Albums of the Year 2019: The Winners! Dec 19 by Ray Egger in DSD Fun Facts, Music Reviews, News

We are excited to announce the NativeDSD Albums of the Year 2019.
These are in our opinion the 9 most incredible DSD Albums out of the 250+ DSD Releases in 2019.

Sorted by category/genre, you will find the winning DSD Albums listed below:

  • Classical Orchestral
  • Jazz
  • Spiritual/Christmas
  • Classical Chamber
  • Classical Vocal
  • Pop/Rock/Soul
  • Classical Solo
  • World
  • Vocal

And that’s not all. You, the DSD music listeners, will decide which of these 9 winners will win the prestigious “Audience Award” DSD Album of the Year 2019.

Here are the 9 DSD Albums of the Year 2019


Winner: Classical Orchestral

“Ivan Fischer’s traversal of the Mahler Symphonies with the Budapest Festival Orchestra has been remarkably successful, and this recording erases any doubt that the 7th is totally Mahlerian in it’s power and it’s surprises. Cowbells, quotes from Mozart, a joyful climax– perhaps Gustav is having us on at times. But the result can be just amazing as his other symphonies, perhaps even more amazing as performed by Fischer and the BFO. By the way, this has eclipsed my previous favorite recording, the famous one by Abbado and the Chicago Symphony. Spectacular in every way!”
— Bill Dodd, NativeDSD Senior Reviewer

Mahler Symphony no. 7

Budapest Festival Orchestra

Label: Channel Classics
Quality: DSD 64, DXD, 128, 256
Channels: Multi, Stereo


Winner: Jazz

“In 2017, the Yuko Mabuchi Trio featuring Yuko Mabuchi on piano, Del Atkins on bass and Bobby Breton on drums released their first album on Yarlung.  Recorded in Stereo and Multichannel DSD 256, the self-titled debut hit the #1 DSD Best Seller spot at NativeDSD and has been one of Native’s best selling Jazz releases ever since.

This year, the trio returned with a special guest – trumpeter JJ Kirkpatrick – to bring NativeDSD listeners a tribute to the music of Miles Davis.  The album features 5 tracks composed by Miles Davis plus 3 tributes to Davis penned by Yuko Mabuchi. 

Whether you are listening in DSD Stereo (up to DSD 512) or DSD Multichannel (up to DSD 256), the music, performed live in concert, in a treat for any Jazz fan.  Wonderful moments abound here from the trio and trumpeter Kirkpatrick seems right at home as well.  What can I say?  Yuko Mabuchi and her trio plus one have done it again.”
— Brian Moura, NativeDSD Technical Advisor

Yuko Mabuchi Plays Miles Davis

Yuko Mabuchi, JJ Kirkpatrick, Del Atkins, Bobby Breton

Label: Yarlung Records
Quality: DSD 64, 128, 256, 512
Channels: Stereo, Multi

Winner: Spiritual/Christmas

“On Lifeline, Yarlung producer Bob Attiyeh and special advisor Billy Mitchell wanted to bring the spiritual music of the civil war era to music fans.  Yarlung tells us that the album features songs that include hidden messages about maps, navigational strategies and timing for slaves to escape toward freedom in the Northern States and Canada.

To do bring listeners the full passion and impact of these songs, you need special artists.  With the Lifeline Quartet led by Michelle Mayne-Graves, Yarlung has found such a group of talented, soulful and passionate performers.  Once you hear their renditions of songs like Wade In The Water, this album will be heading to your collection in Stereo DSD (up to DSD 512) and Multichannel DSD (up to DSD 256).  It’s compelling music with stellar sound quality to match.  A true highlight from this year’s NativeDSD releases.”
— Brian Moura, NativeDSD Technical Advisor

Lifeline: Music of the Underground Railroad

Lifeline Quartet, Michelle Mayne-Graves, Quinton Fitzgerald, Walter Penniman II, Michael Fitzgerald

Label: Yarlung Records
Quality: DSD 128, 256, 512, 64
Channels: Stereo, Multi


Winner: Classical Chamber

“There’s so much to like, even the cover of the digital booklet– a painting by Turner! This Divertimento in E flat major for Violin, Viola, and Cello is remarkable for so many reasons. It’s Mozart’s only work for Trio. It is a work of symphonic proportions. Trio Taus performs it with love, bringing out the way it anticipates the future while utilizing the polyphony of Bach and before. Yes, it’s deceptively simple, yet remarkably sophisticated. 2L’s recording is perfect. Even if Mozart is not your normal cup of tea, you must hear this!”
— Bill Dodd, NativeDSD Senior Reviewer

Mozart – Divertimento KV 568


Label: 2L
Quality: DSD 64, DXD, 128, 256, 512
Channels: Stereo, Multi


Winner: Classical Vocal

“Contemporary choral music composed by composers who are all not only alive, but surprisingly young? Contemporary music which is not only rich in melody, but deceptively simple? This is a superb album by Nidarosdomens Jentekor girls choir, the Trondheim Solistene Chamber Orchestra, and vocal and instrumental soloists all under the direction of Anita Brevik. My reaction to this music is the same I felt the very first time I heard Maurice Durufle’s magnicent Requiem more than 50 years ago. Listening to the Magnicat by Kim Andre Arnesen, Musica Celestis by Aaron Jay Kernis, and Tundra and Song of the Universal by Ola Gjelio with the mixture of girls choir and adult sopranos is totally uplifting. 2L’s recording is magnificent.”
— Bill Dodd, NativeDSD Senior Reviewer


Nidarosdomens jentekor, TrondheimSolistene

Label: 2L
Quality: DSD 64, 128, DXD, 256
Channels: Stereo, Multi


Winner: Pop / Rock

“Groove Note Records has quickly become a listener favorite at NativeDSD with their outstanding Jazz, Vocal, Blues, Soul and Pop recordings.  In 2019, Groove Note released I Want You by Vanessa Fernandez.  This is an Analog recording transferred to Stereo DSD (up to DSD 512) with an all-star band of studio musicians that includes a “dream band” with guitarist and arranger Tim Pierce, former Michael Jackson bassist Alex Al, current Jimmy Kimmel Show Band keyboardist Jeff Babko, top L.A.-based horn player Ricky Woodard as well as returning musicians from her album When The Levee Breaks (Music of Led Zeppelin)

Music on the album covers a fine selection of Soul and Pop classics originally performed by Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Gloria Gaynor, Amy Winehouse, and Hall & Oates.  As with her two earlier albums – Use Me and When The Levee Breaks – each track features the supreme musicianship of the band plus Fernandez’ stellar vocal performances.  It is a real musical tour de force with sound quality to match from producer Ying Tan and co-producer and recording engineer Michael C. Ross. 

It’s also worth noting that when we assembled this year’s 2019 Album of the Year Awards, the first album to be selected for an award by both of our judges – Senior Reviewer Bill Dodd and Technical Advisor Brian Moura – was this one.  Need we say more?”
— Brian Moura, NativeDSD Technical Advisor

I Want You

Vanessa Fernandez

Label: Groove Note Records
Quality: DSD 64, 128, 256, 512
Channels: Stereo


Winner: Classical Solo 

“Bach’s Cello Suites are, with good reason, known and loved around the world. You will find multiple recordings, and even arrangements for guitar! But this is the first recording of the Cello Suites transcribed for the violin! Rachel Podger loves this music, and it shows. She makes one believe that Bach could have written them with the violin in mind. Nothing is lacking here. Perhaps the violin stirs the heart in a different way occasionally, but never less so than the more familiar cello. Channel Classics’ recordings of Rachel Podger are famous for their total believability and this one is no exception. One listen to the first suite will convince you!”
— Bill Dodd, NativeDSD Senior Reviewer 

J.S. Bach Cello Suites

Rachel Podger

Label: Channel Classics
Quality: DSD 128, 256, DXD, 64
Channels: Multi, Stereo


Winner: World

“Ballade pour la nuit (Ballad For The Night) is an album that brings you a tribute to the music of Django Reinhardt which our listeners have referred to as “jazzy”, “gypsy”, “swing” and “the best”.  To my ears it qualifies in all these categories.

On the album, lead guitarist Reinier Voet and Kain van Kooten on violin are supported by Jan Brouwer on rhythm guitar and Jet Stevens on double bass.  Voet’s guitar and van Kooten’s violin playing truly swings with Brouwer and Stevens laying down a solid foundation for each selection.  This is musical playing at its best with sound quality to match.  If you need an album that shows off the One Microphone Recording style, this could be the ticket.”
— Brian Moura, NativeDSD Technical Advisor

Ballade Pour La Nuit (Ballad for the Night) (One Microphone Recording)

Reinier Voet, Pigalle44

Label: Sound Liaison
Quality: DSD 64, 128, 256, 512, DXD
Channels: Stereo


Winner: Vocal

“The team at Sound Liaison – Producer Peter Bjørnild and Recording Engineer Frans de Rond – love the sound of Josephson microphones.  When ordering the newest Josephson mic – the C700S – they wondered, could you record a Jazz ensemble with vocals with just one C700S microphone?

They took delivery of the C700S, quickly recorded a familiar track (How Long) with Carmen Gomes Inc. and engineer Frans de Rond had a listen.  It was so good; he called the Jazz ensemble back and they immediately used the microphone to do a full album as a One Microphone Recording.  Don’t You Cry features Carmen Gomes on vocals, Folker Tettero on Guitar, Peter Bjørnild on Double Bass and Bert Kamsteeg on Drums.  The result is an album that captures the vocal stylings of Carmen Gomes and an uncanny intimacy of the ensemble.  Clearly an album in DSD Stereo (up to DSD 256) and DXD that you won’t want to miss.”
— Brian Moura, NativeDSD Technical Advisor 

Don’t You Cry (One Microphone Recording)

Carmen Gomes, Carmen Gomes Inc.

Label: Sound Liaison
Quality: DSD 64, 128, 256, DXD
Channels: Stereo


These DSD Albums are carefully selected as winners of the AOTY campaign by NativeDSD Technical Advisor Brian Moura & NativeDSD Senior Reviewer Bill Dodd

Ray Egger

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