Thousand Shades of Blue is Carmen Gomes’ tribute to the power of impossible love. It features her soulful take on classic songs including I’m On Fire by Bruce Springsteen, Wicked Game by Chris Isaak, Fever popularized by Peggy Lee and The Dock of the Bay popularized by Otis Redding.
The 12 pieces of music were performed live in the studio in front of a studio audience. The musicians were placed in front of a stereo pair of microphones with additional spot microphones on each instrument. The musicians were playing without headphones, the reason being that we believe that when we get the musicians to play together in the same room, with out headphones, it creates a number of musical and technical benefits.
The room where the recordings has been done is the now legendary Studio Eleven situated in the the building of the Dutch World Broadcasting Service. The Studio was used extensively in the 60’s by European and visiting American jazz musicians (Wes Montgomery, Cannonball Adderley, Dexter Gordon, Eric Dolphy). The Dutch World Broadcasting Service asked Frans de Rond to bring the room back to life as a recording studio, and Frans after seeing and hearing the room jumped at the opportunity. Sound Liaison has been allowed to use the room for our audiophile projects and we are eternally grateful to the Dutch World Service for the opportunity.
This album is available in Stereo DSD 512, DSD 256, DSD 128, DSD 64, and DXD at NativeDSD. It is not available on SACD.
Carmen Gomes – Vocal
Folker Tettero – Guitar
Peter Björnild – Double Bass
Marcel van Engelen – Drums
TracklistPlease note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Total time: 00:47:41
|Original Recording Format|
|Release Date||March 28, 2023|
Thousand Shades of Blue makes for divine listening pleasure. The sound is so real that you can reach out and grab it.
I’ve been among the prophets saying that high-resolution downloads are the future of audiophile music sales. Most new-to-the-scene performers have little money for middlemen and disc manufacture, yet can get things together for the Internet.
Frans de Rond and Peter Bjørnild have taken this approach with Sound Liaison, producing recordings available only as downloads that mirror the master recording. And man, are they ever sweet. I’ve seldom heard recordings that were so successful in both performance and sound aspects.
The partners discovered a fine recording hall (Studio Eleven in Hilversum, Netherlands) and set out to record amazing musicians in this great acoustic place in front of live audiences. It’s a daring feat; one take and no place to hide, but the abilities of the musicians involved make it seem easy. I chose to talk about the first album by Carmen Gomes Inc.
Carmen Gomes has won many awards in the Netherlands and surrounding areas. Like so many new European singers, she sings in English — excellent English, I might add. She’s formed a group called Carmen Gomes Inc., with Folker Tettero on guitar, Peter Bjørnild on double bass, and Marcel van Engelen on drums. Her style is bluesy and intimate with a sexy voice that’s sweet as dark tupelo honey, and her interpretations are unerring. The musicians play to her and to each other, and the ensemble is so tight that the four musicians breathe and move as one.
There are some standards on the set that knocked me over with their fresh approach. Any singer can misplace a few accents and rhythms and come up with something that’s original, but perhaps also uneasy and a little strange. Not Gomes, who has taken the songs to their bones and then restructured them to suit her style. Thus “Fever” doesn’t sound like a cover of Peggy Lee; it sounds like a brand new take on a familiar song. You emerge from hearing it not thinking it’s better or lesser than Lee’s version, but that it’s a valid new interpretation that could have come first.
The same approach works on “Angel Eyes,” “You Don’t Know What Love Is,” and “I’m on Fire.” Most of the rest, including the title song, “Oblivion,” “Time Will Tell,” “Gasoa Blue,” and “The Sea,” are Gomes originals that fit right in with the standards. The recording achieves exactly what Bjørnild set out as his goal. It can provide the best seat in your listening room.
Listen to a few samples, download the album, and see if you don’t agree that this intimate effort is one of the best and best-sounding Jazz vocal albums to come along in many a day. By the way, the small audience applauds enthusiastically enough after the last chords of a song die away, but the attendees never interrupt or make themselves known while a song is going on. No doubt they were completely mesmerized into silence, as was I.
Be sure to listen to “The Dock of the Bay.” Gomes creates a languid, bluesy version that is a little bit reminiscent of Bobbie Gentry while still coming across as quite original. It’ll cast a spell over you.
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