzas and verse. Most importantly it is the expression of the human condition. (…)”

— Bill Kohlhaase has written about jazz for the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Downbeat and other publications. From: Booklet Liner Notes

Many thanks to the fine musicians on this record. It is in your company that I feel able to express myself musically most fully and for that I am eternally grateful. Thank you, Tom, for your music. it was a humbling and uplifting experience for me. This record to dedicated to my husband, Bruce. For our home, our life and our son. I love you.

— Eden Atwood


Please note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Without A Song
This Is Always
Day By Day
Blame It On My Youth
Deep Purple
You're Nearer
You Leave Me Breathless
Come Rain Or Come Shine
For All We Know

Total time: 00:55:03

Additional information





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Executive Producer

Ying Tan & Sebastian Koh

Mastering Engineer

Bernie Grundman

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. 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 listener’s DAC using gentler and more phase linear filters for playback of the music.


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Original Recording Format


Joe Harley

Recording Engineer

Michael C. Ross, mixed at LA FX in Burbank, CA

Recording Location

Castleoaks, Calabasas, CA on September 12th and 13th, 2004

Recording Type & Bit Rate


Release DateMay 25, 2018

Press reviews

NativeDSD Listener

This is one of my favorite albums on the NativeDSD Music site. Atwood has such a lush and unforced way of singing, which pairs so well with the band. Highly recommended.

Jazz Times

One of the most undersung heroes of modern jazz singing, Eden Atwood continues to quietly churn out impeccable albums that are as elegant as they are inviting. For This Is Always: The Ballad Session (Groove Note), Atwood finds herself in a contemplative mood, focusing on the quiet beauty of romantic satisfaction.

Reteaming with producer Joe Harley and pianist/arranger Bill Cunliffe, both of whom helped make Waves, her 2002 wade into Brazilian waters so delightful, Atwood finds another ideal playmate in trumpeter Tom Harrell for this fine and mellow exploration of 10 creamy standards.

Her “Serenata,” a tune I don’t think I’ve heard since Nat “King” Cole and George Shearing so handily tackled it back in ’61, is singularly stunning. Through it all, to steal a sentiment from the title track, Atwood proves that her vocal magnificence isn’t sometimes; it is always.


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