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Reviews: Patricia Barber: A Distortion of Love

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Reviews: 2

Review by stef40 February 21, 2013 (1 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Not as good as the others "Barber".Maybe this is due to the recording date (1991)? or something else?This one is less clear (the highs),there is less dynamic, the presentation seems to be darker.The music is good with nice ballads.

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Review by katabatic February 23, 2013 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I sourced a copy of this new SACD from the US after being made aware of its imminent release and I’ve been playing it a lot since it arrived a fortnight ago.

I would beg to disagree with stef40: IMHO the comments in his/her review would certainly apply to the Antilles CD of this, Barber’s first major label release, but not to this new Mofi SACD.

I have seldom heard an SACD sound so improved over the original CD. Adam Nussbaum’s cymbals and hi-hats shimmer as they should and bass and dynamics are very good - the attack of Wolfgang Muthspiel’s guitar break near the end of ‘My Girl’ is explosive. Marc Johnson’s bass playing is as good as ever and instantly recognizable to anyone familiar with his work…….which leads me to the ‘dark’ presentation where I would agree but in a positive way.

Adam Nussbaum and Marc Johnson have both recorded on the ECM label over the years, and to me this could have been recorded and released on ECM. They seem to have brought with them that wonderful dark, sparse sound typical of so many favourite works from Manfred Eicher in the eighties and nineties. This is complemented by the heavy ambience that accompanies much of Patricia’s singing and piano playing.

And what playing! The second track ‘Subway Station #5’ is full on from the start with the whole band on top form, whilst track five, ‘Or Not To Be’, is seven minutes of ECM-esque perfection.

I could go on but I won’t. Suffice to say, I love this album in its new incarnation: Mofi have really done the business this time: a must have for anyone who has the other SACDs of this lady’s work and a recommendation to anyone just discovering PB.

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