96kHz/24-bit FLAC, Sony Music 88875064601 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)
Cassandra Wilson will need no introduction to most audiophiles as the singer is a demonstration-room favourite, and it’s not hard to hear why in this latest album – Wilson’s homage to Billie Holiday. Wilson’s voice is close-focused and centre-stage, and the instrumentation captured with every detail intact, from the sparse backing to ‘I’ll Be Seeing You’ to the cinematic orchestra on ‘Strange Fruit’. The roster of musicians is also pretty impressive: production is by Nick Launay, T Bone Burnett adds guitar, and Van Dyke Parks wrote the string arrangements. And yet there’s something oddly one-note here as too many of these standards sound slow and mournful, while the Bond-esque orchestra on ‘Strange Fruit’ is at odds with the subject matter. Maybe this is more a homage to the loss of Lady Day, rather than a celebration of her work, but it feels much more about the artist than the subject. AE
Sound Quality: 80%
Hi-Fi News Lab Report
I’ve watched the YouTube ‘making of’ promo and I’m still none the wiser re. the origins of the bursts of spuriae that appear on trk 1 and trk 4 [see graph above]. Some signs of compression/overload too, but still truly 96kHz! PM
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