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Michael Fremer Posted: Aug 01, 2009 0 comments

Sergio Mendes’s frothy Brazilian pop reinterpreted for the hip-hop generation serves as the high concept for this 2006 release produced by The Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am who also performs solo and with a guest list that includes Erykah Badu, Stevie Wonder, Q-Tip, John Legend and Justin Timberlake, among others.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Aug 01, 2009 0 comments

Rare, desirable and expensive when first issued in 1973 as a triple LP set in Japan where it was recorded and available in America only as a hard to get import, Lotus didn’t make it to CD until the earl 1990s.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Aug 01, 2009 0 comments

Careening between sweet Beatlesque pop delivered via three part harmonies and dexterous rhythms and edgy blues-boogie that channels Alex Chilton’s inner Marc Bolan via Memphis country/soul, Big Star’s second album is even more thrilling and satisfying now, 35 after it’s 1974 release. The album hasn’t lost a step.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Aug 01, 2009 0 comments

CSN&Y played and sang live better than ever during this 2006 “Freedom of Speech” tour as you'll hear on this 16 track document, none of which was overdubbed. The only “overdub” was of a 100 voice choir recorded at Capitol studios, Hollywood before the tour that was added to the live shows as well.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Aug 01, 2009 0 comments

The mid-sixties may not have been Monk’s most creative period but it was arguably his strongest and most focused both in the studio and onstage. If any jazz musician was poised to withstand the rock era it was Monk the performer and Monk the composer.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jul 01, 2009 0 comments

The Modern Jazz Quartet would never have been signed to Blue Note. The group’s Bach-influenced button-down counterpoint was a bad fit with Blue Note’s gospel and blues influenced soul-jazz.

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Mark Schlack Posted: Jul 01, 2009 0 comments

This is not your typical Blue Note album. Sure, Oscar Pettiford and Ed Thigpen swing impeccably on bass and drums, but fronting baritone sax, trombone and guitar? Sounds more like a description of an oompah band than jazz, but honest, jazz it is.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jul 01, 2009 0 comments

One side of this 1975 release gives you a smokin’ hot live recording of mindless, Texas-style speed-boogie music (the mind is not a terrible thing to waste!), while the other is a somewhat more introspective studio set.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jul 01, 2009 0 comments

Leave it to Pure Pleasure to unearth great, but obscure titles like this, but more importantly, kudos to the label for having the nerve to put their money where their eclectic musical tastes reside and release it! And this one’s a double, making the enterprise twice as risky.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jul 01, 2009 0 comments

This summer of 1955 set probably recorded at United in Los Angeles August 23rd and 25th 1955 just a few days after a successful Hollywood Bowl appearance finds Holiday covering standards in fine voice backed up a great small combo.

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