2022 NativeDSD Album of the Year – Vocals
We are very excited to release a new album from one of Native DSD Music’s most popular bands: Carmen Gomes Inc. from Sound Liaison. In just days after its release, Ray! became our #1 DSD Best Seller.
“Music is about the only thing left that people don’t fight over” as Ray Charles used to say. To Carmen Gomes, this album represents a ray of light during the darkness, and she hopes it can be that for you as well.
“Sometimes my dreams are so deep that I dream that I’m dreaming”.
“We started working on Ray! in the unencumbered period before the adversity of Covid 19 came upon us. In the darkest period of lockdowns, we left it alone, and recorded ‘Up Jumped the Devil’ which somehow was more in sync with the life we were living in that period. When the restrictions were lifted, it felt just like Ray’s song ‘The Sun is Gonna Shine Again’; everything seemed possible.
We recorded the last part of the album this summer. And a long and beautiful summer it was, a summer which made one feel grateful for all that seemed so self-evident before.
Mixing and mastering was finished just before the sky clouded over and another wave came upon us. But I still have faith. Together we are strong, and we have music to get us through this. Because “Music is about the only thing left that people don’t fight over” as Ray Charles used to say.
To me this album represents a ray of light during the darkness, and I hope it can be that for you as well.”
– Carmen Gomes
Blog article about this recording
Carmen Gomes Inc.
Carmen Gomes – Vocals
Folker Tettero – Guitar
Peter Bjørnild – Double Bass
Bert Kamsteeg – Drums
The Arch Manifesto
Each recording starts and ends with the main artist alone in the hall, the only interplay being the acoustics of the hall and his mind. No audience is present except the ghosts from the past. The music must create an Arch, going from the single-instrument performance to the more complex band performance and back to the last solo performance. The same principle goes for the engineering; each recording starts out with only one Josephson C700S 3-channel stereo microphone. As the music gains in complexity more microphones may be deployed, the only limit being the imagination and technical skills of the recording engineer. The producer and engineer must aim to make the album have a unifying sound, despite the different recording techniques employed.
Total time: 00:46:17
DSD 512 fs, DSD 256 fs, DSD 128 fs, DSD 64 fs, DXD 24 Bit, FLAC 192 kHz, FLAC 96 kHz
Arant, Armstead, Ashford, Charles, Daffan, Davis, Donaldson, Glover, Khan, Mayfield, Rainey, Ronell
|Analog to Digital Converter||
Horus, Merging Technologies
|Double bass brass-slide C-extension||
Double bass brass-slide C-extension made by Jeppe Mørch Sørensen
Frans de Rond (DXD), Tom Caulfield (DXD to DSD Transfers)
Horus, Merging Technologies
Carmen Solo: Josephson C700S Duo Carmen and Peter: 2x Josephson C700S One Mic recording: Josephson C700S
Multi-mic setting: Carmen – Josephson C716 Folker – Josephson C700A Peter – Josephson C700A Bert – Josephson C700S, 2x DPA 4006, Josephson C715
TAD Compact Evolution Loudspeakers, Sim by Moon Audio 760A, Hifiman HE1000 & Sennheiser HD800S Headphones
|Original Recording Format|
Frans de Rond
|Release Date||December 27, 2021|
NativeDSD Technical Advisor
One of the year’s best-selling albums at NativeDSD this year, Ray! rocketed up our Top Selling DSD Best Sellers chart in days and dominated the best sellers list for weeks and weeks. The album stars the popular and talented Carmen Gomes and her ensemble.
Gomes uses the album to put her distinctive vocals and style on favorites including The Sun Is Gonna Shine Again, Georgia On My Mind, Willow Weep For Me and Makin’ Whoopee. Recorded in Stereo DXD and mastered to Analog Tape, this album is one you will savor again and again.
Hi-Fi News & Reviews
Subtlety Wins Out
Play Carmen Gomes, Inc.’s latest album, Ray! and the sheer intimacy of Gomes’s voice, accompanied by no more than guitar, bass and drums – or indeed just bass on ‘The Sun Is Gonna Shine Again‘ – makes for a compelling listen, the amp working with source and speakers to give a real ‘artists in the room’ effect.
There’s no overt ‘hi-finess’ here, but instead an honest, rich and enveloping sound from boogie to sweeping orchestra to sultry Jazz.
Singer Carmen Gomes steps into big shoes with her new album ‘Ray!’
With her regular combo she has sings 13 songs that we know from the legendary American singer, pianist and composer Ray Charles recorded in its own bluesy version. You have to but dare to interpret the work of The Genius. Gomes dares it and performs it with sophisticated arrangements have their own twist on classics such as ‘CC Rider‘, ‘Georgia On My Mind‘ and ‘Let The Good Times Roll‘. Carmen’s approach to the soul, jazz and blues by Charles is characterized, just like her earlier work, through respect for the original and a quirky straightforward approach.
Her companions – bassist and husband Peter Bjørnild, drummer Bert Kamsteeg and guitarist Folker Tettero – don’t play a note too many, but what they playing is rock solid. In some pieces Gomes even enough with a measured bass part by Peter, for example in ‘Making Whoopee‘ and ‘The Sun Is Gonna Shine Again‘.
Carmen doesn’t like voice acrobatics. However she swings and touches her ode to Ray from the first until the last note. That she belongs to the top of Dutch Jazz was already apparent in 1994 when she won the Dutch Jazz Vocal Competition. With the entrance of Folker Tettero in 2006 the blues got the upper hand in the Carmen Gomes Inc. band. Carmen leans comfortably on Folker’s measured chords and riffs. Nevertheless, the Jazz always audible in Gomes’ trained voice, which challenges and drags along – without exaggeration or raising your voice.
With the wonderful lead vocals of Carmen Gomes, the Carmen Gomes Inc. band delivers an album I find totally engaging from start to finish. They make these songs completely their own while honoring the great Ray Charles in so doing.
And a fresh sound they indeed deliver. This is their music, with a nod to the master here and there. Never over-produced, always respecting each other, the musicians find a nice balance of supporting each other, challenging each other, complementing each other, never stepping on one another.
Sound Liaison’s recordings continue to impress me with their very clean, transparent, and precisely localized sound. Recording engineer Frans de Rond’s signature is readily apparent in the purity of sound and precise placement of performers that he achieves in this multi-microphone studio recording. If you’ve heard his “One Mic” recordings on Sound Liaison, you will know how special his recordings can be.
I was a bit hesitant at first knowing this would be a multiple microphone outing. But he pulls it off superbly in a highly phase coherent, tightly knit, outcome that belies its multi-mic roots. As with his other recordings, this displays great depth, and almost physically palpable placement of the musicians in the soundstage.
If you enjoy Carmen Gomes, Inc. you will love this album. The Sound Quality is spectacular.
Smooth, great tone and realism.
1 review for Ray!
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This DXD recording is absolutely wonderful! I’m planning a trip to Holland to hear them live on stage…
Gian Carlo Ariosto (verified owner) –