Label: Impex Records IMP6032
TAS Rated 4.5/5 Music, 4/5 Sonics in the October 2019 Issue of The Absolute Sound!
Impeccable Female Vocals On 180g Vinyl LP Pressed At RTI! Mastered by Bernie Grundman
Legendary singer-songwriter Jennifer Warnes has created a beautiful, elegant new album. Much anticipated album! First new release in over a decade! Beautifully recorded and carefully mastered.
Reuniting with bassist-composer Roscoe Beck (who co-produced her seminal classic Famous Blue Raincoat), Ms. Warnes shapes ten classic tunes into a timeless narrative of living, loving and making sense of changing times.
One of the most-loved singers of our time, Jennifer Warnes has returned with a modern-day masterpiece called Another Time, Another Place. With glorious production and performances, and of course, impeccable vocals, Another Time, Another Place features the cream of the crop of songwriters including Eddie Vedder (“Just Breathe”), Mark Knopfler (“Why Worry”), John Legend, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks and more.
Joining Warnes are brilliant musicians and friends such as Dean Parks (Steely Dan, Bob Dylan), pedal steel king Greg Liesz (k.d. lang, Eric Clapton) and drummer Vinnie Colaiuta (Frank Zappa, Sting). Jennifer Warnes has always been known as someone who makes beautifully crafted records with an open heart, unafraid to show emotion and love through her work. It’s the perfect time for Another Time, Another Place.
Jennifer’s long-time mastering engineer Bernie Grundman artfully brings out all the detail, presence and harmonic body of this amazingly life-like recording. Impex’s luxe 180-gram vinyl presentation features an impeccably quiet pressing by RTI, a heavy stock tip-on gatefold jacket that includes a large-format 16-page booklet of lyrics and photographs.
Every new album Jennifer Warnes creates is a showcase of musical beauty, lovingly crafted and gorgeously performed. We can expect nothing less of one of the world’s greatest interpretive singers.
“I had a series of losses,” she says. “Horrible losses. Many in a row. It shook me up quite a bit. My mother was my significant other person, and went all over the world with me, and was the one who believed in me. She died in 2001. In 2013, my two sisters died a week apart unexpectedly. Then my manager was hit and run, and died instantly, close to the death of my two sisters, and then I put my dog down. Then Leonard Cohen died.”
Perhaps not coincidentally, it’s Roscoe Beck producer of Famous Blue Raincoat and Cohen’s musical director in his final years who acts as Another Time, Another Place’s co-producer, helping the 71-year-old find a way to express her sadness.
It wasn’t purely despair at her own losses that, for the first time since The Well, provoked Warnes’ formal return to the studio or, more accurately, Beck’s kitchen, where they had to turn off the air conditioning and fridge to record. She also had more altruistic reasons.
“The depth of pain,” she explains, “that a person goes through at certain chapters of their lives is…”
Her voice trails off before she again tries to explain her motives.
“You can’t really share that, but I felt I could make a record that would offer comfort to people going through stuff similar to me. It was really important and intentional to make a tender record. The world is in such distress, so the sound of a woman’s voice being tender in a recording that could be sent all over the world that was clean, clear, wise and enjoyable might help. It would help me to do it, and it would help others to do it, so you feel that it delivers some kind of sanity. That’s a good thing to give to somebody.”In my younger years,” she adds, sipping white tea, “you wanted to give them a sexier feeling. You wanted to give them a ‘Tear The Door Down’ feeling. At this time of life, it was like, ‘Oh my God, there’s so many suffering people!’ I don’t have one friend that doesn’t have something going on in their lives. So what’s my job? If you take that little CD and it fills an hour of your time, it ought to make you feel something. It ought to cure something. Who wants a goody two-shoes record that makes you feel unreasonably happy in a world like this? That was the question I asked myself: ‘What does it mean to make music that helps others?'”
It’s hard to believe she could have succeeded better. Another Time, Another Place boasts rare poignancy, unfiltered vulnerability and genuine compassion: a feminine counterpart, one might say, to Johnny Cash’s final releases. Its skeletal arrangements and refined production reveal Warnes’ extraordinary sensitivity, something underlined by its opening song, a startling cover of Pearl Jam’s Just Breathe (from 2009’s Backspace). Its selection, suitably, was provoked less by an urge to surprise people than for its sentiment, which encapsulates much of what makes the record so special. “Yes, I understand,” Warnes’s warm voice trembles, “every life must end,” before adding “I’m a lucky one, to count on both hands the ones I love.”
The rest of the album is equally wistful, whether John Legend’s delicate “Once I Was Loved”, in which she forgives a woman interacting with her former lover, or the elegantly laidback “The Boys And Me”, which she co-wrote with Michael Smotherman a songwriter and touring member of Captain Beefheart’s band or the reassuring “Why Worry”, penned by Mark Knopfler for Brothers In Arms.
“This is a real treat for the ears. The perfect guitar tone, the decay of the notes beautifully natural, the instrument separation and vocal layering on this record sounded spot-on in all the tracks I heard across several systems. But the ‘Why Worry’ cover on the M2s was magical. A superbly musical presentation from both LP and playback. Indeed, we need not worry as audiophiles. We have talent like Jennifer Warnes returning after 17 years sounding as spectacular as ever. And we have fine people like Abey Fonn, Laurence Aston, and Bernie Grundman making sure the beauty of her voice and the other instruments come through as clean and natural as possible. I suggest you get a copy whatever your digital or analog proclivities. You won’t be disappointed.” – Lee Scoggins, Part-Time Audiophile, High End Munich 2019 Read more!
“Yes, this is the Famous Blue Raincoat Jennifer Warnes, who released this celebrated album in 1986, which not only inspired many other singer-songwriters to do the same which, I’m afraid, were not nearly as successful mostly because they weren’t covering songs of Leonard Cohen, which on her album seemed not like only a perfect match for Ms. Warnes, but apparently this match was also appreciated by fans of both hers and Mr. Cohen’s. Impex released an audiophile quality 180-gram vinyl release of that album four years ago, and now has this new album, Another Time, Another Place as another album that sounds as good, but maybe even better than that older record. This is the first Jennifer Warnes album in 17 years! This time out Jennifer Warnes interprets modern but now classic tunes written by songwriters many will recognize, including but not limited to Derek Trucks, Eddie Vedder, John Legrand, Mark Knopfler, and Warren Haynes and she also adds a couple of originals to the mix. Sonically, this LP will have audiophiles saying the same thing as the Legrand Jazz album, except this is a modern recording made with modern equipment. This LP was also mastered by Bernie Grundman, and pressed at RTI. It includes a ‘large format’ 16-page booklet of lyrics and photos inside its thick gatefold sleeve. It’s also available on Impex on SACD with bonus track not on the LP.” – Tom Lyle, www.enjoythemusic.com, July 2019
“Despite Warnes’ Southern California roots, the country twang in her voice, so delicate and vulnerable, lends added depth to the music. Along with The Well, this LP has found a permanent spot in that part of my shelves that contains my Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez and Emmylou Harris records — music I turn to when I need a break from the testosterone levels of most pop music and want to look inward. The session was digitally recorded in 2018 for release on CD by bass player and longtime collaborator Roscoe Beck, aided by mix engineer Noah Snyder, and mastered by Bernie Grundman. The Impex vinyl reissue was also mastered by Grundman and pressed at RTI. While not quite the equal in sound to The Well, it has nothing digital-sounding about it. The instruments (string, electric, resonator and lap guitars, violin, percussion, piano and organ in various combinations) all occupy well-defined spaces, and the voices (Warnes’ as well as those of occasional backup singers) are three-dimensional and warm.” – Dennis Davis, The Audio Beat, July 2019, Music 4/5, Sound 4.5/5
“Abey Fonn and the entire team at IMPEX Records continue to impress and delight. Though we have only just passed the halfway point for the year 2019, these new vinyl releases entitled Another Time, Another Place from Jennifer Warnes and Lo Que Nice Mi Cantar from Trio Palabras are already strong contenders for my favorite albums of the year. And boy do these recordings really deliver the goods! Dead quiet record surfaces and dynamics to die for, my bet is that these records will probably sound outstanding on any system (regardless of system investment). These are unquestionably demo quality recordings but they both have much much more to offer! Of course, none of this extraordinary sound matters if the performance and music cannot reach deep down into your soul and make an emotional connection. IMHO, these recordings easily deliver on this too and will provide a very satisfying if not extremely rewarding experience. IMPEX has clearly added two more triumphs to their extensive music portfolio and legacy.Another Time, Another Place can compete with any of her previous releases. Jennifer’s voice is still strong and incredibly soulful if not effortless and harmonically pure. Tthe overall sound is exemplary with a rhythmic vitality and coherence that will quickly grab your attention. Arrangements are more simple and nuanced than the past, but I still found that the entire album was rendered with an additional freshness and energy. My favorite tracks include several covers from the likes of Eddie Vedder (‘Just Breathe’), Derek Trucks (‘Back Where I Started’), and John Legend (‘Once I Was Loved’). The album ends with the Mark Knofler classic ‘Why Worry’ from the Dire Straits album Brothers In Arms. I never thought the original could be bettered, but the magical dance between Jennifer’s lush sensual voice and Gabriel Santiago’s colorful acoustic guitar provides a lifelike immediacy that will warm your heart. Another killer recording and performance from Jennifer Warnes.” – Robert S. Youman, Posi+ive Feedback, July 2019 Read more!
“The much-loved Warnes marks 50 years in the business with only her ninth album. For an Oscar/Grammy winner, she’s happy to sing backing for others (including my hero, Chris Hillman), but when she puts her name on the sleeve, the material has to match that artistic highpoint of her career: that LP’s worth of Leonard Cohen songs. Here she again shows her skills as a peerless interpreter, with songs by Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, Mickey Newbury, Mark Knopfler, et al. Warnes moves faultlessly from genre to genre, and the Bernie Grundman-mastered sound – with rich pedal steel, Hammond organ, slide guitar, a choral group and much more – makes it wholly deserving of the Impex imprint. Just buy it!” – Ken Kessler, Hi-Fi News, September 2019, Sound Quality: 90%
“Warnes’ first album in 17 years reminds us how much this singular talent has been missed… Underscoring Warnes’ wide-ranging talent are the cherished classics “Tomorrow Night” and “I See Your Face Before Me’, where the lush string orchestration recalls Nelson Riddle… the spare arrangements are as cozy as a porch swing… Sonics on the 180-gram LP sport smooth airy highs and a full presence range. Though Warnes is in her early 70s, her voice has aged gracefully, her highest notes a bit more earthbound, yet filled with interpretive elasticity and luminance, and of course, glorious phrasing. Welcome back, JW.” – Neil Gader, The Absolute Sound, October 2019