The ride has been fun but after so many hours of listening, voting and writing, we are happy to finally reveal the NativeDSD Albums of the Year 2018! This is the first time that our technical, editorial and marketing team members shared their favorite recordings, artists, labels and genres with each other. It was a VERY long list, and very diverse.
During the year 2018 we added 300 new DSD Albums to the NativeDSD Music Store. Senior NativeDSD Reviewer Bill Dodd and Technical Advisor Brian Moura made the shortlist of 30 nominated albums late December 2018 after which the other members team joined in to listen, quote and vote. The three winners have been selected and are revealed below.
CLICK HERE to view the 30 Nominated Recordings for NativeDSD Albums of the Year 2018
The 3 Winning Albums couldn’t be more diverse! Solo Guitar (Classical), Instrumental Trio (Jazz) and Orchestra with Soloists (Broadway Musical).
And The Winners Are…
Just Listen Records
Genre: Jazz Trio, Instrumental
Stereo DSD 256, DSD 128, DSD 64, DXD
Multichannel DSD 256, DSD 128, DSD 64, DXD
Stephen Braude says:
(…) in addition to the ravishing and husky sound of Verploegen’s horn, Verhoef’s 1951 Gibson guitar also has a warm and smooth sound. Overall, then, the performances have a very intimate feel, as if the musicians are playing for one another (…) As a result, this recording could easily serve as background music, because the performances are unlikely to intrude or call attention to themselves. But listeners who attend to what’s actually going will be rewarded with some admirable playing. Granted, the music is very conservative and not particularly challenging. But the selection of tunes is very interesting, ranging from substantial standards like “Chelsea Bridge” and “Basin Street Blues” to Wayne Shorter’s “Infant Eyes.” So although I can imagine some listeners wishing this release displayed a greater degree of inspiration or variation in energy levels, I would expect many (if not most) others finding it to be a consistently pleasant and musically satisfying listening experience.
Brian Moura says:
The Sweetest Sound quickly rose up the Native DSD Music best sellers chart and pinned to the # 1 position. One listen to this album and you will know why. A trio of Jazz musicians featuring flugelhorn, guitar and double bass delivers a mellow set of music that just hits the spot. It’s a favorite of mine and I know it will be of yours as well.
Bill Dodd says:
The jazz is light and accessible, but the music keeps drawing you in. These are more or less “standards” that you will find instantly familiar, but made young again by this trio. Verploegen’s Flugelling (I made that up) is rich, and stands with the best. Verhoef’s guitar is very mindful of the virtuoso jazz guitarist, George Van Eps. And van der Westen’s bass is right there! Speaking of right there, the Just Listen Crew has captured these with no edits, no retakes, no compression. The sound is so good, it’s scary. Good stuff. You can tell these guys know how to play together. The music keeps drawing you in. Gotta love that flugelhorn!
Genre: Classical, Solo Guitar
Stereo DSD 256, DSD 128, DSD 64
Multichannel DSD 256, DSD 128, DSD 64
Bill Dodd says:
Ricardo Gallen is a world-class master of the guitar who makes this music of Latin America soar, especially the pieces by Barrios and Brouwer. And I am a huge fan when it comes to Brouwer! By the way, Ricardo Gallen is also a huge fan of Brouwer, and it shows. In fact he credits Brouwer himself for planting the idea for this album into his mind. There is a world of love poured into this album. Stop reading this and get this one for yourself.
Brian Moura says:
Ricardo Gallen returns to Native DSD Music with his second recording featuring 22 selections that seem to just flow from his guitar. Captured in a native DSD 256 Stereo and DSD 256 recording (no DXD or PCM processing used here), Eudora’s producer and engineer Gonzalo Noque (a guitarist himself) brings you a collection of guitar performances that won’t be easily forgotten.
Floor van der Holst says:
Out of the 300 albums we processed and promoted during the year 2018, this recording stood out for me. To quote a very wise man named Bill: ‘Stop reading this and get this one for yourself.’ And make sure to watch and listen to the video on the album page while the album is downloading. You will enter a magical world with Ricardo Gallén.
Sir Simon Rattle, London Symphony Orchestra
Genre: Broadway Musical, Orchestra with Soloists
Stereo DSD 64
Multichannel DSD 64
Brian Moura says:
A tribute to composer Leonard Bernstein as part of this year’s Bernstein at 100 celebration. The DSD Download includes a bonus 21st track (not available on disc/physical media) – an audience participation edition of “Conga” – a not to be missed finale.
Bill Dodd Says:
Everybody loves Lenny. Conductor, composer, educator, bon vivant. Wonderful Town is an adaptation of the play, My Sister Eileen by Joseph Fields and Jerome Chodorov; and The Short Stories by Ruth McKenney. There were two movies as well, in 1942 and 1955. Oh yes, and also a TV series in 1960. Popular, right? So what about Wonderful Town in 1953? Leonard Bernstein wrote the music, with lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. It did well enough, but it wasn’t exactly On the Town or West Side Story. Sir Simon Rattle, the London Symphony Orchestra, and an excellent cast do a wonderful job of bringing a genuine “let’s put on a show” sparkle to this musical. You couldn’t ask for a better argument on behalf of this show. Sir Simon Rattle proves, just as he did nearly 30 years ago with Porgy and Bess, he knows American Theater!