Label: Impex IMXLPO6035-45
1STEP Process 180g 45rpm Double LP Pressed on VR900-Supreme Vinyl! Cut From Original Analog Work Masters by Kevin Gray at CoHearent Audio!
Strictly Limited To 5000 Numbered Pressings! This item not eligible for any further discount offers!
Do we need another cafe blue After listening to the original and all subsequent reissues, the answer is clearly “yes” Sound 10/10 Analogue planet
The 1STEP Process:
The Impex 1STEP process relies on short, tightly-controlled runs that require a new lacquer after each 500 pressings. This unforgiving format has the lacquer skipping the regular father-mother process, going right to a single convert and then pressing. Though this dramatically increases mastering and production costs, it also assures each run is more consistent from disc to disc, with less noise, clearer details and deeper bass.
Reducing production complexity to just a single “convert” disc between the lacquer and the press greatly improves groove integrity, diminishes non-fill anomalies and increases signal integrity from the master tape to your system.
Two 180-gram 45-rpm LPs, pressed on VR900-SUPREME VINYL, and a deluxe booklet are packaged in a heavy-duty 3-sleeve jacket. The jacket is then placed in a cloth-bound slipcase that protects your investment and brings a cool retro-modern look to your shelves. Strictly limited to 5,000 numbered pressings!
Stop moaning. Yes, this has been ‘audiophiled’ as often as Breakfast In America or The Allmans’ Live At Fillmore East, but the reasons are clear: the music and the sound warrant it. This time, however, Barber’s master work has been given One-Step treatment and it’s now a must-have purchase. The pressings are superb, the sound is visceral and real, and you’ll swoon over the cloth slipcase and high-quality sleeve. While I defer to Ella, Julie or Doris for jazz and standards, I’m warming to Barber because it’s easy to hear why this 27-year-old set, half-originals and half-covers, continues to seduce. Her ‘Ode To Billy Joe’ will give you the chills. Impex has raised the bar but do not delay as it’s limited to 5000 copies. KK Hifi News
Patricia Barber has always been an artist’s artist, harnessing a restless imagination and an intellectualized curiosity to create visionary jazz that breaks boundaries and reorders perceptions. She serves the chase: the unexpected musical note. The irreplaceable word. The irregular beating heart of jazz.
And Café Blue is the album that best personifies her genius. Spare, turbulent, quirky, and slyly humorous, there is no other jazz masterwork quite like it.
For the first collaboration with this musical vanguard, Impex’s 1STEP is exclusively cut from original analog work masters and cut by Kevin Gray at CoHearent Audio. The stunning fidelity, breathtaking dynamics and startling spacial realism surpass every other edition of this breakthrough album.
The only way to get closer to Ms. Barber is to pull up a chair at one of her performances… If youre a mega-fan, you want this one. From a sheer recording standpoint, this is the closest to the sound quality the reel to reel guys are gushing about. And collectors loving the tactile aspect will appreciate a jacket and box done to the same standard.
-Jeff Dorgay, TONE Audio, 2020 Product of the Year Award Winnner – Recording
Songs of sickness, loss, death-acceptance, being overwhelmed and suicide have never sounded so good or been so well packaged. So, yes, we do need yet another café blue and honestly, even if you already have a copy (especially the original pressing, or the Mo-Fi, which on some songs like ‘Ode to Billy Joe’ sound as if Barber’s voice was out of phase and almost ‘canceled out’ – never mind it was sourced from the original inferior mix) and love the music and the sound, you too need another copy. This one.
-Michael Fremer, Analog Planet, Music 10/11, Sound 10/11
Bottom line, I was absolutely floored by the sound quality… this is the real deal. For audiophiles seeking out the very best when it comes to visceral involvement and musical satisfaction, the IMPEX 1-Step Café Blue is a true delight. For those adding to their One Step collection or for others looking for an opportunity to experience this pressing technology for the first time, I strongly recommend that you check this one out.
-Robert S. Youman, Positive Feedback
As good as the original and the 2011 remix sounded, this knocks it out of the park with better dynamics, not to mention more detailed texture and stunning tonal quality. Add to that the deluxe tri-fold cover, beautifully crafted liner notes and cloth bound slip case, and 5,000 owners will own an audiophile and music lover’s treasure.
-Hi-Fi+, Recording 10/10, Music 9/10
Pinning down the definitive vinyl edition can be daunting, but Impex Records has met the challenge. Sourcing Premonition Records’ 2011 remix, Impex employed the costly 1Step process, which bypasses the father / mother stages. With Kevin Gray handling the 1Step mastering chores, Barber’s interpretations spring from the grooves with discrete imaging, electric immediacy, and immersive ambience. A showcase for Barber’s crack trio of players, Barber’s distinctive voicings play unselfishly within the groove of the band. Tracks like ‘What a Shame’ and ‘Too Rich For My Blood’ shine with finely wrought transients, shudder with deep-water bass extension, expressive percussion, and full bloom piano harmonics. Cymbals flare outward into the widest expanses of the soundstage. The sheer lack of veiling or groove noise testifies to the use of Neotech’s vinyl formulation, VR900 Supreme. Pressed at RTI, the 45rpm double LP is exquisitely slipcase-packaged and annotated. You’ve never heard Cafe Blue like this before.
-Neil Gader, The Absolute Sound, April 2021, Music 4.5/5, Sonics 5/5