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Café Blue (2-LP 180 Gram Vinyl) Original recording remastered

4.6 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Vinyl, Original recording remastered, August 9, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

(2-LP set) Longtime audiophile favorite cut from the original tapes by legendary engineer Doug Sax. Patricia Barber's outstanding 1994 release Café Blue has won more than 15 awards from major international music institutions. Deemed an ''underground classic'' by jazz Bible Downbeat magazine, the album contains sparkling, indelible improvisations derived as much from Barber's interest in classical music as from jazz. This is where the internationally renowned singer-pianist comes into her own, interpreting songs from outside the traditional jazz repertoire and debuting a handful of original compositions that reveal her innovative, thoroughly distinctive style. Audiophiles, of course, needn't any introduction to Café Blue. Beloved for its transparent, you-are-there sound since its initial release, prized analog editions currently fetch upwards of $150 on the aftermarket. Mobile Fidelity's long-out-of-print 45RPM 3LP edition and Premonition's own 180g copies feature a dynamic clarity, vocal truth, and instrumental body that very few records possess. But not even those versions can't compete with this newly minted 180gram 2-LP set that should belong on the shelf of every music lover.

Fully remixed and remastered, cut from the original tapes by legendary engineer Doug Sax, and meticulously pressed at RTI, Café Blue now boasts a seemingly limitless frequency range, transient responsiveness, and tonal realism. We've heard Barber perform at her home base venue, Chicago's Green Mill, and witnessing her live doesn't even sounds as good as this extraordinary pressing. From the dead-quiet surfaces to Barber's steamy, smoky vocals and crisp finger snaps, from Michael Arnapol's acoustic upright bass to guitarist John McLean's tasteful fills, everything is in the right place.

Review

Top 10 Records All-Time by Female Jazz Vocalist. --CD Review

Record to Die For. --Stereophile

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. What A Shame
  2. Mourning Grace
  3. A Taste Of Honey
  4. Ode To Billie Joe
  5. Too Rich For My Blood:6. Manha De Carnaval

Disc: 2

  1. Inch Worm
  2. Wood Is A Pleasant Thing To Think About
  3. Nardis
  4. The Thrill Is Gone
  5. Romanesque
  6. Yellow Car III


Product Details

  • Vinyl (August 9, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Premonition
  • ASIN: B00582GLL2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #224,681 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is my A-number-1 favorite disc on the planet. It was one of those that caught my interest on the very first playing, and, today, on my 4,325,642nd playing, it still keeps getting better with every listen.
I use this disc exclusively (specifically track 11) to demonstrate a true high-end audio experience to friends and family who still think "bits is bits". Each and every single one of the 20 or so demonstrations I've performed so far have yielded two very specific, unequivocal responses: 1) "Wow, that was unbelievable!" and 2) "Who *WAS* that artist?!"
Because of this album, I now have everything she's ever made, and will continue to purchase everything she makes until one of us dies!
To me, Cafe Blue is Patricia Barber's best album, bar none, followed closely by "Modern Cool" and "A Distortion of Love".
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Format: Audio CD
Ms. Barber is the beneficary of the return of Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs to the highest-end music recording. And, oh my, did they ever do a superb job! Audiophiles will rejoice at MFSL's superlative sonics. And while this CD is a curious choice for the comeback, it really does work. Probably the dynamic range of this recording had a lot to do with the selection, and surely Ms. Barber delivers a fine performance.
Chances are good you already own this CD. But before you debate shelling out the added do-re-me for the SACD version, please consider:
It's like hearing this CD for the first time. Come to think of it, it's like hearing a CD for the first time.
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Format: Audio CD
My first experience with Patricia Barber's music was the critically acclaimed "Modern Cool", a disk lauded by music editors as "breakthrough" and "the best Patricia Barber albumn ever". I played it twice and put it away. Perhaps I'm too much of a traditionalist, but I considered it more crossover than "breakthrough".
I had all but given up on Patricia Barber's music until I took a chance and bought her newest disk "Companion". What a wonderful live recording! Patricia captured at her best. I was hooked and could hardly get to amazon.com fast enough to buy "Cafe Blue"! The Patricia Barber experience just keeps getting better! This production is very polished, in stark contrast to the club grittiness of "Companion". Patricia's voice is at once refined, supple, seductive and pouty, garnished by her richly textured compositions brilliantly executed by her three piece band. Patricia has artfully woven an ecclectic mix of compositions into a recording that plays with your emotions, then leaves you shaking your head in wonderment at disk end. The soulful opening track "What A Shame" will have you lamenting a love lost before you know it. But Patricia doesn't let you languish long as she moves you quickly into the freneticly paced "Mourning Grace", a piece with lyrics penned by Maya Angelou and featuring Brazillian influenced music from Patricia. This lady is full of surprises, and so is this disc (did I mention the angelic "Romanesque"?). "Cafe Blue" has earned a permanent position in my CD changer, and Patricia a place in my heart.
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Format: Audio CD
I have both her CD and LP. This CD/record ranks among my top 5 picks. No wonder this has been a Stereophile R2D4 and an audiophile favorite...
Patricia's sultry/seductive voice keeps you glued to the music. Hearing her live here at Chicago (HIFI 99) was one of the greatest audio treats I've had for years!!!
Grab this CD!
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Format: Audio CD
Picture a smokey filled room. Her voice surrounding, touching you. Lyrics that are riveting. Haunting bass and piano. On my top five listing of reference recordings.
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Format: Audio CD
Like Bird, Miles, Coltrane, Mingus and Monk (to mention a few), some jazzmen simply re-invent and re-direct the art form. (Miles did it multiple times.)
Miss Barber is of that caliber. Her arrangements are scintillating; her voice quality is unique, and the intellectualism and passion she brings to her music are frankly superb. Long may she grace us with her STYLE...
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Format: Audio CD
The cd is one surprise after another. Each song is strong of itself, yet seemlessly blends with the others to create a mood. It's perfect for coffee in hand, lights low and time to reflect moments. I saw her in concert recently and I highly recommend that venture -- she's incredible! Comparisons to others? Why bother, simply listen to the samples.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Patricia Barber simply does not produce a bad album. Her phrasing and presentation capture total attention. I wait eagerly for each new one she does. She experiments with each album, but always presents each sound with the compelling intimacy of cabaret singer.
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