Patricia Barber - New Live CD

Just wondering if anyone has heard PB's new live CD.

How's the performance and the recording quality?
I purchased it right away. I have all of Patricia's CDs and 2 of her SACDs, so I'm a decent position to make a comparison.

First of all, I'd say "A Fortnight In France" is fairly well-recorded for a live CD. As we all know, live events pose challenges to the engineer that studio recordings do not. Overall, it's about on par with her last studio album, "Verse". It's better sonically than most of her earlier CDs, IMHO.

That said, it falls short of SACD quality, including the quality of Patiricia's own SACDs (I have about 75 SACDs overall). As CDs go, I'd give it about an 8 out of 10 sonically. Of course, SACD is a higher order of sonic magnitude across the board, so it's probably somewhat unfair to compare redbook to the higher resolution format(s)...although that's a different argument altogether.

A quick note on content: Patricia chose an interesting program of both classic and original songs for this album. Those of you know have followed Patricia's career will note that she once performed "old standards" for an entire album, then radically departed to her own material on later discs. This was quite a jolt for a lot of her fans, for better or for worse.

"Fortnight" finds Patricia providing a survey of pretty much all the material she's done over the last several years, both old and new.

If you're looking for showmanship, look elsewhere...that's the last thing Patricia is known for in live performances. When I've seen her up close and personal at the Kennedy Center here in Washington, DC, she has registered small and occasional visual cues with the audience. This, of course, does not register on a CD, which makes it sound like the audience is basically watching her record a studio album.

That's not a bad's just a Patricia thing.

All in all, I'd give "Fortnight" 4 stars out of 5.

Thedautch, you make mention that the "live recording" was fair. Did you hear a lot of crowd noise or equipment noise, or what about the quality of the recording disappointed you? I was going to buy the LP version but if the quality is low I'd settle for the redbook version
There was no equipment noise, or crowd fact, you'll hardly even know the crowd was there, no matter which format you purchase. I literally had to be reminded that anyone was in the venue with her, as they completely contained themselves except for a very few moments of mild-to-generous applause.

The recording is about what you'd expect for a live performance on redbook. That's really all I meant.
Companion is also live, right? How does it compare with that?
Thedautch- Mahalo for the excellent review. Picked up a copy and gave it a listen. The recording level is a bit hot
on some cuts, but overall it's a very good recording and
performance. Aloha, Dan

PS- there's still a lot of live left in redbook with a good
transport and dac.
I went to see her last night in New York City. Good show, she did alot of the material that appears on "Fortnight". This recording is not a recap of all her prior material; alot of it is new, to my ears. It appears the band is shifting direction, on the one hand doing a standard like "Witchcraft" and on the other hand an original, "Pieces", which has a rock/blues rhythm. The latter features a great guitar solo by Neal, which simply kills the cd version.
Patricia's piano, at least in part of the range, sounded off-key. She was unhappy about her seat; fearing it was loose and might be a problem. The performance was video-taped--don't know if it will be on a dvd soon!
All in all a fine and enjoyable performance (I 've seen her 5 times).