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More Treasures From IMPEX Records - New Vinyl Releases From Jennifer Warnes and Trio Palabras

07-26-2019 | By Robert S. Youman | Issue 105

Abey Fonn and the entire team at IMPEX Records continue to impress and delight. Though we have only just passed the halfway point for the year 2019, these new vinyl releases entitled Another Time, Another Place from Jennifer Warnes and Lo Que Nice Mi Cantar from Trio Palabras are already strong contenders for my favorite albums of the year.

Both were released on 180 gram vinyl with the very best quality packaging, notes and inserts. The former was produced by Jennifer Warnes and C. Roscoe Beck, mastered by Bernie Grundman and pressed at RTI. The later was produced by Jim Laurel, mastered by Chris Bellman and Bernie Grundman and also pressed at RTI. All of this just breeds confidence in providing a foundation for superb production values and sound quality. And boy do these recordings really deliver the goods!

Dead quiet record surfaces and dynamics to die for, my bet is that these records will probably sound outstanding on any system (regardless of system investment). These are unquestionably demo quality recordings but they both have much much more to offer! 

Of course, none of this extraordinary sound matters if the performance and music cannot reach deep down into your soul and make an emotional connection. IMHO, these recordings easily deliver on this too and will provide a very satisfying if not extremely rewarding experience. IMPEX has clearly added two more triumphs to their extensive music portfolio and legacy.

Jennifer Warnes, Another Time, Another Place

It has been 17 years since the last Jennifer Warnes release The Well, which might just be my favorite in her entire catalog. The Well continues to leave a smile on my face at every listen, but it also left me with a hunger for something more. Gosh, I hope we don’t have to wait another 17 years for the next from this talented artist.

Always an audiophile favorite, Jennifer Warnes had a huge success with her tribute to Leonard Cohen and the Famous Blue Raincoat album. These days, it would probably be surprising if you did not hear this or some of her other albums like The Well or The Hunter or Jennifer as you move from room to room at many of the major audiophile conferences. You may also be familiar with her soundtrack hits from Dirty Dancing, Norma Rae, and An Officer and a Gentleman.

I caution newbies to not be be turned off by this. Many like to complain about the music used to demonstrate equipment at major shows and dealerships, but Jennifer is the real deal. I just love the rich sonic texture of her voice and her sense of timing and delivery is simply outstanding. Her musical selections and her associated arrangements can be very creative and highly entertaining. Well worth checking out. You will not be disappointed.

Another Time, Another Place can compete with any of her previous releases.  Jennifer’s voice is still strong and incredibly soulful if not effortless and harmonically pure. As mentioned earlier, the overall sound is exemplary with a rhythmic vitality and coherence that will quickly grab your attention. Arrangements are more simple and nuanced than the past, but I still found that the entire album was rendered with an additional freshness and energy.

My favorite tracks include several covers from the likes of Eddie Vedder ("Just Breath"), Derek Trucks ("Back Where I Started"), and John Legend ("Once I was Loved").  The album ends with the Mark Knofler classic "Why Worry" from the Dire Straits album Brothers In Arms. I never thought the original could be bettered, but the magical dance between Jennifer’s lush sensual voice and Gabriel Santiago’s colorful acoustic guitar provides a lifelike immediacy that will warm your heart. Another killer recording and performance from Jennifer Warnes.

Trio Palabras, Lo Que Dice Mi Cantar

This record was a pleasant surprise. I am a big fan of the Buena Vista Social Club and I own several of their recordings including their original global release with Ry Cooder. I am no expert on Cuban music but I am told that this recording by Trio Palabras presents more of a traditional musical perspective including the use of many rare and authentic Cuban instruments.

Recorded in Cuba at the Studio Eusebio Delfin in Cienfuegos, this is the first release for Trio Palabras outside of Cuba and includes some of the countries finest musicians. Though this is a 24-bit/192kHz recording, you would never know it by the sound on vinyl. The sound stage extends deep and wide along with a fleshed out harmonic density and bloom that typically you might lust for on analog only.

Vocals by Vania Martinez and Liane Pérez will have you swooning. The rhythm section includes Mey Lin Chaviano on bass and Alexis Arce on percussion along with Axel Year on cajon and clave. They lay down the basic foundation and drive the music forward but it is the guitarists that really shine for me. This includes Nubia González on classical guitar, Maykel Elizarde on Cuban tres guitar and cabaquiño, Teresa Wong on laúd, and Rachid López on classical guitar.

Yes, this is a fairly large group but they are clearly delineated across the sound stage and the tone and timbre of each specific instrument comes through loud and strong. As the word has spread within the inner circle of my local audio friends, this is now one of the first recordings that they want to hear when coming by for a listen. Very highly recommended!

IMPEX Records Corporation

1197-C East Los Angeles Ave

Simi Valley, CA 93065

818- 535-5052