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Garett Brennan / Little Cottonwood / Three Pin Records

Links to listen and purchase: https://bluecoastmusic.com/garett-brennan/little-cottonwood   Album Title:  Little Cottonwood Artist:  Garett Brennan Label:  Three Pin Records
Provenance: Recorded to analog 2" tape, mixed via analog console to DSD64.
  Cut live at 8500 ft in a log cabin, at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon in the Wasatch Rockies. This record is 100% Acoustic. No headphones. No overdubs. Only mics.
  Little Cottonwood is an aural collection of short stories. This is your Sunday morning record.
  Shortly after Telluride Bluegrass Festival selected Brennan as first alternate in their 2005 songwriting competition, he headed to Alta, Utah to cut "Little Cottonwood," and released it nationally that fall in a grassroots partnership with Berkeley-based Clif Bar. The record was produced by Cookie Marenco and features Ted Presberg on guitar and Will Amend on whistle duo. Original illustrations by Eben Dickinson.   https://bluecoastmusic.com/garett-brennan/little-cottonwood

Special Event 11 / City Folk / Blue Coast Records

Links to listen and purchase: https://bluecoastmusic.com/keith-greeninger-city-folk/special-event-11   Album Title:  Special Event 11 Artist:  City Folk Label:  Blue Coast Records
Provenance: Recorded to analog 2" tape, mixed via analog console to DSD64.
Blue Coast Special Event 11 includes both laid back and upbeat folk tunes with hopeful motifs and pensive themes. The collaboration between Keith Greeninger and City Folk blossoms into sweet vocal harmonies balanced by bright acoustic tones. Keith’s rich vocals blend perfectly with the twangy string instruments. Producer and Engineer Cookie Marenco has captured the moment by creating and expertly capturing the live performance with her Extended Sound Environment (E.S.E.) technique that is most suitable for high resolution audio playback.

Noren Schmitt / A New Beginning / Noren Schmitt

Links to listen and purchase: https://bluecoastmusic.com/noren-schmitt/a-new-beginning   Album Title:  A New Beginning Artist:  Noren Schmitt Label:  Noren Schmitt
Provenance: Recorded in 44kHz PCM and mastered from STEMs through analog console to DSD256 at Blue Coast Studios
a new beginning - reflects Noren's desire to share his joy of music, bring together different musical cultures, and create new soundscapes

WomanChild / Cécile McLorin Salvant / Mack Avenue Records

Links to listen and purchase: https://bluecoastmusic.com/cécile-mclorin-salvant/womanchild   Album Title:  WomanChild Artist:  Cécile McLorin Salvant Label:  Mack Avenue Records
Provenance: Recorded and Mixed in 96kHz, 24-bit PCM
McLorin Salvant followed a different path from her peers. Born in Miami to a French mother and Haitian father, McLorin Salvant’s first language was French. She immersed herself in the classical music tradition, long before she turned to jazz—starting on piano at age five and joining the Miami Choral Society at age eight. When it came time for college, McLorin Salvant bypassed all the US conservatories and jazz schools, heading instead to Aix-en-Provence in France, where she continued to develop as a singer, but with an emphasis on classical and baroque vocal music as well as jazz.  

Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5 / San Francisco Symphony / SFS Media

Links to listen and purchase: https://bluecoastmusic.com/san-francisco-symphony/tchaikovsky-5   Album Title:  Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5
Artist:  San Francisco Symphony
Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas Label:  SFS Media
Provenance: Recorded and Mixed in 192kHz, 24-bit WAV PCM
  Tchaikovsky wrote his Fifth Symphony in just four months during the spring and summer of 1888. The emotional background to this piece involves resignation to fate, designs of providence, murmurs of doubt, and similar dark thoughts. The movements are unified through common reference to a “motto theme” announced by somber clarinets at the outset. “If Beethoven’s Fifth is Fate knocking at the door,” wrote a commentator when the piece was new, “Tchaikovsky’s Fifth is Fate trying to get out.” And yet, not everything is forlorn. Shafts of sunlight cut through the shadows by way of orchestration of illuminating brightness, rhythmic vivacity and variety, hopeful secondary melodies, and passages of balletic grace.
  Tchaikovsky dedicated his Romeo and Juliet, Fantasy-Overture, to Mily Balakirev, a mover and shaker of Russian musical politics. Tchaikovsky followed many of Balakirev’s suggestions, and it must have been a blow to both of them when the piece proved a failure at its 1870 premiere. He revised it considerably until it reached its final form in 1880. Chanting that originally opened the work was replaced by music of an antique sound. Tchaikovsky also deleted a fugue, and added a dire, unforgiving coda to depict the play’s tragic ending. After more than a decade’s work, Romeo and Juliet reached masterpiece status, an achievement that was recognized in 1884 when it won the 500-ruble Glinka Award, the first of many prizes that would come Tchaikovsky’s way.
  —excerpt from liner notes by James M. Keller   https://bluecoastmusic.com/san-francisco-symphony/tchaikovsky-5

For One To Love / Cécile McLorin Salvant / Mack Avenue Records

Links to listen and purchase: https://bluecoastmusic.com/cécile-mclorin-salvant/for-one-to-love   Album Title:  For One To Love
Artist:  Cécile McLorin Salvant Label:  Mack Avenue Records
Provenance: Recorded and Mixed in 96kHz, 24-bit PCM
Awards: Grammy - Best Jazz Vocal Album 2016   When Cécile McLorin Salvant arrived at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC to compete in the finals of the 2010 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, she was not only the youngest finalist, but also a mystery woman with the most unusual background of any of the participants. When she walked away with first place in the jazz world's most prestigious contest, the buzz began almost immediately. The New York Times now calls her "the finest jazz singer to emerge in the last decade."   https://bluecoastmusic.com/cécile-mclorin-salvant/for-one-to-love

Special Event 21 - The NPR Sessions / Keith Greeninger / Blue Coast Records

Links to listen and purchase: https://bluecoastmusic.com/keith-greeninger-chris-kee-brain/special-event-21-the-npr-sessions   Album Title:  Special Event 21 - The NPR Sessions
Artist:  Keith Greeninger, Chris Kee, Brain Label:  Blue Coast Records
Provenance: Recorded to 2" Tape and DSD64, and mixed through analog console to DSD128. Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by
Cookie Marenco   We invited some special guests to be present for my (Cookie Marenco's) NPR Interview (link is external). Along with Laura Sydell & Cindy Carpien of NPR the sessions were attended by Andreas Koch of Playback Designs as well as the musicians; Keith Greeninger on Guitar, Mandola & Voice; Chris Kee on Bass and Brain on Drums. Special thanks to our Blue Coast Crew -- Patrick O'Connor, Tim Jones and Albert Llaguno, -- Scott Thompson for his BBQ skills and to Harold and Eric Fethe for their ability to add humor and attentive listening to the session. Another day of magic at the studio.
-Cookie Marenco   https://bluecoastmusic.com/keith-greeninger-chris-kee-brain/special-event-21-the-npr-sessions

Creation / Emily Palen / Valence Records

Links to listen and purchase: https://bluecoastmusic.com/emily-palen/creation   Album Title:  Creation  Artist:  Emily Palen Label:  Valence Records Producer:  Cookie Marenco & Gregory James Provenance:   Recorded to DSD64 and mixed through analog console to DSD64. Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Cookie Marenco at Blue Coast Studios.

Violinist, pianist, singer and composer, Emily Palen ventures into a new ground focussing on eerie melodies and experimenting with her violin to create a one of a kind solo violin album. Interleaving her musical knowledge and her raw musical passion, Emily has created a uniquely original sound. Building on her own experiences within avant-garde, rock, jazz, and experimental music, Emily Palen's Creation album is a cohesive collection of original songs that provide a transcendental experience for the listener   https://bluecoastmusic.com/emily-palen/creation

While She Sleeps / Art Lande / Blue Coast Records

Links to listen and purchase: https://bluecoastmusic.com/art-lande/while-she-sleeps   Album Title:  While She Sleeps Artist:  Art Lande Label:  Blue Coast Records
Provenance: Recorded to 2" Analog Tape, and mixed to 1/2" Tape and DSD64 for SACD and CD releases.   Blue Coast Records and Grammy-Nominated jazz pianist, Art Lande have teamed up to release this extraordinary collection of classic songs and original pieces. The quiet, subtle nature of the recording is a masterful example of key control and pedaling of which every pianist will want to take note. Performed on an 1885 Steinway, without the use of studio processing, While She Sleeps is a glimpse into a true musical performance. The sound is clear and immediate. A must have for any audio file.   Art Lande has released a litany of amazing music with both ECM and Windham Hill; and performed with artists such as Charlie Haden, Woody Shaw, Jan Garbarek, Paul McCandless, Joe Henderson and Nguyèn Lè.   "This is truly a piano recording for piano lovers; I'm sure it's going to get plenty of playing at CES and other audio shows. Even the standard CD layer sonics are exemplary."   —John Sunier, Audiophile Audition   https://bluecoastmusic.com/art-lande/while-she-sleeps

So Many Stars / John Moriarty Trio featuring Bonet / John Moriarty Productions

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Album Title:  So Many Stars Artist:   John Moriarty Trio featuring Bonet Label:  John Moriarty Productions
Provenance: The album was originally recorded to 2" tape and has been remixed through analog console to DSD128.
  Prepare to be amazed in listening to this recording of the John Moriarty Trio. "So Many Stars", featuring Bonet Moriarty, is likely one of the most spectacularly dynamic vocal recordings you will ever hear. Reminiscent of a Whitney Houston or Eva Cassidy, Bonet's soaring vocals were recorded live with only one or two takes. 'My Funny Valentine” and “The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face’ will penetrate your heart and soul! John Moriarty (piano) and Jim Kerwin (bass) fill out the trio with their fine performances.
  "This album was recorded almost 20 years ago and it is just as fresh today. Bonet's dynamics and vocal control show an artist at the top of her game." -- Cookie Marenco, engineer

American Mavericks / San Francisco Symphony / SFS Media

Links to listen and purchase: https://bluecoastmusic.com/san-francisco-symphony/american-mavericks   Album Title:  American Mavericks Artist:  San Francisco Symphony 
Conductor: Michael Tilson Thomas
Label:  SFS Media
Producer:  Jack Vad Provenance: Recorded and Mixed to 96kHz, 24-bit WAV PCM. The 9624 WAV files (9624 is our shorthand for 96kHz, 24-bit encoding) are the original digital file generation received from the artist or label. The DSD and FLAC files are considered second generation and made from conversions using our Blue Coast conversion methods. DSF and FLAC will offer the convenience of metadata that the WAV files will not.   A central citizen of musical modernism, Henry Cowell drew musical influences from throughout the world and taught a legion of imaginative followers. When he was 16 he unveiled a piano piece that employed a device for which he is widely remembered: the tone cluster, in which adjacent notes are bundled into a self-standing sonority. In Cowell’s scores, these cloudy clusters often move from one to another much as notes in any melody would. We hear them in the billowing close-harmony of Synchrony, written in 1930 as a multimedia music-dance-and-lighting spectacular for Martha Graham (who, in the end, failed to complete her choreography). Cowell’s coeval Piano Concerto, doled out over two concerts in 1930, is also riddled with tone clusters; its middle movement even takes its title from them. Although their characteristic haze is a fingerprint of Cowell’s style, they are not all that these pieces are about. In the concerto, they are just one element the composer binds into an imposing sonic edifice rooted in the virtuosic piano concertos of the preceding century.
Lou Harrison was inspired by Cowell even before becoming his pupil in 1935. His Concerto for Organ with Percussion Orchestra owes its orchestration to the simultaneous arrival of separate requests for new pieces—one for organ, one for percussion ensemble. Harrison’s distinctive sound, derived from Asian percussion styles and exotic scales, here grows positively dazzling in both instrumental color and, at places, volume. Few works in his fertile output surpass this concerto in exhilarating melodies (with telling use of Cowell style clusters) and scintillating rhythms.
Cowell and Harrison were both prolific composers. Not so Edgard Varèse, but his 14 extant compositions include undisputed monuments of modernism. Amériques occupied him on and off for decades, and getting it performed proved an enduring frustration—not really a surprise for an immensely complicated work requiring 125 players. Notwithstanding the images suggested by its wailing sirens and tempestuous intensity, Varèse insisted that Amériques was “a piece of absolute music, completely unrelated to the noises of modern life” and “the impression of a stranger who asks himself about the extraordinary possibilities of our civilization.”
—excerpt from liner notes by James M. Keller

Space, Time, Continuum / Aaron Diehl / Mack Avenue

Links to listen and purchase: https://bluecoastmusic.com/aaron-diehl/space-time-continuum   Album Title:  Space, Time, Continuum Artist:  Aaron Diehl Label:  Mack Avenue Records Producer:  Albert Pryor Provenance: Recorded and Mixed to 96kHz, 24-bit WAV PCM. The 9624 WAV files (9624 is our shorthand for 96kHz, 24-bit encoding) are the original digital file generation received from the artist or label. The DSD and FLAC files are considered second generation and made from conversions using our Blue Coast conversion methods.    Aaron Deihl outdoes himself on the follow up to his critically acclaimed 2012 Mack Avenue debut, The Bespoke Man’s Narrative. The twenty nine year old pianist-composer works to expand his repertoire with the 2015 release Space, Time, Continuum. The album is a nod to classical jazz while working within contemporary styles.   https://bluecoastmusic.com/aaron-diehl/space-time-continuum

The Nature of Things / The Flying Salvias / Polywana Records

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Album Title: The Nature of Things Artist:  The Flying Salvias Label:  Polywana Records
Provenance: Recorded DSD256 and Mixed through analog console to DSD256. All conversions were made from the DSD256 original source mixes. Recorded, Mixed, and Mastered by Cookie Marenco at Blue Coast Studios

A collection of acoustic, original music. Americana songwriting to dance around the house with or sit on the sofa and cry. Kathleen’s vocals move easily from playful to plaintive, with a haunting, romantic tone; Henry’s piano and accordion are right there with her, supplying his own signature lyrical unpredictability; an all star band completes the picture. Old-timey, hip, latin grooves by way of New Orleans.

Special Event 38 / Paul Hanson / Blue Coast Records

Links to listen and purchase: https://bluecoastmusic.com/paul-hanson/special-event-38   Album Title:  Special Event 38
Artist:  Paul Hanson Label:  Blue Coast Records
Provenance: Recorded to DSD64 and mixed through analog console to DSD256. Recorded, Mixed, and Mastered by Cookie Marenco at Blue Coast Studios.   Solo bassoon and bassoon looping recorded live in the studio. From his roots as an award-winning classical bassoonist and jazz saxophonist- Paul has sought to expand the lexicon of the bassoon while creating a unique musical voice. As a jazz/fusion bassoonist: Paul has recorded and/or performed with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Wayne Shorter, Peter Erskine, with 6-string bassist in the group OoN, Billy Childs, Harmonica virtuoso Gregorie Maret, Billy Higgins, David Binney, Ray Charles, Charlie Hunter, Patrice Rushen, Alex Acuna, Dennis Chambers, Abraham Laboriel, Medeski Martin & Wood, Bob Weirʼs RATDOG, T. Lavitz from Dixie Dregs, Jeff Coffin, Jeff Sipe, Jonas Hellborg, Afro/Cuban pianist Omar Sosa, Bob Moses, Kai Eckhardt, Peter Apfelbaum and the Hieroglyphics Ensemble, The Paul Dresher Ensemble, DAVKA, St. Joseph Ballet Company, The Klezmorim, as jazz soloist with the Oakland Eastbay Symphony Orchestra, as classical soloist with the Napa Symphony Orchestra (non-improvising) and many more.   https://bluecoastmusic.com/paul-hanson/special-event-38

Let's Get Lost / Cyrille Aimée / Mack Avenue Records

Links to listen and purchase: https://bluecoastmusic.com/cyrille-aimee/lets-get-lost   Album Title:  Let's Get Lost  Artist:  Cyrille Aimée Label:  Mack Avenue Records Producer:  Fab Dupont Provenance:   Recorded and Mixed to 88kHz, 24-bit WAV PCM. The 8824 WAV files (8824 is our shorthand for 88kHz, 24-bit encoding) are the original digital file generation received from the artist or label. The DSD and FLAC files are considered second generation and made from conversions using our Blue Coast conversion methods. DSF and FLAC will offer the convenience of metadata that the WAV files may not.

In her second Mack Avenue Records recording, the groove-spirited Let’s Get Lost, rising-star vocalist and bandleader Cyrille Aimée wonderfully displays her versatility as a sweet-sounding jazz songbird with a catchy repertoire—from new takes on old-time standards to crowd-pleasing originals and even a hip singer-songwriter tune that closes the 12-song collection.

West Side Story / San Francisco Symphony / SFS Media

Links to listen and purchase: https://bluecoastmusic.com/san-francisco-symphony/west-side-story   Album Title:  West Side Story Artist:  San Francisco Symphony
Conductor: Michael Tilson Thomas Label:  SFS Media Producer:  Jack Vad Provenance:   West Side Story was originally recorded to 9624 PCM. The 9624 WAV files are the original digital file generation sent to us. The DSD and FLAC files are considered second generation and made from conversions using our Blue Coast conversion methods. DSF and FLAC will offer the convenience of metadata that the WAV files may not.
  From a strictly musical point of view, West Side Story displays greater integration of material than had previously characterized works destined for Broadway. It might be an exaggeration to claim that the whole score is predicated on the interval of the tritone—the augmented fourth (it can also be “spelled” as a diminished fifth)—but as overstatements go, it would not be severe. The two notes of this interval may overlap but they nonetheless define distinct harmonic realms—a musical reflection, one might say, of Tony and Maria. Its harmonic instability notwithstanding, the frequent recurrence of this interval helps unify this wide-ranging score. The first two notes of “Maria” have served decades of ear-training students as a mnemonic device for the tritone, but by the time that song is first heard, in Scene Four, the interval has already been established as the work’s foundational sound. We hear it practically at the outset, in the louche phrase that accompanies the entrance of the finger-snapping Jets, then again in the solo-trombone gesture at the moment when Bernardo (of the rival Sharks) crosses their path, in the first two notes of “Cool,” in the melodic contours of “Something’s Coming”… ears attuned to the tritone will hear it over and over in West Side Story.
  Rhythmic syncopation and metric dissonance are also elemental to the score. “When You’re a Jet,” for example, is composed almost throughout in 6/8 meter, and the bass line dutifully emphasizes the first and fourth beats of each measure. Bernstein, however, writes a melody (sung by Riff) that stresses the first, third, and fifth beat of the measure, yielding a constant syncopation in which two-pulses-per-measure exists in nervous conflict with three-pulses-per-measure. “America,” sung by Anita and her friends, is also famous for its mixed meters, here worked out sequentially rather than simultaneously. It, too, maintains a meter marking of 6/8, but Bernstein alternates measures of two pulses with measures of three pulses, achieving a buoyant sense of energy and propulsion.
  —excerpt from liner notes by James M. Keller


Jenna Mammina & John R. Burr / Moonlight Ladies / Blue Coast Records

Links to listen and purchase: https://bluecoastmusic.com/jenna-mammina/moonlight-ladies   Album Title:  Moonlight Ladies Artist:  Jenna Mammina & John R. Burr Label:  Blue Coast Records Producer:  Cookie Marenco Provenance:   Recorded in DSD256 and mixed through analog console to DSD256.
Currently #2 in our Top Ten List!  Jenna Mammina and John R. Burr collaborate on another fabulous set of classic (mostly James Taylor) songs.


Haiku / Jenny Maybee & Nick Phillips / Nick Phillips Music

Links to listen and purchase: https://bluecoastmusic.com/maybee-phillips/haiku   Album Title:  Haiku Artist:  Jenny Maybee & Nick Phillips Label:  Nick Phillips Music Producers:  Jenny Maybee & Nick Phillips Provenance:   Recorded to DSD256, mixed through analog console to DSD256.
  Haiku—the premiere recording collaboration between multifaceted pianist/vocalist/songwriter/arranger Jenny Maybee and veteran jazz record producer/trumpet player/songwriter/arranger Nick Phillips—is a mesmerizing mix of vocal and instrumental jazz recordings in which refreshingly original compositions and imaginative arrangements of standards are brought to life with inspired, risk-taking, live-in-the-studio performances.
  The Maybee/Phillips musical partnership began with a chance meeting at the 2014 West Coast Songwriter’s conference. They discovered a shared love for music arising from a place of stillness conveying frequencies of appreciation and awe. Focusing their shared musical exploration on creating an environment for relaxed improvisation, the duo organically developed original compositions and reimagined favorite standards for the pure joy of making music together.
  Opportunity knocked when Cookie Marenco—an esteemed, audiophile engineer/producer with several GRAMMY® nominated recordings to her credit—approached Phillips about recording his next project at her legendary OTR Studios. Marenco’s proprietary Extended Sound Environment (E.S.E.) recording technique and state-of-the-art, ultra-high-resolution audio technology—Quad-rate DSD, aka DSD256, which records at a sampling frequency that’s 256 times that of a CD—captures Maybee and Phillips’ stirring and nuanced performances in a breath-taking sonic landscape that is at once warm and intimate, yet detailed and spacious.
  While the recording technology is leading edge, the approach was decidedly “old school”: Three musicians—Jenny Maybee (piano, vocals), Nick Phillips (trumpet), and Paul Eastburn (acoustic bass)—together in the studio for an afternoon. No headphones, no isolation between musicians, no overdubs, no Auto-Tune. Just real, responsive, in-the-moment jazz in complete, unedited takes.
  Although record producer Phillips is no stranger to working with jazz vocalists—having been at the helm of acclaimed jazz vocal projects including GRAMMY®-nominated albums by Karrin Allyson and Nnenna Freelon—Haiku marks his first album collaboration with a vocalist as a co-leader and recording artist. And while pianist Maybee has long been a fixture in envelope-pushing improvisation ensembles in the San Francisco Bay Area, Haiku marks the multi-talented artist’s long-overdue recording debut as a jazz vocalist.


Modern Lore / Julian Lage / Mack Avenue

Links to listen and purchase: https://bluecoastmusic.com/julian-lage/modern-lore   Album Title:  Modern Lore Artist:  Julian Lage Label:  Mack Avenue Producer:  Jessie Harris
Modern Lore finds Lage playfully flipping the script he followed on his acclaimed 2016 Mack Avenue debut, Arclight. That album — produced, like Modern Lore, by Lage’s friend and collaborator, the singer-songwriter Jesse Harris — was his first trio set on electric guitar and found Lage inspired by the sounds and the attitude of the freewheeling, pre-bebop jazz era, when, as he puts it, “country music and jazz and swing were in this weird wild-west period.” This time he incorporates the sensibility, if not the outright sound, of early rock and roll, a similarly hybrid form driven by rhythm, personality and a passion for the electric guitar.

Appassionata (Beethoven Sonates) / Edna Stern / Luna

Links to listen and purchase: https://bluecoastmusic.com/edna-stern/appassionata   Album Title:  Appassionata Artist:  Edna Stern Label:  Luna Provenance:  Recorded and Mixed to 88kHz, 24-bit WAV PCM. The 8824 WAV files (8824 is our shorthand for 88kHz, 24-bit encoding) are the original digital file generation received from the artist or label. 
“Edna Stern belongs to an age group where the audacity of youth establishes itself in a maturity, which does not yet pretend the wisdom of old-age. The result is a reading of Beethoven’s masterpieces which is both daring and authoritative, on a piano which is played not with one’s fingers but with one’s ears... Like the composer, the interpreter makes a strong point of cultivating subjectivity... Summing it all, a Beethoven authentically universal.” - Le Monde, December 2014