Album Reviews

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Michael Fremer Posted: Feb 26, 2015 20 comments
If you think audio reviewers can be grouchy, search opinions of this performance of Mahler's 9th Symphony, his final complete work before passing away at age 51.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Feb 23, 2015 6 comments
What can these two tow headed little brothers pictured on the cover know about Big Bill Broonzy? Obviously plenty as you'll hear on this inspired collaboration—the Alvin brothers' first together in almost thirty years.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Feb 22, 2015 6 comments
The further you get in time from this story the more focused, three-dimensional and confounding it becomes. How deep do you want to dig and how far down have you already dug?

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Michael Fremer Posted: Feb 05, 2015 50 comments
Though Bob Dylan pays tribute here to Frank Sinatra who recorded for Columbia, Capitol and Reprise (which he founded), the record label is a Blue Note facsimile. The cover art also draws from a Blue Note: a blue tinted variant of Freddie Hubbard’s album Hub Tones (BST-ST84115). The back cover is a photo of a tuxedoed Dylan perusing with a masked woman an unidentifiable Sun 45rpm single.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Feb 03, 2015 4 comments
Previously only available on CD, this double 45 rpm set of classical music sonic spectaculars provides both demonstration quality sound and a fun ride even for those professing to not like classical music, courtesy of a world-renowned orchestra and conductor.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jan 29, 2015 19 comments
You could produce a jazz record today using ProTools at 192/24 or lower resolution, create a CD master, have it manufactured and then release it. To get in on the “vinyl resurgence”, you could use that 16 bit/44.1k master to cut lacquers and press records at a commercial pressing plant. It’s done all too often, I’m sure.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jan 24, 2015 23 comments
While this much-loved Blue Note lists Adderley as the group leader, this pick-up session—recorded in 1958, just before Kind of Blue—sounds, for the most part, as if Miles Davis is in control and was labeled as an Adderley session due to contractual issues.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Dec 24, 2014 11 comments
Second albums make or break pop artists. If the first one was a smash the second one had also better be or you risk the "one hit wonder" label. That's what happened to Christopher Cross, Marshall Crenshaw and more recently James Blunt, even though Cross and Crenshaw followed up their debuts with many good records—or at least good tunes. They just didn't produce chart hits.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Dec 11, 2014 25 comments
On the analogplanet we greet with great enthusiasm news of a carefully considered reissue project like this, but clearly that’s not the case elsewhere. While poking around the Internet looking for background information I came upon a bizarre and surprising series of comments on, of all places Rolling Stone magazine’s website.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Dec 10, 2014 9 comments
If you already own Sunday at The Village Vanguard and Waltz For Debby you have two album's worth of material from that magical afternoon and evening of June 25, 1961 that the producer Orrin Keepnews deemed worthy of releasing.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Dec 06, 2014 47 comments
The Internet has diminished the number of "record fairs" but there still are some. When I go to "record fairs" l like to "play against type". If I see a vendor who looks like Elvis Presley (and there is/was one), I know his 50s rock records are going to be good but expensive so I'd rather rummage through the boxes of $1 records he's put on the floor under his table. That's where he puts the "junk" about which he knows nothing.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Nov 27, 2014 2 comments
This double LP compilation pressed on "tie dyed" colored vinyl includes previously released Mardi Gras Records recordings from the seven brass bands featured on this surprisingly entertaining set.
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Michael Fremer Posted: Nov 18, 2014 40 comments
The third Led Zeppelin album has its heavy moments but most often the pace is faster, the groove lighter and at times it's downright celebratory.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Nov 04, 2014 9 comments
Producer Lou Adler, best known by 1969 for co-producing The Monterrey Pop Festival and for producing The Mamas and The Papas on his Dunhill Record label (and that really doesn't begin to cover his comings and goings back then or now) had this idea to re-imagine Bob Dylan's music in a gospel setting.

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