Label: Premonition – 90760-5 – Hybrid SACD Stereo
Mastered by Gus Skinas at the Super Audio Centre Limited Edition
Stereophile Magazine Record to Die For!
“Top ten albums all time by a female jazz vocalist!” — CD Review
Premonition Records announces the release of Patricia barber’s audiophile classic, Cafe blue on Hybrid SACD (Dual Layer-SACD/CD) and un-mastered. For the first time, listeners will be able to hear the mixes as they were done in the studio and not in the mastered -for-release form of all prior releases. This is the closest audio fans will get to the studio mixes – Capitol Studios remix from 2011 – and it is a remarkable experience.
The one thing that struck me the most about Premonition Records latest release of an Un-Mastered edition of the Patricia Barber jazz standard, Cafe Blue, was the audibly more reverberating recording studio ambience. When the 1994 production was first released by the label on compact disc, it was hailed as the new Jazz forerunner of the time; it took the audiophile realm by storm such that many got their own copy. In the same year, First Impression Music obtained a license to issue a remastered edition of it, in a 24-karat gold-plated disc no less. Eight years passed before the music was licensed to Mobile Fidelity to issue an SACD edition of the recording. The 2002 SACD reissue was played throughout audio shows of the time. While each progressive version carried more depth and refinement, none of them sounded like this Un-Mastered edition.”
“The newfound dynamic variance was breathtaking and of demonstration-class… the soundstage had expanded into more realistic depth and width for the instrumentalists to occupy their own space. There was a softer edge to the individual sound amidst a more realized presence… Intrinsic energy of each instrument was now more recognizable…. The playing now sounded so unleashed that it would be a sacrilege to tarnish the efforts that went into this reissue by blasting it. You must resist the temptation, too. The Cafe Blue Un-Mastered is now the reference. I will no longer use any of the earlier versions of Cafe Blue.” – Constantine Soo, www.dagogo.com
Gus Skinas, of the Super Audio Center, has this to say about the SACD: “On this cafe blue, un-mastered and in DSD, you feel the character of Capitol’s custom Neve board and you hear all the detail and feel the space of those famous analog reverb chambers.” For Mike Friedman, President of Premonition Records, the question of whether or not to release cafe blue un-mastered was a conundrum. “Every mastering engineer we’ve ever used on this recording did brilliant work. But I’ve always been aware of the quality of Jim Anderson’s studio mixes. In the end, I thought it worthwhile to let fans of this recording hear what I heard. I think it will only serve to broaden their appreciation of Jim, Patricia, and the great musicians heard on cafe blue.”
“Unlike any other version thus far released. You feel the character of Capitol’s vinage Neve console and you hear all the detail and feel the space of those famous analog reverb chambers.” – Gus Skinas, Super Audio Center
“…Premonition has taken an oft-reissued audiophile chestnut, Barber’s 1994 quirky and capitvating Cafe Blue, and handed over the Capitol Studio 2011 mix to the estimable engineer Gun Skinas for a new hybrid CD/SACD disc. Rather than retouching the work of the previous mastering engineers, Skinas has “unmastered: the digitual recording, removing the fine tuning and limiting often engaged to commercial recordings. His intention was to let the benefits of DSD shine particularly in “its ability to preserve the integrity of the very quiet parts of the music” and more specifically to caputre the magic of Capitol’s analog reverb chambers and custom Neve board…the SACD sounds more analog than even the excellent 2011 two-LP set…” – Patricia Barner, The Absolute Sound