Qobuz continues to plunder the catalogue of editions and reissues of albums available in Audio-HD / studio Master 24 bit quality, and highly rates Cassandra Wilson?s album New Moon Daughter, released on the prestigious Blue Note label. First issued in 1995, this little gem managed to climb to the very top, reaching the much-coveted No. 1 spot as the Billboard Top Jazz Album in 1996.
The album is a clear original, in the sense that it consists of Cassandra Wilson?s own reinterpretations of songs made famous by great artists such as Billie Holiday, Neil Young, and Bono/U2, to name but a few. Musically speaking, it is an up-tempo work, mixing Jazz and ballads, which are all arranged to perfectly accommodate her luxurious talent. Her magical voice interprets every song differently, yet always with the warmth and nuance that has come to characterize Wilson?s oeuvre.
To begin with, note that the quality of this recording lends itself particularly well to a transcription in divine high fidelity. With lesser recordings, it can be technically difficult to achieve perfect quality when the source material is, shall we say, a little troubled by poor instrumentation and vocals. None of this applies in the present case, because when played in basic CD quality, the sound of the album already impresses our ears!
In terms of sonorous texture in general, in our view, the song that sounds the best in HD audio is Death Letter. The quality of the sound and the mixing, alongside the warmth that Wilson?s voice radiates, explodes across many vocal registers. We could summarise our experience of listening to the album thus: it is like honey for the ears. Subtleties abound, yet the sound never feels saturated or distorted, and we are always allowed to appreciate the space between notation and instrumentation.
In summation, Qobuz has selected this Studio Master / 24-bit version of Cassandra Wilson?s album New Moon Daughter due to its combined technical and artistic prowess. The subtleties in the recording of this album are the perfect stimulus for repeated listening; they are myriad, and a delight for the ears. A beautiful Studio Master recording.
Cassandra Wilson's album was listened to through different headphones (notably the iFidélio X2 and the Denon 7100...) and through a running PC built around the Asus Xonar Essence STX, an Astell & Kern AK120 player, and a Marantz NA-11 network drive.
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