By the time Mind Games was issued in December of 1973, John Lennon had lost all semblance of musical and personal balance. Sad, but true. The looming Yoko on the horizon cover said it all. Yet the stunning title tune, with its wistful melody and “summing it all up” lyrics led many fans to believe the revolutionary Beatle had returned to greatness after the formless debacle that was Sometime in New York City, but alas, they were mostly wrong.
Does American music get much better than this? No. Cash's twangy Sun sides represent the purist distillation of his art: the mournful, unadorned nasally voice bathed in perfectly timed tape delay backed by the “Tennessee Two.” Could there be a White Stripes without Johnny Cash? Not likely. His influence was enormous, yet no one dared to imitate Johnny Cash, so singular was his musical persona.
I turned 50 when the car manufacturer Saab turned 50, so I celebrated my half century, by treating myself to a day at the Skip Barber racing school held in conjunction with Saab's 50th anniversary celebration/annual Saab club convention, which took place that summer (1997) at the beautiful Waterville Valley Ski Resort-no dogs allowed.
Long considered to be one of the best sounding RCA “Living Stereo” recordings, this Classic Records 45rpm single sided edition takes getting it into your home to new extremes. The flat “other side” means better disc to platter coupling, as does the Quiex SV-P 200 profile, which gives your platter no lip. At 45rpm, the wavelengths get elongated and thus are easier to track-especially at the inner groove area as the spiral gets tighter and tighter.
The title track is not twice as good as Desmond's surprise jazz “hit” “Take Five,” immortalized on the Time Out album recorded with his regular band mates in the Brubeck quartet, but it has its own serpentine charm, and having Jim Hall comping on guitar instead of Brubeck on piano gives the track a far different, more delicate texture.
If you're expecting the young, daring Brian Eno to materialize after not making a vocal album for 28 years, you'll be disappointed. This is the reflective, contemplative work of a mature artist more interested in setting the table than in hacking it up and eating off of the floor.
The Concord catalog is filled with great sounding recordings made by top tier artists in the later phases of their careers. There's nothing wrong with that. It's to label founder and producer Carl E. Jefferson's credit that he had a jazz label vision and saw it through at a time when jazz was on the decline commercially.
Euphoria Jazz is a division of Bob Irwin's Sundazed. Sundazed licensed this and other Dawn Records jazz titles from Shout Factory, itself a division of Retropolis LCC. Shout Factory is a recent entity created by Richard Foos, an original founder of Rhino (along with Harold Bronson).
From the second the stylus hits the…er I mean the laser hits the pits, you'll know this is a stunning sounding live recording of a jazz trio. You'll feel as if you're in the Up Over Jazz Café, where this set was brilliantly recorded by Kato Hideki.