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Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Oct 01, 2007 0 comments

For those of you who know the pleasures of guitarist John Fahey’s Takoma recordings (Fahey was a rabid audiophile, BTW), or Robbie Basho’s, or even Sandy Bull’s extraordinary experiments in guitar-based world music fusion on Vanguard, James Blackshaw may already be on your radar screen, as may some of the other contemporary guitar experimenters who fly equally low beneath the mainstream musical radar screen, but until this LP, I’d not encountered the 24 year old Blackshaw who’s been recording and performing since 2003.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Oct 01, 2007 0 comments

Composed in 1937, Shostakovich’s dramatic 5th symphony is cinematic in scope and thematically rich and varied. Though 20th century modern in its angular musical approach, it retains elements of Tchaikovsky’s romantic 19th century, though many of the musical gestures more closely resemble those of Shostakovich's contemporary, Sergei Prokofiev. In fact if you’re familiar with Prokofiev’s “Lt. Kije Suite” you will hear some similarities along with some touches of Rimsky-Korsakov.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Oct 01, 2007 0 comments

Let’s get right to the point of this reissue, which is the sound, since anyone shelling out big bucks for it is doing so because he or she is familiar with the music and loves it to death.

Cartridge Reviews
Michael Fremer Sep 30, 2007 Published: May 01, 2007 0 comments
These are great times for analog, and I'm happy to have played a small part in the revival, but recently the demand for some products has outstripped supply; getting review samples has been next to impossible. I've requested an Audio Research PH7 phono preamplifier for literally years now, but ARC can't build them fast enough, so they don't need a review. The more they sell, the greater the buzz, and the greater the buzz, the more e-mails I get from readers asking for a review. It's not nice to not be needed.
Sep 03, 2007 0 comments

Written in 1959 to celebrate his father and mark his passing, Astor Piazzolla’s “Adiós Nonino” is a moving, appropriately sentimental work that occasionally veers into melodrama.

Cartridge Reviews
Michael Fremer Sep 02, 2007 Published: Apr 02, 1996 0 comments
Scan-Tech builds low-output moving-coil cartridges for a number of companies, including AudioQuest, Linn, and Spectral (footnote 1). It also markets its own line, under the Lyra brand name (Lydian, Clavis, Parnassus), which is imported and distributed by Immedia out of Berkeley, CA.
Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Sep 01, 2007 0 comments

This is an easy call. Art Pepper at a productive time in his career musically and otherwise, recorded with vivid clarity at Contemporary Studios and delivered to the listener as a double 45rpm LP. You’ll be convinced Pepper’s standing between your speakers playing lithe alto sax lines that exude the delicacy of Paul Desmond and the muscular force of John Coltrane.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Sep 01, 2007 0 comments

This "wind-em-up-and let-'em-play" set from September of 1963 has Jimmy Smith playing thick, juicy Hammond B-3 and Wes Montgomery blocking citrus-y chords and cool runs up and down the fretboard backed by brash, horn-drenched Oliver Nelson arrangements.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Sep 01, 2007 0 comments

Todd Garfinkle’s simply miked, spacious-sounding 96K DAT recordings have earned him a following among audiophiles, even though most of the music Garfinkle prefers to record is anything but traditional audiophile fare.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Sep 01, 2007 0 comments

A “country” album from The Byrds? Back in 1968 when this album was released, “Country” was the enemy, the home of beer-swilling, drug-warrior, war in Vietnam supporting, long hair-hating rednecks.