Groove Note Records is proud to announce the release of Vanessa Fernandez's album Use Me. This album of audiophile quality (***) covers of soul and R&B classics from the '70s and '80s was done in an "unplugged" style with acoustic instruments and arrangements used on all of the tracks. Vocals are tremendously dynamic (no compression or limiting used), with superb presence and detail for all other instruments including the drum set. Resolution is of the highest order and this is an SACD that rewards for both musical performance and outstanding audio quality.
"...the all-analog pedigree is evident. The sound is smooth, dynamic and big, with massive weight and presence. I listened first to the SACD, thinking that it would be hard to improve upon, but the RTI-pressed 45rpm LPs offered even greater resolution and naturalness, neither to the detriment of everything the SACD does so well. Use Me is demo material in either format, but if your analog rig is up to digging everything out of the groove, you won't hear a better-sounding record this year or next." - Marc Mickelson, The Audio Beat, 4/5 Music, 5/5 Sound!
The reviews keep pouring in from the double 180g 45rpm vinyl pressing of "Use Me": "Tasty as is the back up band and are the outstanding acoustic arrangements, Ms. Fernandez steals the show with a voice that is as unlikely as her cover photo would have you thinking "funky black chick"...While the cover shot makes her look somewhat academic and perhaps reserved, trust me, there's no governor on her voice or the rawness of the emotions she pours forth. When appropriate she dials it down to a simmer as on a great cover of Al Kooper's BS&T classic "More Than You'll Ever Know". She even covers the somewhat obscure John Deacon- Freddie Mercury track "Cool Cat" from Queen's Hot Space album...Ms. Fernandez's performance on this slow simmer will have to convince you that she's the real deal...Sometimes these "audiophile" productions meet your sonic expectations but disappoint in other ways. In this case, Ms. Fernandez does not disappoint. " -Michael Fremer, analogplanet.com, Music 10/11, Sound 11/11 "Fernandez explodes on the scene with a captivating set of performances covering everything from Barry White to Curtis Mayfield to Al Kooper. Sounding more like she hails from Nashville or Detroit than Singapore, Fernandez easily escapes the 'female vocalist' genre - that dreaded music played at shows to make an audio system sound sweet without disclosing its weaknesses."
"Recorded with a crack group of Los Angeles studio musicians at Oceanway Recording, Use Me combines a truly outstanding set of performances with some of the best sound you could hope for. Recorded analogue to 30 ips 1/4 inch tape and mastered by Bernie Grundman, Al Green's "Simply Beautiful" as sung by Fernandez creates the illusion of having the master tape at home. Jaw-dropping sound." - HiFi+, 10/10 Recording, 10/10 Music
"What a refreshing breath of R&B air; to hear a Singaporean singer cover Curtis Mayfield & Marvin Gaye. What a wonderful change from the usual jazz singers covering the American Songbooks... The sound quality of this album is truly reference quality ...a must purchase!" - Philip O'Hanlon, www.thehighnote.com
"The recording is exemplary high resolution with excellent instrumental detail. Fernandez’s voice is vibrant and not overwhelmed by low-compression. This is an auspicious debut!" - Robbie Gerson, www.audaud.com
"Think Aretha Franklin mixed with Amy Winehouse and you get Vanessa Fernandez! Her strong, soulful voice is deeply rooted in R&B but is equally versatile in pop, alternative or electronic music." - www.19sixtyfive.com.sg
The album introduces and throws the spotlight on the fantastic voice of Singaporean vocalist Vanessa Fernandez. The song selection includes tunes by Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes, Earth Wind & Fire, Bill Withers, Al Green and others. Top musicians playing on the album include the great bassist Lee Sklar (Phil Collins, Rita Coolidge, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, Lyle Lovett), acoustic guitars Tim Pierce (Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Roger Waters, Tina Turner, Eric Clapton), electric piano Jim Cox (Willie Nelson, BB King, Aaron Neville, Ringo Starr, Lyle Lovett), drums Victor Indrizzo (Macy Grey, Marianne Faithfull, Meatloaf, Emmylou Harris), percussion Rafael Padillo (Julio Iglesias, Celine Dion, Pavarotti, Gloria Estefan), and harmonica Stanley Behrens (Willie Dixon, Canned Heat, Ruth Brown).
This is a great group of top LA musicians backing superlative performances by a great new singer!!!
There are many records and labels who declare themselves to be of "audiophile quality". Groove Note records all of our albums at the best studios in Hollywood (Oceanway, Record One, Cello, Sunset Sound) using a top Grammy nominated recording engineer, Michael C. Ross. All of our albums are recorded 100% analogue and the production masters are also mixed by 100% analogue by MC Ross.
Features: • Dual layer Hybrid SACD/CD
Musicians: Vanessa Fernandez, vocals Leeland Sklar, bass Tim Pierce, acoustic guitar Jim Cox, electric piano Victor Indrizzo, drums Rafael Padillo, percussion Stanley Behrens, harmonica
1. I Just Wanna Be With You (from Earth Wind & Fire LP Raise 1981)
2. Be Thankful For What You Got (from William de Vaughan LP Be Thankful For What You Got 1972)
3. Distant Lover (from Marvin Gaye LP Lets Get It On 1973)
4. Hard Times (from Curtis Mayfield LP There's No Place Like America Today 1975)
5. That Loving Feeling (from Isaac Hayes LP Ike's Mood 1970)
6. Simply Beautiful (from Al Green LP I'm Still In Love With You 1972)
7. Use Me (from Bill Withers LP Still Bill 1972)
8. I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know (from Donny Hathaway LP Extension of a Man 1973)
9. Cool Cat (from Queen LP Hot Space 1982)
10. Here But I'm Gone (from Curtis Mayfield LP New World order 1997)