This album purchase comes with an exclusive video of Carmen Gomes Inc. recording the track ‘How Long’ (from the album Don’t You Cry) in the studio.
Up Jumped The Devil is a new Stereo DXD recording from Carmen Gomes Inc. featuring the music of blues great Robert Johnson. It has already earned rave reviews and a perfect 5 Star rating from listeners and reviewers. By framing each of Robert Johnson’s songs with small instrumental miniatures, Carmen Gomes Inc. have created an album that sounds like an imaginary road movie.
The album uses two Josephson C700A microphones (vocal and bass) added to the central Josephson C700S as well as an ambient spaced pair of Josephson C617 microphones up high as the main source of ambience. The benefit sound wise, compared to a pure One Microphone Recording, is the sound of Carmen’s voice and the double bass will not suffer when the band at certain moments raises the dynamic level.
Listening to this album, one perceives Robert walking late at night, en route in the Mississippi Delta, reflecting on his life. The low A, 27.5 Hz, from the bowed down tuned double bass representing the Mississippi night, the drums creating the sounds surrounding the night and the guitar being Robert’s mind.
More than playing parts, guitarist Folker Tettero and drummer Bert Kamsteeg are playing moods. I asked Bert to play the lyrics instead of the drums, a task I knew especially he would be able to fulfil. Throughout the album Folker is in constant dialogue with Carmen’s melody line, sometimes edging her on and at other times comforting her. Folker decided to use an electric 12 string guitar on the small miniatures. The sounds he creates adds a whole new aspect to his musicianship and emphasizes his deep affinity for the blues. Carmen is at the top of her game here. Her ‘never the same way twice’ saxophone like phrasing showing her jazz heritage and why jazz is in such great debt to the blues. Love in Vain being a good example.
Arranging Robert Johnson’s songs for Carmen Gomes Inc. was less difficult than I expected. Somehow each song was telling me instantly what to do. Even ‘When You Got a Good Friend’, with its J.S. Bach inspired counterpoint or ‘Love In Vain’ where the harmony used has more to do with bebop than blues, was written very quickly. It was as if they materialized instead of having to be arranged. The same goes for the instrumental compositions which were made on the spot, they took no effort, they played themselves.
A big thank you goes out to Bruce Conforth and Gayle Dean Wardlow. Their book: ‘Up Jumped the Devil: The Real Life of Robert Johnson’ has been very helpful in clarifying Robert Johnson’s life and lyrics as well as being a direct inspiration for the mood of the whole album.
— Peter Bjørnild
Carmen Gomes Inc.
Carmen Gomes – Vocals
Folker Tettero – Guitar
Peter Bjørnild – Double Bass
Bert Kamsteeg – Drums
Total time: 00:45:19
|Analog to Digital Converter||
Merging Technologies, Horus
Frans de Rond
Main central microphone: Josephson C700S, Support microphone Carmen: Josephson C700A, Support microphone Peter's bass: Josephson C700A, Ambience microphones spaced pair of 2 Josephson C617
|Original Recording Format|
Frans de Rond
MCO, Studio 2, Hilversum, The Netherlands, on July 16-17, 2020
|Recording Type & Bit Rate||
TAD Compact Evolution
|Release Date||December 3, 2020|
The album “Up Jumped The Devil” by Carmen Gomes Inc. is available for purchase on the website of NativeDSD Music. This album is one of my best reference recordings in Vocal Jazz. Featuring a performance that mixes talent and technique.
Vocal Jazz, Real Jazz! This group perfectly masters its art as well as its music. They provide an example to follow for all musicians wishing to reach the heights in this genre that is so difficult to learn and play. It is an album to listen to and enjoy for all fans of jazz and sweet and charming voices.
The musical performances are precise, technical and there is a great dynamic. This is all the know-how of the Carmen Gomes Inc. group. Carmen Gomes’ voice is similar to that of Diana Krall in its sensuality and sweetness. We can add to this the warmth of its timbres that charms the ear.
Instrumentalists are also in the spotlight on this album. The drummer, Bert Kamsteeg excels in his technique, The guitar, played by Folker Tettero is delicate and the double bass of Peter Bjørnild sets the tone.
The recording is very good thanks to its use of five Josephson Engineering microphones of great quality! The album was recorded in Stereo DXD.
Finally, the purchase of this album gives you access to an exclusive video of Carmen Gomes Inc. recording the title “How Long” (from the album “Don’t You Cry“) in the recording studio. Good listening!
With this completely unexpected treatment of the great Robert Johnson’s songs, Carmen Gomes Inc. surprises and delights me. I was expecting blues, of course, but the band’s interpretations are a unique fusing of blues, bebop, and contemporary rhythms. A refreshing new look based more around the lyrics and the mood of the songs.
If you’re expecting something traditional, you’re going to be surprised. These are not the acoustic blues we hear from Johnson’s own recordings, nor the electric renditions of Eric Clapton. These are a unique treatment bringing the combined talents of the band members in a sometimes dreamy, frequently atmospheric, always sultry blend of voice, guitar, bass, and percussion.
Each of the Robert Johnson songs are framed by with small instrumental miniatures written by Bjørnild and Gomes. They add tremendously to the overall effect of a “frame story” where each song is a picture set within the larger overall frame of the album.
But just to be clear: this new album from Carmen Gomes Inc. is not pure unalloyed Robert Johnson. It is a fresh imagining in contemporary musical language, of the feelings and mood of those originals. And, like this, it works supremely well.
This is another exceptional recording from Sound Liaison’s recording engineer Frans de Rond.
Gomes’ sultry voice is captured beautifully—clear, present, rich—with a “reach out and touch” immediacy. De Rond starts with his typical set up for his One Mic recordings, a main central Josephson C700S stereo microphone to capture the overall sound of the band. Then he adds just a bit here and a bit there: a support microphone on Gomes, a support microphone on Bjørnild’s double bass, a spaced pair of ambient microphones.
The magic, though, is in the delicate combining of these into a very coherent whole. The sound stage is stable, three-dimensional, magically immediate. De Rond is simply a master.
Hi-Fi News & Review
Just when you thought you’d heard every take on the songbook of Robert Johnson. From true acoustic versions to Clapton’s electric tracks. Up jumps singer Carmen Gomes with her own rendition.
The legendary bluesman died aged just 27 in 1938. Amidst all those ‘sold his soul to the devil‘ legends, and left a catalog of just 29 songs, so you could argue there’s nothing new to hear.
However, Carmen Gomes gives her selected tracks an atmospheric, mystical spin, with minimal backing, a simple mic set-up, in Sound Liaison style, and a ‘straight to DXD’ as-live recording approach.
Her sultry voice has immediacy and intimacy. The instruments captured with real vitality, and the whole recording drips with presence and a sense of performance. I can imagine this one proving popular on the demo circuit if we ever get back to them – and that would be no bad thing.
Up Jumped The Devil is a Blues Jazz-tinged affair featuring songs by Robert Johnson. Rather than having clean breaks between tracks, the spaces normally between tracks are filled with what I can best describe as atmospherics, featuring drummer Bert Kampsteeg using his brushes on the snare and the bowing and plucking of the bass along with the clanging of the guitar. As a result, the songs almost blend all having a similar vibe and tempo, except for the penultimate track, Stop Breaking Down, which is much more upbeat.
The specialness of the sound of this recording is evident from the first few notes which feature the drums. The metallic sound of the cymbals and high hat is strikingly real as is the natural decaying of the notes. The kick drum is rock solid. This is some of the best sounding drum sound I have ever heard on a recording. Very dynamic and not reserved. The sound of the double bass is full, rich, and powerful where needed but with no hint of bloat. And the guitar…. It is clear and reverberant. Naturally, not with added reverb.
Of course, the vocals are captured beautifully. Carmen Gomes is right there in front of you. This recording doesn’t take you to the recording studio. Even better, it brings the recording studio to your listening room. Very few studio recordings do this. The drums to the left, Carmen in the middle in front of the instruments and the bass just to the right of her and the guitar to the right side of the soundstage. The sound is totally three dimensional. You almost feel like you can reach out and touch everyone. The sound is totally open with natural decay and depth. It is stunning. It really is. No hyperbole.
In addition to finding the sound of this recording to be superb, I also found the music to be really satisfying as well. That, of course, is always a matter of individual taste. I can state without question, that if you have enjoyed the other Carmen Gomes, Inc. releases by Sound Liaison, you will enjoy this release as well. Sonically, I believe this to be the best released by Sound Liaison. Well done, very well done.
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