Companion 1STEP 

Patricia Barber

Patricia Cafe Blue 1Step

Companion 1STEP
180-GRAM 45RPM 2LP SET | Stereo

MSRP: $129.99 USD


1STEP Process 180g 45rpm 2-LP, Pressed on VR900-Supreme Vinyl! Cut Using Original Analog Mixdown Masters by Bernie Grundman! Strictly Limited To 5,000 Numbered Pressings! 

Impex 1STEP #5 celebrates Patricia Barber’s 1999 “return” to The Green Mill, Chicago’s fabled jazz club. Conceived as a “companion” to her Grammy-winning studio album Modern Cool, Companion finds Barber and her touring band in inspired form, playfully and energetically performing hits and deep tracks from her celebrated oeuvre.

The dynamic interaction between the artist and her reverent audience adds a palpable sense of space and community. At the same time, the fans’ hushed attention creates a studio-like sense of precision and detail. The snap and crackle of Barber, her grand piano, and her onstage partners practically leaps off the groove into your listening room!

Companion’s fan-favorite reputation is enhanced immeasurably by Jim Anderson’s jaw-dropping, life-like recording. Eschewing the crystalline sterility of digital recordings of the time, Anderson’s sound is always warm, natural, and lacking unforced “hype.”

Like Anderson, Impex aims to present great recordings that are as natural and life-like as possible. And we couldn’t wait to put our favorite Patricia Barber release, using Jim’s analog mix-down master tapes, on 180 grams of VR900 Super Vinyl. The deep, inky black backgrounds and absence of surface noise will pull listeners right into those three evenings in 1999, capturing a seminal modern jazz artist at a creative and professional peak and reveling in a perfectly rendered and joyous audio time capsule.

Finally, our deluxe Impex Treatment packages the whole party with a lovely outer slipcase, a booklet containing a new note from Patricia, and a dazzling array of photographs from the evening by frequent collaborator Valerie Booth, exclusive to our 1STEP. Heavy paper stock with spot gloss coating and a faithfully recreated exterior design will satisfy original fans and aesthetes throughout the music-loving world.


  • New, deluxe edition of Patricia Barber’s famed live recordings at The Green Mill in Chicago in 1999
  • Mastered from the analog mix-down tapes of the original digital recording by Bernie Grundman at Bernie Grundman Mastering
  • Two 45-rpm 1STEP LPs pressed on VR900 super vinyl by RTI
  • New lacquers cut after each run of 500 pressings
  • Distinctive ultra-luxe Impex 1STEP packaging featuring a deluxe 16-page booklet with exclusive concert photography by Valerie Booth, a remembrance from Patricia Barber, a heavy-stock three-sleeve Monster Pack jacket and striking color-matched slip case
  • Strictly limited to 5,000 copies


  1. The Beat Goes On
  2. Use Me
  3. You Are My Sunshine


  1. Like JT
  2. Let It Rain
  3. Touch of Trash


  1. If This Isn’t Jazz
  2. So What


  1. Black Magic Woman

“Highly recommended, Barber’s latest album is but a stepping stone to unique 21st Century jazz with a creative spirit at the controls.”

— Jim Santella, All About Jazz

“This electro-percussive ensemble is fluid and swinging, combustible and painterly by turns, and more than a match for her many moods, which are what make Companion so satisfying from start to finish, and inevitably leave you wanting just a little bit more.”  — Chip Stern, Stereophile

“I’d been developing a deep appreciation for Companion, but prior to hearing the almost ghostly quiet, impressive clarity, and richly detailed sound of the Neotech VR900 Supreme vinyl pressings in Impex’s 1STEP, I didn’t fully realize what a superb album it actually is!”

— Tom Gibbs, Posi+ive Feedback
Read Tom’s full review here.