Album Reviews

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jun 30, 2015 23 comments
Jerome Sabbagh's The Turn puts his long-running jazz quartet in New York's famed Sear Sound with veteran engineer James Farber at the board. The musicians managed to record to two-track analog tape the more than an hour's worth of music spread over the four sides of this double 180g LP set. That's getting you money's worth from a single studio session.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jun 29, 2015 27 comments
Taylor Swift’s 1989 released in October of 2014, sold 1.27 million albums in its first week and debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. By the end of the year it had sold 3,660,000 copies, remaining at the top of the chart for most of that time.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jun 16, 2015 36 comments
The fourth Kinks album was the first on which Ray Davies removes his hard rock shell. It’s clear in retrospect that many artists from the ‘60s rock era were rocking only because that’s what the times demanded.

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Michael Fremer Posted: May 05, 2015 10 comments
The Wichita and Lawrence, Kansas-based Wrong Kata Trio has been playing together since 2010, though the three have been performing in the area for fifteen years.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Apr 02, 2015 6 comments
Squishy, sticky, elastic beats, some so slow and off-kilter that they threaten to fall apart, ghostly falsetto harmonies, cavernous empty spaces between the rhythmic wah-wah pulses and a distant, almost other-worldly sonic perspective announce D’Angelo’s singular sinewy yet gentle vision.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Mar 21, 2015 Published: Mar 20, 2015 64 comments
Only one of them had actually ridden a surfboard. They weren’t hot rodders or drag racers and by the time the group formed in 1961 lead vocalist Mike Love was already 20 years old and arguably more a man than a “boy”. Al Jardine was 19 as was Brian Wilson. Brothers Dennis and Carl were, respectively, 17 and 15, so they qualified as “boys”.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Mar 07, 2015 60 comments
Born out of desperation (hence the name), with the release of its eponymous debut album containing "Sultans of Swing", Dire Straits was an instant commercial success. Cynics at the time said the tune made Dylan safe for average folks. The album was eventually certified double platinum.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Feb 26, 2015 37 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 7 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 53 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 25 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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