Artist: Carmen Gomes Inc.
Album: Carmen Meets Kharma Live
Publisher: STS Digital
Recording Technology: SACD Hybrid Multichannel
About this album:
What will happen if you see Siltech, Marantz, dCS, Pyramix, SECC, WBT, Soundcraft, Schoeps, Philips, Kharma, and STS Digital join together? Well, the result is this Hybrid SACD Multi-Channel: Carmen Meets Kharma Live (Limited Edition).
According to what I read at the booklet inside this SACD, this album was recorded live in a small theatre in Almere. The audience were 100% audiophile and specially invited for this event (they were all the subscribers of high end magazine HVT in Holland). The audience were very quiet, according to Fritz de With (the recording engineer/producer).
This SACD was recorded in 5 channel DSD with Pyramix recorder and dCS A/D and D/A converter. The recording was very quiet, like Fritz told us. We only can hear the audience applause between track. The rest? 99.999% quiet.
Carmen Gomes Inc. consists of 4 persons: Carmen Gomes (vocal), Cajan Witmer (Piano), Marcel van Engelen (Drums), and Peter Bjornild (Bass). Except these two tracks (“Summertime” and “Billie’s Blues”), all the rest of the tracks were created by Carmen herself (and some co-work with her team members).
As many of audiophile singers, not many know the background of Carmen. We only know that she is a blond hair girl with blue eyes and some Diana Krall “lazy voice style” plus some voice of Rebecca Pidgeon. The brass detail on the background fills the ambience perfectly as you can hear on the Track #2 “Heaven is a State of Mind”.
Overall, the style can be considered as Soul Jazz with some Blues. Her sound is very intimate on some side but also can play a little “swing” when needed. I love two tracks compiled by Gomez herself: Track #2 (Heaven is a State of Mind) and Track #11 (September). It’s amazing to realize that only two of twelve tracks that not compiled by herself in this album.
For the sound quality. This album is very clean, dynamic, detail, and quiet. I think, I can say, this is one of the rarest perfect recording I’ve ever heard. If you remember the quality of Ingram Washington: What A Difference A Day Makes, then this is also another “copy” but with female vocal. I don’t have SACD Multi-Channel setup, so I try with typical stereo speaker.
If you are looking for another reference female vocal (like Ingram Washington gives on on What A Difference A Day Makes album), then this CD is a must. It’s very clean and perfect recording. The detail and resolution are amazing. Again, SACD and STS label make this CD is quite expensive and some say that this CD is a Limited Edition.
Sound Quality: 5 of 5 Stars
Song Popularity/Arrangement (subjective): 4.75 of 5 Stars
Recommendation: 5 of 5 stars.
2. Heaven is a State of Mind
4. I Believe
5. Take it Al
6. I’ll Pay the Band
7. Gazing at the Sun
8. Green and Blue
10. Billie’s Blues
12. It’s About Time