TAS Rated 4/5 Music, 3.5/5 Sonics in the October 2019 Issue of The Absolute Sound!
Debut International Release On 180g Vinyl LP! Plated & Pressed At RTI! Mastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering! Soaring Vocal Harmonies!
Cubadisco Award for Cancionistica Category!
With the album Lo Que Dice Mi Cantar, which was nominated in the category of Cancionística and produced by Jim Laurel from the Muxia Music label, the Palabras Trio won a Cubadisco award, the biggest event in Cuban discography.
Emerging in the 19th century, trova is the first expression of popular lyrical art in Cuban song and one of the principal roots of the great Cuban musical tradition. For over a century, trovadores (troubadours) have set poetry to music with extraordinary sensitivity and imagination that continues to amaze with soulful elegance and poetic flight.
LO QUE DICE MI CANTAR (What My Singing Says) is a walk through places and time with some of Trova’s founding legends. From Lorenzo Hierrezuelo’s energetic “Vendedor de Agua” and Pepe Sanchez’s “Tristezas” (the very first Cuban bolero) to the somber “Esta Vez Toco Perder” (popularized by the legendary Maria Teresa Vera), these passionate performances honor the venerable Cuban Trova tradition and speak directly to our modern heart.
The soaring vocal harmonies of Trio Palabras vocalists Vania Martinez and Liane Pérez, with the nuanced yet bold guitar accompaniment of Nubia González along with a wealth of some of Cuba’s finest instrumentalists, combine to sweep us away, and if only for a few moments, provide a brief respite for the soul in this hectic world.
"MUXÍA MUSIC is dedicated to producing culturally significant acoustic music in high definition. We strive to capture music faithfully, with the highest possible fidelity, on location where it lives and breathes. We believe that recording an entire band playing together in a single space is the best way to capture that elusive “vibe” that goes missing from many modern recordings. It is the key factor that gives the most beloved audiophile recordings of the late 1950s and 1960s that visceral sense of realism and coherent sound.
"All the tracks on this album were recorded in single takes. There was no editing, no overdubbing and only minimal post-production. The musicians were all playing at the same time in a studio live room, so the natural balance you hear is what the artists intended. What you hear on the record is very close to what we heard in the studio. So prepare yourself for an involving listening experience, and as you drop the needle on this record, remember the line from Pedro Ibánez’s famous song, “La Trova”: “Listen carefully to What My Singing Says.”— Jim Laurel, Lee Lockwood and Andrew Spindor
Lo Que Dice Mi Cantar was recorded with the finest equipment from Merging Technologies, AEA, Royer Labs, Neumann, Josephson Engineering, Microtek Gefell and Sennheiser.
LO QUE DICE MI CANTAR is packaged in a deluxe gatefold jacket with a beautiful 16-page booklet of lyrics (with English translations), production and historical notes. The 180-gram vinyl was mastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering and pressed at RTI for lifelike sound and pristine surfaces. This is an LP made with love for a most rarified listening experience. Discover a timeless musical form in a startling and full dimensional new way.
THIS RECORDING was tracked at 24bit/192kHz using two mastering-grade HAPI interfaces from Merging Technologies fitted with AD8DP microphone preamplifier/analog-digital converters. We located one HAPI in the live room close to the musicians in order to keep microphone cables as short as possible, thus avoiding the signal loss and potential for interference inherent in patch panels and long studio wiring runs. The resulting 16-track recording was mixed by Andrew Spindor at Railtown Mastering in Vancouver, BC on a Neve 8816, with various outboard components from Maselec, Hendy Amps, Merging, and Bricasti Design. Final digital/analog mastering and lacquer cutting was done by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering in Hollywood, CA.
"Widely known in Cuba for two decades, with frequent appearances on national television and radio shows, Trio Palabras has never been heard outside Cuba and this is their debut international release. This beautifully recorded album was debuting at Munich as Jim Laurel showcased some tracks. I loved the harmonies I heard...The resulting album is simply beautiful music that has spectacular layered harmonies with Latin cadence and flowing melodies. Lo Que Dice Mi Cantar is already making a splash, having just been named as a winner in the 22nd annual Cubadisco festival. This is the most prestigious event in the Cuban music industry and an international showcase of exceptional musical talent and culture.
Muxia's production process has all the bonafides: audiophile recording, mastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering, pressed at RTI on 180-gram vinyl. But Jim pays as much attention to the recording process as he does to his brilliant photography. Muxia's principal recording engineer, Andrew Spindor, uses Merging's Hapi and Horus interfaces and quality microphones from Neumann, Royer, AEA, Gefell and Josephson. PCM is done at 24/192 and the songs you hear on this album are pure. No editing. No overdubs. No Autotune. Three takes were done and Jim and team chose the best one, imperfections and all.
It's far too rare that I write about music but I plan on changing that. I just had to tell you about this remarkable Cuban recording that several of us discovered in Munich. This music has made it into our hands and dazzled our ears. I'm going to keep an eye on this label. I hope you do as well." - Lee Scoggins, Part-Time Audiophile, High End Munich 2019 Read more!
"That the album's sound quality is first-rate will definitely appeal to readers of Enjoy the Music! Since Muxia Music is 'dedicated to producing culturally significant acoustic music in high definition', not only does this album feature some fantastic interpretations of the Trova founders, but as I mentioned, will appeal to audiophiles in a big way... the sound is simply stunningly realistic (as you'd expect from Impex Records). As the company's first original music release, it was recoded in Cuba on high-end digital gear. This is not typical yawner 'tourist music' (bah!), this is authentic Cuban music that has either never been recorded, or only on ancient / historic offerings (read: old / low quality). Do yourself a favor and buy it. The music, and sound quality, is truly inspiring!" - Tom Lyle, www.enjoythemusic.com, July 2019
"Abey Fonn and the entire team at IMPEX Records continue to impress and delight. Though we have only just passed the halfway point for the year 2019, these new vinyl releases entitled Another Time, Another Place from Jennifer Warnes and Lo Que Nice Mi Cantar from Trio Palabras are already strong contenders for my favorite albums of the year. And boy do these recordings really deliver the goods! Dead quiet record surfaces and dynamics to die for, my bet is that these records will probably sound outstanding on any system (regardless of system investment). These are unquestionably demo quality recordings but they both have much much more to offer! Of course, none of this extraordinary sound matters if the performance and music cannot reach deep down into your soul and make an emotional connection. IMHO, these recordings easily deliver on this too and will provide a very satisfying if not extremely rewarding experience. IMPEX has clearly added two more triumphs to their extensive music portfolio and legacy.
Recorded in Cuba at the Studio Eusebio Delfin in Cienfuegos, this is the first release for Trio Palabras outside of Cuba and includes some of the countries finest musicians. Though this is a 24-bit/192kHz recording, you would never know it by the sound on vinyl. The sound stage extends deep and wide along with a fleshed out harmonic density and bloom that typically you might lust for on analog only. Vocals by Vania Martinez and Liane Pérez will have you swooning. The rhythm section includes Mey Lin Chaviano on bass and Alexis Arce on percussion along with Axel Year on cajon and clave. They lay down the basic foundation and drive the music forward but it is the guitarists that really shine for me. This includes Nubia González on classical guitar, Maykel Elizarde on Cuban tres guitar and cabaquiño, Teresa Wong on laúd, and Rachid López on classical guitar. Yes, this is a fairly large group but they are clearly delineated across the sound stage and the tone and timbre of each specific instrument comes through loud and strong. As the word has spread within the inner circle of my local audio friends, this is now one of the first recordings that they want to hear when coming by for a listen. Very highly recommended!" - Robert S. Youman, Posi+ive Feedback, July 2019 Read more!
"This is a captivating album that transports the listener to another time and place. Indeed, there is an old-world charm to this homage to the legendary Cuban singer Maria Teresa Vera. Trio Palabaras... brings sentimentality and a gentle passion to these lilting songs, sung sweetly in Spanish and performed in the 19th-century troubadour tradition of the Cuban trova... Muxia Music's commitment to audiophile sound is evident in this project, which was two years in the making. The record was produced by Muxia founder Jim Laurel with a team that included Juno-nominated engineer Andrew Spindor and production manager Abey Fonn of Impex Records, and the vinyl was pressed at RTI in Camarillon, CA; sonics are simply stunning." Greg Cahill, The Absolute Sound, October 2019
Features: • Mastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering • 180g Vinyl LP • Plated & Pressed at RTI • Deluxe Gatefold jacket • Beautiful 15-page booklet of lyrics (English translations) • Music sung in Spanish • Debut international release