LATEST ADDITIONS

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Michael Fremer Posted: Aug 09, 2011 0 comments
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Michael Fremer Posted: Aug 01, 2011 0 comments

I don't what Rudy Van Gelder was thinking or doing when he recorded the opening tune "Zoltan," by Woody Shaw who's on trumpet here. Rudy's got Elvin Jones' drum kit mixed way up front in the right channel and he's positively nailed Jones' muscular cymbal sound. And he's got Young's Hammond B-3 appearing three-dimensionally well-focused and forward of a line between the speakers. That's unusual for Rudy. He gets great presence from Shaw's trumpet in the left channel and Joe Henderson's tenor in the right.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Aug 01, 2011 1 comments

The absolutely stunning, immediate and transparent sound is the first thing that hits you about this double LP, 3 sided record, which documents Daniel Lanois’ touring band. That’s partly a result of the stunning sound, yes, but it’s also partly because so much else recorded these days, just plain sucks sonically. The recording has "jump" quality, meaning a few vocals have such verisimilitude you might jump up and feel an adrenaline surge thinking a live human has invaded your listening room (watch out for that on "Sing.")

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Michael Fremer Posted: Aug 01, 2011 1 comments

If you're not acquainted, Pink Martini is either a large band or a "small orchestra" of 12 and occasionally more, created back in 1997 by Portland pianist Thomas M. Lauderdale and the group's lead singer China Forbes. The two began collaborating for fun while at Harvard.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Aug 01, 2011 1 comments

Long time Decemberist fans will note the return to basics on this set of sturdy, anthemic Colin Meloy penned Celtic-style folk-rock tunes packed with heroic, pseudo-mythical lyrics and mixed time metaphors.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Aug 01, 2011 1 comments

The concert promoter, tour organizer, record label owner Norman Granz had a knack for assembling groups that produced successful sessions like this. Benny Green's somewhat defensive annotation tells you the story: Webster had been popular during the big band "swing" era as a member of Duke Ellington's band as its first star tenor saxophonist. He was one of the "big three," the others being Lester Young and Coleman Hawkins.

Posted: Aug 01, 2011 0 comments

Accidental good timing or purposeful, Speakers Corner’s decision to reissue this Etta James classic now, couldn’t have come at a better time.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Aug 01, 2011 1 comments

Truly, you can live without The Hollies' version of "That's How Strong My Love Is," compared to The Rolling Stones' white boy version, which you can also do without once you've heard Otis Redding do it. 

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Michael Fremer Posted: Aug 01, 2011 0 comments

Poor misunderstood Steven Demetre Georgiou/Cat Stevens/Yusef Islam. Like Bob Marley or Barack Obama, he’s a “hybrid” and subject to misinterpretation and fear-mongering.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Aug 01, 2011 0 comments

This impeccably produced (by Norman Granz, who literall built Verve Records and later Pablo around her), career summing concert takes Ella from her beginnings with the Chick Webb Orchestra to her then current quartet featuring Tommy Flanagan, Keeter Betts, Joe Pass and Freddie Waits, all brilliantly choreographed by master showman/producer/record executive Norman Granz along with Newport producer George Wein. 

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