Album Reviews
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Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Apr 24, 2014 2 comments
In a truly just world every Jethro Tull fan would know and appreciate Rahsaan Roland Kirk but as with Muddy Waters and The Rolling Stones, these things take time. If you don't know Kirk's music and you're a Tull fan you surely know his "Serenade To A Cuckoo" covered by Ian Anderson on his debut Tull album This Was.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Apr 06, 2014 8 comments
A thousand United Airlines commercials later and Gershwin's "Rhapsody In Blue" still sounds fresh, lavish and grand. It epitomizes New York City in its golden jazz age and with every listen opens the mind's eye to yellow incandescent lit Art Deco granite skyscrapers and the general urban dazzle of pre-WWII America. I never get tired of listening to it, the later at night the better for some reason. It could only have been written in America by an American.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Apr 04, 2014 54 comments
Given a choice of great mastering and pressing or packaging true to the original, which would you choose? Yes, I know, why not produce a definitive reissue that offers great mastering and pressing and the original triple gatefold jacket and the original limited edition booklet? But clearly that wasn't in the cards for whoever was in charge in order to bring this project to market within budget so it could be sold at a particular price point, which in this case is $39.00 for the double LP set.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Mar 24, 2014 21 comments
Last Record Store Day Sony/Legacy reissued three Paul Simon albums: his eponymous solo debut (not counting 1965's U.K.-issued Paul Simon Songbook), There Goes Rhymin' Simon and this record. While all three are musically fine, if you're thinking of buying just one, my vote goes for this one.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Mar 19, 2014 4 comments
True Coltrane wasn't yet producing "sheets of sound"—limiting himself maybe to just "pillowcases of sound", but he was still hot to Milt Jackson's cool so this was an interesting experiment—one that succeeded beautifully.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Mar 18, 2014 7 comments
Recorded during a six show stint at tiny Cellar Door, a circa 100 seat Washington D.C. basement club November 30th through December 2nd, 1970, this 13 song collection recorded by the great Henry Lewy (thanked in the credits even though he passed away in 2006) presents Neil Young as intimately and as powerfully as you'll hear him on record.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Mar 09, 2014 14 comments
The opening wash of gorgeously recorded massed strings might just paralyze you. "Who arranged those? " you might say to yourself but before you could scour the liner notes you hear familiar Sea Change-like guitar strums and you melt.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Mar 02, 2014 10 comments
Nothing Los Lobos recorded previous to 1992’s Kiko could have prepared anyone for this piece of sustained, surreal brilliance. Dreamlike sonic vistas, ominous lyrical horizons, mysterious musical crevices, and spring-like rhythmic compressions and extensions combine to create a dayglo, funhouse-like environment filled with familiar, but oddly drawn musical elements.
Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Feb 24, 2014 25 comments
You can argue over who is the greatest rock singer, but there's no arguing whether or not Paul Rodgers would be high up on every list compiled by music critics and fellow musicians alike. Rolling Stone placed him at #55 in its list of greatest singers male and female all rock era genres but I'm more inclined to side with John Mellencamp who in 1991 called Rodgers "the greatest rock singer ever".

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Feb 23, 2014 15 comments
The first stereo release from The Electric Recording Company is a reissue of Columbia SAX 2386 first released in 1959 . It is a much sought after record as the used prices for clean copies are nothing short of astronomical— $3000 and up. Kogan was born in the Ukraine in 1924 and died of a heart attack in 1982 at age 58 a few days after playing this piece in Vienna. His western discography isn't extensive and the few he recorded for the Columbia division of EMI are the most collectible.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Feb 12, 2014 52 comments
Was Mel Tormé a jazz or cabaret singer? Or was he both? Some music "purists" actually argue such things. Mr. Tormé's recorded vocal and interpretive talents demonstrate his ability to work both rooms. He wasn't worried about being pigeonholed one way or the other. Though rhythmically adept and an excellent scat singer, the “Velvet Fog” could also croon.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Feb 06, 2014 2 comments
This new double LP pairs Será una Noche with the appropriately titled follow up Segunda two of M A Recordings’ most popular releases, first on CD then on XRCD and later available as high resolution files. Será una Noche was previously released on vinyl and reviewed on musicangle.com. Naturally vinyl cut from high resolution digital sounds better than the same files decimated to 16 bits. Todd Garfinkle’s simply miked, spacious-sounding 24 bit recordings have earned him a following among audiophiles, even though most of the exotic “world” music Garfinkle prefers to record is anything but traditional audiophile fare.
Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Feb 06, 2014 1 comments
"Mr. Ho" otherwise known as Brian O'Neill has a passion for "exotica" but it would be wrong to call him a trader in nostalgia. Yes, he's clearly a fan of Les Baxter, Martin Denny and especially of the Mexican arranger extraordinaire Esquivel. While I bet he'd be comfortable downing a Mai Tai or two at Trader Vic's, Mr. O'Neill is a thoroughly modern multi-instrumentalist.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Feb 05, 2014 15 comments
The BBC did not preserve the master tapes of any of The Beatles BBC appearances. The tape was considered more valuable than the performances recorded therein. That's not exactly a secret. The audio used for the original edition of this set first issued in 1994 came from BBC Transcription Service vinyl, tape copies and radio broadcast tapes provided by fans.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Feb 04, 2014 15 comments
Comments following the review of the mono reissues of the American version of Are You Experienced? and Axis: Bold As Love indicated some dissatisfaction with the reissue of the U.K. version of the album, also mastered by Bernie Grundman.