Simpler Times vol. II (2013)

Wicks, Bach, Fain

Sophisticated Lady Jazz Quartet

Simpler Times is Yarlung’s first album to make its debut in DSD. Before the tape release, before the CD, before vinyl and before all other high resolution digital formats. Sophisticated Lady jazz quartet is also the first jazz group with whom Yarlung has collaborated on a recording, so this is a double debut. 
Simpler Times follows Sophisticated Lady’s highly acclaimed self-titled debut album, from executive producer John Pruit:

"Sophisticated Lady jazz quartet pays homage to the Great Tradition of American jazz but most of their repertoire is written by members of the quartet. Simpler Times celebrates these original tunes, especially those by the great Gary Wicks, our bass player. Unlike the majority of contemporary jazz recordings, which are carefully and surgically perfected in postproduction, this album remains raw and fresh. These tracks are complete takes, “live to tape,” without editing. The music on this recording is how Sophisticated Lady plays without the help of digital magic. The quartet rehearsed and performed some of these tracks before our recording but at least half are the first time through; the quartet discussed the tunes and who would take what solo in which order but without rehearsal. I wanted the intensity of raw improvisation. This is possible when superb musicians tackle new material together, listening carefully to each other and playing as a single organism. Some melodies, I played for them on the piano right before our take and the quartet improvised from there. Music cannot get fresher than this."

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Sophisticated Lady Jazz Quartet

A traditional quartet rooted in the sounds, styles and history of jazz, Sophisticated Lady brings a fresh approach to this music. With a mix of original compositions and new interpretations of classic repertoire this quartet has a sound and aesthetic that is both familiar and new. Sophisticated Lady formed when the musicians met during their graduate studies at USC. Fortuitously so, as it led them to embark upon a creative recording session with the arts/audiophile label Yarlung Records at USC’s Brain and Creativity Institute in its new Camilleri Hall. The session was a throwback to yesteryear minimalist recording techniques with the advantages of modern technology and yielded enough repertoire for two upcoming releases (Fall 2014 & 2015).

The members of Sophisticated Lady have shared the stage and studio locally and around the globe with such notable artists as The Manhattan Transfer, New York Voices, Wynton Marsalis, Jane Monheit, Walter Smith, Bobby Sanabria, Dave Liebman, Kenny Wheeler, Stefon Harris, Monica Mancini, Stevie Wonder, Take 6, John Williams, John Hendricks, Bob Mintzer, Regina Carter, Chick Corea, Alan Pasqua, Plas Johnson, Diana Krall, The Coasters, Fitz and The Tantrums, Henry Mancini Big Band and many more!

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Simpler Times vol. II (2013)

Wicks, Bach, Fain

Sophisticated Lady Jazz Quartet

    Author of 11 books including Jazz On Record 1917-76 and Jazz On Film

The Sophisticated Lady Jazz Quartet’s debut recording should be of great interest to fans of forward-looking straight ahead jazz. Each of the four musicians is excellent both as soloists and in ensembles, the music that they perform ranges from melodic versions of standards to lyrical originals and freer explorations, and their subtle playing keeps one guessing. This CD is well worth exploring and I certainly recommend it.

Scott Yanow

    RecordCollectorNews.com

Look out Brubeck, Sophisticated Lady’s remarkable debut should perhaps be re-titled TAKE ONE. Why? Each tune was captured in one take! The 60+ minute CD also celebrates Yarlung’s audiophile venture into JAZZ with a splatter of Chet Baker’s seductive, kicked-back Californication daubed with a drizzle of Miles at his mellowest. No matter how busy your day, an evening spin through this one will definitely move your mood .

David Thomson

    Positive Feedback

One of those very cool involving jazz performances that bring you into the music from the very first note. The only thing this recording is missing are the expensive tickets and the sticky floor. It has become a reference of mine for space, front to back and left to right, and natural timbres.

Robert Levi

    -Billy Mitchell

I like “Sophisticated Lady.” A unique voice. Great improvising. One can hear everything on this recording, all the nuances and textures. I can really listen to this music because they have their own classic style. So much jazz is all the same today. “Sophisticated Lady” is refreshing.

Simpler Times vol. II (2013)

Wicks, Bach, Fain

Sophisticated Lady Jazz Quartet

Mastering Engineer:

Yarlung makes recordings in concert halls, not studios. Our albums capture the sound of our musicians playing in real acoustic spaces. Yarlung recorded this album directly to two tracks of RMGI 468 analog tape running at 15 ips, with no mixer.  We used the Hapi converter and Pyramix software from Merging Technologies in Switzerland to make these transfers to DSD.  

Microphones: AKG C24, C12
Producer: Bob Attiyeh
Recording Engineer: Bob Attiyeh
Recording location: Brain and Creativity Institues Cammelleri Hall, USC, Los Angeles
Recording Type & Bit Rate: Analog to DSD256

This album was recorded to Analog tape. It was then transferred to the DSD bit rate indicated above.

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For albums, lower DSD bit rates (128 and/or 64) are available at no surcharge. This does not apply for DXD selection.
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YAR65006DSD2: Simpler Times vol. II
00:31:32   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
Hello My Name Is
Wicks
00:06:52   Select quality & channels above
2.
Left Coastini
Wicks
00:05:21   Select quality & channels above
3.
For Sebastian
Bach
00:02:55   Select quality & channels above
4.
Flutterby Girl
Wicks
00:08:13   Select quality & channels above
5.
Secret Love
Fain
00:05:08   Select quality & channels above
6.
Sketches of a Melancholy Bass
Wicks
00:03:03   Select quality & channels above

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