Positive Feedback Logo

Brief Impressions: Fiona Joy's Into the Mist in Quad DSD from Blue Coast Records

06-20-2016 | By David W. Robinson | Issue 86

Fiona Joy - Into The Mist - Cover

Fiona Joy - Into The Mist

I have been spending some time with several new titles from Cookie Marenco's Blue Coast Records, all in Quad DSD. One of them was by an artist that I've developed a great deal of affection for, Fiona Joy. The album is entitled Into the Mist, and for me, that epitomizes the mood that Joy's music and performance puts me into. Her calm and delightful presence imparts a harmony that is more than simply musical…it is soulful. It moves me to contemplation, and to that quiet shift inwards that heals. And that's a very high compliment to her composition and playing.

The feel of Into the Mist brings back to my mind…immediately…the wonderful years of Windham Hill, when I could buy an LP (or later, a CD) with complete confidence that I was going to love it. Whether the Windham Hill river flowed broad and slow, or rapid and leaping…strings or keys or percussives…I could count on great songwriting, rich harmonics, and a musical treat that I would return to again and again. I have gone through a lot of port, whiskey, wine, and brandy listening to Windham Hill titles in a reverie, especially when the Portland weather was melancholy...which it often is.


Cookie Marenco at THE Show Newport Beach 2016:  A portrait by David W. Robinson

Glad tidings here: Cookie Marenco and company have reached back to the values of musicianship, excellent performance, and immediacy of presence from those days. That's no surprise, of course; Cookie was a member of the Windham Hill production team back in the '80s. But Cookie's Blue Coast Records have pointed to the future in their use of Quad DSD with its peerless ability to provide the full measure of the music. Fiona's piano, recorded to Quad DSD, is simply there, and Cookie's mastery in the audio arts is no less than Fiona's on piano. Together they give us a quiet tour of creative force, without sonic compromise.

Brilliant. Lovely.

And very highly recommended to all who appreciate exceptional meditative piano presented flawlessly.

[Available for download at Blue Coast Records:  http://www.bluecoastrecords.com/.]