Little Blue is the 7th album at NativeDSD Music from Carmen Gomes Inc. on the Sound Liaison label. Carmen Gomes Inc. is a Jazz ensemble featuring Carmen Gomes (Vocals), Folker Tettero (Guitar), Peter Bjørnild (Double Bass & Bass Guitar) and Bert Kamsteeg (Drums).
Carmen Gomes says “Little Blue is a collection of songs that I feel strongly about. Songs of my youth that made a lingering impression and original compositions, some written a long time ago; some only recently. They all deal with topics of everyday life that keep my mind occupied: the choices we make, how we define ourselves and how we deal with life in general.
I was a reasonably happy but lonely kid. I felt myself an outsider, a bit different, maybe to a certain extent… excluded. Making up for this, I locked myself in my room and listened to music, singing along with every song. I developed a taste for artists that were more ”deep”…. Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Neil Young. There was something in their voices that touched me, some emotion that I recognized. I internalized all of Neil Young’s lyrics; they made a huge impact on me and served as a heavy influence on the lyrics that I started writing myself. Billie’s voice still tears me apart.
Growing up, I came across songs that stuck with me. Holding Back the Years and Brass in Pocket, for example. I strongly related to the lyrics. I could almost smell them. Songs about love in all it’s splendor and compassion. Songs about addiction, inequality and loneliness. Songs about the eternal search for an answer. I’m a grown woman now, a mother, experienced, but still searching.
To sing a song I need to picture the story of the lyrics in my head; I have to feel them. If I can’t feel them, I can’t sing them. And how can I expect you to believe what I am singing if I don’t feel it myself? So you can say that the songs on this album are very personal, very close.”
Carmen Gomes Inc.
Carmen Gomes – Vocals
Folker Tettero – Guitar
Peter Bjørnild – Double Bass & Bass Guitar
Bert Kamsteeg – Drums
TracklistPlease note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Total time: 00:42:33
Grimm Audio TPR
RME Micstacy (Analog > MADI)
Carmen: Audix SCX25 Folker: Audio Technica 4080 Peter: JZ V67, Schoeps MK5 (AB) Bert: Sonodore RCM-402 – overheads and JZ V67 – bassdrum Main system – Schoeps MK5 (AB)
Sennheiser HD800 & AKG 702
Grimm Audio LS1
|Original Recording Format|
|Release Date||April 21, 2023|
I admit it. I’ve become a huge fan of Carmen Gomes Inc. Their albums contain just an excellent selection of songs, with excellent instrumental performances, and the ever wonderful voice of Carmen Gomes.
Carmen and her partners consistently deliver a delightful blending of blues, rock and song. In Little Blue, Carmen collects a broad range of songs which she says are “songs of my youth that made a lingering impression and original compositions, some written a long time ago; some only recently. They all deal with topics of everyday life that keep my mind occupied: the choices we make, how we define ourselves and how we deal with life in general.”
As with all of her albums, Carmen takes songs down to their basic elements and then rebuilds and restructures to suit her style. Her songs don’t sound like covers. They sound original and authentic – a new take on something familiar that gives a new listening experience. Each sounds like a valid new interpretation.
With a bluesy, intimate style, and a sultry sweet voice, Carmen strikes brilliantly at the heart of the song; she conveys pure emotion to the listener. Add to this an ensemble that is so tight they could collectively be a single person, and you have performances that consistently hit their mark.
Recorded at M.C.O, Studio 2, Hilversum, The Netherlands, on August 17 & 18, 2014 and April 12, 2015, this is a fine example of Frans de Rond’s excellent engineering that captures the performers as if we are in the room with them. Just brilliantly recorded.
Carmen Gomes will have been on stage for 25 years next season. The singer celebrates this with a new concert program ‘Carte Blanche’, an overview of the Dutch oeuvre in which her latest album ‘Little Blue’ will undoubtedly conquer a place.
Gomes was influenced by musicians who radiated a certain depth, arising from an indefinable desolation, such as Billie Holiday, Nina Simone and Neil Young. A feeling that Gomes identified with in her youth and laid the foundation for her voice.
Warm, jazzy, covered with a soulful glow in which the blues find refuge in lesser times. These are the grateful ingredients for ‘Little Blue’ that, in addition to own compositions, contains powerful and often melancholy standards from Gomes’ youth. Such as the beautifully delayed ‘Holding Back The Years’ by Simply Red (mother abandons child), ‘Needle And The Damage Done’ by Neil Young, ‘Little Girl Blue’ which has been performed by many including Janis Joplin and Nina Simone, and ‘Brass In Pocket’ by The Pretenders.
Just like her own works, Gomes delivers the pieces convincingly and with a lived voice leading, as if she carries the pain and loneliness from the texts like a burden on her shoulders. A melancholy feeling arises, which is given all the space to develop visually through the open, meandering sound of the band. The accompaniment, with sensitive accents and riffs by guitarist Folker Tettero is unapproachably characteristic of the sad blues sound that runs through the pieces like a red thread.
You don’t get happy with ‘Little Blue’. But Gomes’s solidarity, bundled in an expressive, smoothly phrasing voice and catchy lyrics, are a feast for the ears and offer security in gloomy times.
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