LATEST ADDITIONS

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Michael Fremer Posted: Sep 09, 2011 1 comments
No one has ever accused Franc Kuzma of designing glamorous audio jewelry. His turntables and tonearms are industrial-strength examples of engineering know-how and machining excellence. But to those who appreciate such things, his products are truly beautiful, even if they're not adorned with chrome, wood, and sleekly polished surfaces. And if looking at the 4Point tonearm ($6500) in pebbly Darth Vader black doesn't get your analog juices flowing, perhaps its innovative design will. But first, this message:
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Michael Fremer Posted: Sep 01, 2011 1 comments

While American soul music— northern urban and southern rural—and UK-via-the-Caribbean-derived Ska course through the veins of the fourth Elvis Costello and the Attractions album,  the flesh thankfully remains white limey. 

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Michael Fremer Posted: Sep 01, 2011 0 comments

(Note: this review originally stated that the lacquer cut was from the 3 track master. That was incorrect. The master here was the two track original that hadn't been used since 1980. While the tape had some dropout and other issues, mastering engineer George Marino determined it still sounded superior to any of the copies used for subsequent reissues.)

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Michael Fremer Posted: Sep 01, 2011 1 comments

Don’t let the October 16th 1956 mono recording date fool you: this Jean-Baptiste “Illinois” Jacquet session was recorded in Los Angeles, probably at legendary Radio Recorders, and the sound will knock you down.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Sep 01, 2011 1 comments

Few jazz musicians attain pop star status while retaining credibility with their "base." Louis Armstrong managed and of course so did Miles Davis. Stan Getz was another.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Sep 01, 2011 1 comments

Still raw from 9/11? It's difficult to believe a decade has passed. So imagine this Louis Armstrong concert from 1956. For most of the audience, and for much of America, except for the "Baby Boomer" youngsters too young to remember, World War Two and the enormous human toll it took on families across the country was still a current event.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Sep 01, 2011 1 comments

Anyone who thinks exploitation/commercialization is a recent development wasn’t around in the aftermath of George Harrison’s discovery of Indian music and his use of a sitar on “Norwegian Wood.”

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Michael Fremer Posted: Sep 01, 2011 0 comments

After a series of albums that tried too hard to advance the cause and so seemed self-consciously so, Paul Simon has produced his best since Graceland. The album title explains how he's managed. It celebrates the significant but demolishes it at the same time.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Sep 01, 2011 0 comments

Well after this SACD review had been posted, the double 180g LP arrived. It takes the sound up a significant number of notches, producing greater imaging and staging three dimensionality. The hall reflection is more distinct, King's voice projects further forward and the sometimes rough vocal textures are enhanced in a way that makes it sound more "live.". The string section sounds richer and fuller when it's added and the "you are there" sensation is greatly enhanced overall. If you've not picked this up on SACD, I'd say it's worth spending the extra to get it on LP. A great sounding time capsule for sure!

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Michael Fremer Posted: Sep 01, 2011 0 comments

There's no mystery about why this seventh Foo Fighters album succeeds artistically and commercially. Dave Grohl tempers his scream fest tendencies with focus, clarity and discipline. Producer Butch Vig, who worked with Nirvana tightens it all up and doesn't leave any loose ends hanging in a recording done in Grohl's garage. Grohl brings back Nirvana and Germs guitarist Pat Smear as well as Krist Novoselic on bass and accordian on "I Should Have Known." It's almost a reunion.

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