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Yuko Mabuchi Plays Miles Davis [Updated]

05-11-2019 | By Robert H. Levi | Issue 103

Yuko Mabuchi Plays Miles Davis, Yarlung Records, YAR88171, multiple formats.

Recorded live in the Brain and Creativity Institute’s Cammilleri Hall on April 25, 2018. Executive Producer: Randy Bellous. Associate Producers: Billy Mitchell & Elliot Midwood. Recording Engineers: Bob Attiyeh & Arian Jansen. Sound Consultants: Brad Michel & Ricardo Ryan. Mastering Engineers: Steve Hoffman & Bob Attiyeh. Tube Microphones: Ted Ancona. Microphone Technician: David Bock. Microphone Preamplification: Elliot Midwood. Steinway Technician: Yinuo Xu. Photography: Cooper Bates Photography. Graphic Design: Yanina Spizzirri. Recorded Before a Live Audience.

Technical Details

"Our audience flew in from around the United States, Asia and Europe for this special event. Yarlung recording engineer Arian Jansen and I captured the recording on Agfa 468 analog tape with the SonoruS ATR12, DSD using a Merging Technologies HAPI, and PCM using the Sonorus DAC, in both stereo and surround sound formats, using SonoruS Holographic Imaging technology. Microphone preamplifiers by Elliot Midwood. Ted Ancona graciously allowed us to use his AKG C24 & C12 and Schoeps M222 vacuum tube microphones, and Yarlung microphone technician David Bock made sure these mics were in good shape and ready for the challenge. Yarlung associate producers Billy Mitchell and Elliot Midwood helped coordinate rehearsals with our valiant musicians, choose takes for the eventual release, and generously shared their vision and experience in the jazz world. My friend Steve Hoffman serves as mastering engineer. I am blessed to work with a dream team.

Bob Attiyeh, Recording Engineer (President of Yarlung Records)


Artists: Yuko MabuchiJJ KirkpatrickBobby BretonDel Atkins


  1. All Blues 6:52 Miles Davis 
  2. Blue in Green 9:41 Miles Davis 
  3. Milestones 4:58 Miles Davis 
  4. Ikumi's Lullaby 4:35 Yuko Mabuchi 
  5. So What 10:49 Miles Davis 
  6. Nardis 9:41 Miles Davis 
  7. Sky with no Tears 6:31 Yuko Mabuchi 
  8. Missing Miles 8:10 Yuko Mabuchi 

The Recording/Reviewer Equipment

The CD, HDTracks PCM 24 bit/88kHz, and Quad DSD files come from two sources.  Yarlung recorded the concert on analog tape using the SonoruS ATR12 and in Quad DSD using the Merging Technologies HAPI.  The surround sound files come from the HAPI directly, and the stereo files come from the tape, digitized by the HAPI. Not only was the analog recording done using RTR tape, but it was recorded with tube microphones. "You are there:" all tubes and tape. I reviewed the HDTracks 24 bit/88kHz source downloaded to my dedicated Toshiba Tecra with Windows 10. My music library is managed by Audirvana Prioritizing Software. The DAC is the Tim de Paravicini Tube E.A.R. DAC 4 linked to the computer with the UITaudio USB cable, my current top reference, designed by Mitch Ko. The power cord to the DAC is the new Cardas Audio Clear Ahead XL PC, George Cardas's ultimate power management achievement. Interconnects from the DAC to the preamp are the balanced Jorma Design Origo interconnects made in Germany.

The multiple formats currently available, all featuring the SonoruS Holographic Imaging technology, a passive technique developed by Arian Jansen, include a CD release. This allows a well-configured two-channel speaker system to give you a significant sense of being surrounded by the hall acoustic without any deleterious frequency response or aural effects whatsoever. Exclusively utilized I believe by Yarlung, this technique is a recording coup by any major recording label standard, and is truly amazing coming from an independent, non-profit label. 

The Performance

Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! Mabuchi, Breton, and Atkins, oh my! Behind the curtain is the wonderful wizard, himself, Bob Attiyeh, and with JJ Kirkpatrick, the wicked internationally acclaimed trumpet player, oh my! Yuko Mabuchi Plays Miles Davis is just like that...much better than superb. It is historic!

I listened to this concert performance over and over. It is compelling. It is lively. It is at times explosive. It is always original and filled with intensely new musical ideas from many old Miles favorites. Yuko Mabuchi plays so powerfully and rhythmically, like she owns this music, feels this music, believes this music. I could go cut by cut, but you understand if you like extraordinary jazz. This is the real deal.

Del Atkins bass is extreme, melodious, and new. He nails it over and over. When he solos you hear experience and love come together in the strings and explode. This is his best-recorded performance I know of. This is Ray Brown and more. I am very, very impressed and you will be too.

Bobby Breton finally cuts loose on Yarlung Records, at least the way I like it. He kicks it up and makes it happen. Finesse, power, and slam, it is all here, and great fun. This trio played at the Los Angeles and Orange County Audio Society Gala last December, and I sat a few feet away from them. Breton played exquisitely and rhythmically like a real pro, but here he makes the sun shine and the moon rise. What an artist and musician!

JJ Kirkpatric has matured and bloomed into a world-class trumpeter. His interpretations are 100% his. It is not Miles warmed over, not for a minute. I am a fan. I listened carefully and I buy into his thoughts and personal, heartfelt techniques. This is new, modern, exciting stuff and it will win your head and heart. When you hear these musicians and new interpretations just let it happen and flow. 

With Yuko Mabuchi Plays Miles Davis do not look for the old—think new and fresh ideas. Think "Amadeus," not Mozart.

The Sound of the Recording

State of the Art. Lean forward from your perfect listening position and lean into the recording venue. I kid you not. Textural layers have weight, authority, and drive. The 24/96 source rings true and lifelike. At a certain volume, try a bit louder or softer than usual, and the performers will pop into your listening space. The imaging is rounded and beyond precise. It is spot on mellifluous. This is Attiyeh's best jazz recording effort to date. Van Gelder would have approved. It snuggles closely into an analog place, though it is a digital download. The warmth and weight of the instruments are so real, so right, Yuko Mabuchi Plays Miles Davis has become an audiophile jazz lover's reference as far as I am concerned. It is audiophile gold. 


Please, please do an LP.


Yuko Mabuchi Plays Miles Davis is a winner. I declare it a reference for audiophile performance and musical entertainment. It is a must-own and necessary addition for your library of great recordings and system demonstrations. Probably the best all-around original music download I have ever acquired, period. (Note that NativeDSD.com has Single, Double, and Quad DSD versions for sale and download at their site, in both stereo and multi-channel versions. DSD lovers should go there. Ye Olde Editor) The CD will be available by the time you read this. Get Yours!

Performance A

Recording A+

Yuko Mabuchi Plays Miles Davis

Retail $19.99 CD pressed in Germany on a gold substrate.

Check with NativeDSD.com for pricing on the DSD download versions.

Yarlung Records

8721 Santa Monica Boulevard #111

Los Angeles, California  90069