Vinyl records have been making a comeback for some time. Back in the early 1990s, HMV took the decision to stop selling vinyl completely and sold off all of their records for next to nothing before removing the unsold ones from the shelves. CDs tempted you with bonus tracks you couldn’t find on the records. We were consistently told digital was better than vinyl; CDs were more convenient and vinyl took up too much space. CD players were cheap and cheerful in hifi shops and electronics stores.
Fast forward to 2015 and now many people are continually looking for vinyl in 2nd hand record stores, records are being reissued on labels such as Blue Note and even brand new recordings are being pressed and issued on vinyl!
Yesterday I received a limited edition copy of the new album by organist Barbara Dennerlein entitled Studio Konzert. The album has just been released and is a live recording no less; recorded at the Bauer Studios in May 2015 in front of a studio audience. Some interesting facts about the record:
• It was recorded live direct to 2 track stereo analogue
• No digital transfer, an AAA recording; recorded in analogue, mixed in analogue and mastered in analogue
• The vinyl is grade 180 grams
The performance comprises Barbara on Hammond organ, synthesizer with Marcel Gutske on drums. All bass lines are performed with the foot pedals, made to sound like an acoustic bass being played. There are seven tracks in all, three on side A and four on side B. The music itself is very much signature Barbara Dennerlein, and a reminder that she is one of the top innovators in the world of music (not that we need reminding), Barbara has a distinctive sound on the instrument, you hear it you know it’s her on Hammond organ. The album contains a great selection of tracks including Organ Boogie from her previous CD Bebabaloo released in 2010. Side A has two blues numbers called Gray May Blues and Bluesy. Sandwiched between those is Southern Funk which is a wonderful modern old school contemporary jazz tune in the spirit of artists like George Benson. The final track on Side B is called Under Construction. However, to be fair, the record sounds far from under construction but very much the finished article; the audience must have loved being there to absorb this music.
By the way, the sound quality is exceptional. In fact, you would imagine this is what digital is supposed to sound like, and yet there is absolutely no digital anywhere in this production, which is quite incredible. This highlights the capabilities of vinyl produced well and played on a quality turntable and sound system.
You can catch tracks of the album on upcoming Vinyl Vaults and purchase it through Barbara’s website.