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 (arranger and guitarist on Vanessa Fernandez’s albums Use Me, When The Levee Breaks and I Want You, 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.
Tim Pierce, Acoustic Guitar & Arrangements
Dean Parks, Acoustic Guitar
Jim Cox, Keyboards
Lee Sklar, Bass
Russ Kunkel, Drums
TracklistPlease note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Total time: 00:47:44
Bernie Grundman, Analog to DSD Stereo Transfer
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.
|Original Recording Format
Ying Tan & Michael C. Ross
Michael C. Ross
The Henson Recording Studio, Hollywood, CA, September 2, 3, 4 and 6, 2017
|Recording Type & Bit Rate
|August 17, 2018
oducer Ying Tan and Jacintha here deliver an exceptionally natural sounding album. The Singapore-based singer, Jacintha, is well known in audiophile circles for her delivery of the torch and blues songs in her sultry, rich voice. This 2018 release was her first album in ten years. I have to admit to never being a great fan of her style, but this album is causing me to reconsider. Here her approach is lighter and a bit laidback, and her delivery less affected, less calculated.
All of this is perfectly suited to these slightly melancholy songs of James Taylor, to whose music this album is an homage. Jacintha’s opening a capella rendition of “Sweet Baby James” is so very different, but utterly effective and ever so beautiful. As guitar and violin then join, the delicacy is maintained through the spare instrumentation for an exquisite few moments of music making. For me, this is the high point of an album that contains many felicities.
As always, the sound quality on this Groove Note album is breath-taking in its naturalness. Ying Tan has produced many excellent albums that regularly make the rounds of audiophile listening sessions. Yet, his albums have rarely struck me as “audiophile fodder.” They are simply beautifully natural sounding. This album may rank near the top of the Groove Note catalog for me. And I hope Jacintha will be motivated to continue to make more music in this less affected manner. I may become a fan after all these many years. I am certainly a fan of this album and most highly recommend it.
Please allow me to nerd out just a bit on the technical aspects of this recording… (Continues with a discussion of the formats for this album.)
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 vinylreviews.com 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.
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.
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!
Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.