192kHz/24-bit, FLAC*; Alma Records ACD92972 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)
Well, there’s no denying that this debut album from Cuban singer, songwriter and percussionist Brenda Navarette has plenty of impact, not least because it’s recorded very hot indeed, and fair leaps from the speakers. Misgivings about the recording’s hi-res provenance and limited dynamic range aside, there’s no denying that Navarette’s brand of Afro-Cuban style is sunny, captivating and exceptionally enjoyable: she has an attention-grabbing voice and, as you might expect, the percussion is prominent in the mix, defying the feet to stand still. There’s a lot going on here, notably in tracks such as ‘Anana Oyé’, with the result that the sound can become a bit thick. But then up pops Navarette’s take on Duke Ellington’s ‘Caravan’, and the smile of recognition becomes a grin as the music takes off in unexpected, purely latin directions. Huge fun. AE
Sound Quality: 80%
Hi-Fi News Lab Report
The sleeve notes say ‘Recorded in High Res’ and while it’s recorded at high level (excessively so) and will light the 192kHz LED on your DAC, the backing mix looks to be recorded at a higher sample rate than the main vocals at 44.1kHz. PM
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