AAA 100% Analogue This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head
Pure Pleasure - PPAN 17529 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl - AAA 100% Analogue
Audiophile Mastering by Ray Staff at Air Mastering London
Limited Edition - Pressed at Pallas Germany
Sound 89% Ken Kessler hifi-News,
Yet another 2LP set - The record labels telling us that more vinyl real estate means better sound. Kent's Latin-flavoured 2013 release (like Barber's in this month's batch) has an overall silkiness that marks it as audiophile-friendly, but that's the nature of the beast: well-recorded jazz vocals with a seductive feel can't sound any other way. Kent has 'form' with foreign language material, having issued the French album Reconte-Moi in 2010.
The Changing Lights takes us to Brazil, with samba numbers, subtle injections of South American beats and lyrics courtesy of Portuguese poet Antonio Ledeira, as well as French lyricist Bernie Beaupere.
Stacey Kent's "Changing Lights" album once again demonstrates her vocal mastery. The immaculate intonation, timing and diction are flawless to the point of sheer purity. Her voice becomes an instrument with impeccable clarity and minimal vibrato. Her focus on this album is largely Latin numbers switching English with clever changes into Portuguese, and French imperceptibly. There are covers of bossa nova numbers from Tom Jobim and two songs written by novelist and lyricist Kashou Ishiguro; namely the title song 'Changing Lights', a sublime number, and 'The Summer We Crossed Europe' a story gracefully sung by Ms. Kent. 'Waiter, Oh Waiter' is a neat request for help in choosing from a foreign menu. 'How Insensitive' is quite the opposite. The Brazilian 'One Note Samba' is a difficult number to handle at such pace with the short-spaced almost staccato notes; Stacey effortlessly takes the scale runs in her stride.
The arrangements and accompaniment of husband Jim Tomlinson are outstanding. The rhythm section is wonderfully subtle with particular praise for the percussionists, pianist Graham Harvey and the Latino guitarists' phrasing. However, this is Stacey Kent's record first and foremost; impressive and top class. - ACB
For those of you unfamiliar with vocalist Stacey Kent, she’s an American who lives in England – for that matter, she’s married to an Englishman, her sax player Jim Tomlinson – they met while studying at the Guildhall School of Music in London. Stacey speaks fluent French, along with Portuguese, Italian and German, and this obviously informs her musical choices and helps her music transcend international boundaries. A few years ago, she recorded a live album in Rio de Janiero, and that experience brought her very close to Brazilian and bossa nova music, which is the subject of her current album, The Changing Lights.
Produced and arranged by Jim Tomlinson, The Changing Lights combines not only classic bossa songs such as “One Note Samba” and “How Insensitive”, but also explores more current Brazilian music from noted musicians Dori Caymmi, Marcos Valle and Roberto Menescal, who performs on several of the albums tracks. The album also includes several originals in the bossa nova style penned in collaboration by Jim Tomlinson and acclaimed novelist Kazuo Ishiguro – these songs include the lilting title track as well as “The Summer We Crossed Europe in the Rain” – definitely one of the albums’ many highlights.
In terms of sound quality, this two LP set is off-the-charts good, and really showcases all the attributes that still make analogue reproduction a no-brainer
All Analogue Audiophile Re-mastering by: Ray Staff at Air Mastering, Lyndhurst Hall, London
Stacey Kent's latest recording again demonstrates her vocal mastery. The immaculate intonation, timing and diction are flawless to the point of sheer purity. Her voice becomes an instrument with impeccable clarity and minimal vibrato. The album’s musical focus is Brazilian, mixing classics with originals, while switching smoothly between English, Portuguese and French.
There are covers of Bossa Nova numbers from Tom Jobim, Roberto Menescal, Marcos Valle and others. Highlights include Jobim's How Insensitive, which is quietly and intensely melancholic, whilst the Jobim classic, One Note Samba, is given a cheeky up-tempo treatment. It is a difficult number to handle at such pace with the short-spaced, almost staccato notes. Stacey effortlessly takes the scale runs in her stride. Roberto Menescal’s O Barquinho is given a fresh arrangement and is performed by the composer himself on guitar.
Six originals by Jim Tomlinson make up the rest of the album, three written with novelist and lyricist, Kazuo Ishiguro; the sublime title song, The Changing Lights, The Summer We Crossed Europe in the Rain, a story gracefully sung by Ms Kent and Waiter, Oh Waiter, a neat and jaunty request for help in choosing from a French menu. Two songs in Portuguese, Mais Uma Vez and A Tarde, written with poet, Antonio Ladeira, and Chanson Légère, written with Bernie Beaupère, who penned the title track to Stacey’s Raconte-Moi, add yet more flavours to the album. The arrangements and accompaniment of producer and husband, Jim Tomlinson are outstanding. The rhythm section is wonderfully subtle with praise for the percussionists, Josh Morrison and Matt Home, pianist Graham Harvey, bassist, Jeremy Brown and the guitarists, Roberto Menescal and John Parricelli. However, The Changing Lights is Stacey Kent's record first and foremost; impressive and top class.
Explaining his and Stacey's musical process, Tomlinson elaborates on Kazuo Ishiguro's thoughts in his liner note of Stacey's 2001 Candid album, In Love Again. "Stacey's style reminds me of the best film actors who, on camera, develop a very different style to that of stage actors who are required to project their voices and gestures in order to express themselves across the space of the theatre. In film, an actor can do a lot with very little, whether in terms of expression, gesture, inflection or tone of voice. With Stacey, I believe that we create music in the same way, where even the smallest gestures have great emotional significance."
Stacey Kent: vocals, guitar (Side C2)
Jim Tomlinson: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute
Graham Harvey: piano, Fender Rhodes
Roberto Menescal: guitar (Side B3, Side D3)
John Parricelli: guitar (Side A2, A3, B1, B2, C1, D1, D4)
Jeremy Brown: double bass
Matt Home: drums (Side A1, C1, C2, D2)
Joshua Morrison: drums (Side A2, A3, B1, B2, D1, D4)
Raymundo Bittencourt: ganza (Side B3)
1. This Happy Madness
2. The Summer We Crossed Europe In The Rain
3. One Note Samba (Samba De Uma Nota Só)
4. Mais Uma Vez
5. Waiter, Oh Waiter
6. O Barquinho
1. The Changing Lights
2. How Insensitive
3. O Bêbado E A Equilibrista / Smile
4. Like A Lover
5. The Face I Love
6. A Tarde
7. Chanson Légère
Recorded engineered Curtis Schwartz at Curtis Schwartz Studios, Ardingly, England during November 2012 & April 2013
Additional recording at Stirling Studios, Colorado
Additional recording at O Barquinho Studios, Rio de Janeiro
Engineer: Victor Borges
Mixed at Curtis Schwartz Studios, May 2013
Produced by Jim Tomlinson
O Barquinho arranged by Roberto Menescal,
All other music arranged by Jim Tomlinson
Pure Pleasure Records
The Restoration of the Art of Sound
180g Vinyl Mastered From The Best Available Sources
At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Pure Pleasure all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records. During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s – or employed existent tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.
A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.
We should like to emphasize that Pure Pleasure Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle. We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production. To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.
There really is nothing quite like it. It’s the touch, the feel, you have to stop and stare, the cover, the real thing, even the smell.
Its tangible, you can feel it, see it, study it, muse/dream over it, it’s real, someone has spent hours and hours over its construction and presentation. Pure Pleasure Records is just that, Pure Pleasure and that is what it has set out to be.
The music and the physical record. Something to keep, treasure, admire and above all enjoy.Of course with vinyl it’s not just a record, it’s the cover, the sleeve notes, you are holding a unique package, produced by craftsmen.
Pure Pleasure Records bring you vinyl albums of quality Jazz - Blues - R+B - Soul - Funk, remastered by some of the best engineers in the world and pressed on 180 gram audiophile vinyl at what is probably the best pressing plant in Europe
Pure Analogue Audiophile Mastering - Plated and Pressed at Pallas in Germany on 180 Gram Virgin Vnyl - Released in Limited Quantities
60 Years Pallas
Audiophile Vinyl - Made in Germany For over 60 years the family business in the third generation of the special personal service and quality "Made by Pallas" is known worldwide. Our custom PVC formulation produces consistently high pressing quality with the lowest surface noise in the industry. Our PVC complies with 2015 European environmental standards and does not contain toxic materials such as Lead, Cadmium or Toluene. Our vinyl is both audiophile and eco-grade!