LATEST ADDITIONS

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Roger Hahn Posted: Aug 01, 2008 0 comments

What’s not to love about Goin’ Home, the all-star tribute to New Orleans’ own Antoine “Fats” Domino, sweet-voiced and rhythmically inspired proponent of the Crescent City’s great R&B tradition?

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jul 30, 2008 0 comments
The German company AQVOX Audio Devices has produced an innovative moving-coil/moving-magnet solid-state phono preamplifier, the Phono 2Ci, that's as intriguing for its technology and performance as it is for its relatively low price: $1400. The zero-feedback, op-amp–free circuit uses a compact switch-mode power supply that's built into the chassis and features conventional voltage gain for moving-magnet cartridges via its RCA jacks, and current gain for moving-coil cartridges through the balanced XLR inputs. Rear-panel switches select between RCA or XLR inputs and offer a convenient ground lift. Either the single-ended or the balanced outputs can be used with either input. Unfortunately, the tight spacing of the RCA input and output jacks, which are mounted on the circuit board, will somewhat limit your choice of cables: Pairs of thick-barreled plugs will have difficulty fitting.
Michael Fremer Posted: Jul 15, 2008 2 comments
It's now been eight years since a Rega P3 turntable passed through my listening room. While the new P3-24 superficially resembles the P3 (and virtually every other Rega 'table), the company has made some significant changes, including upgrading to the high-quality, low-voltage (24V), electronically adjusted motor used in the more expensive P5, P7, and P9. As in those models, an electronic circuit trims the phase angle of the P3-24's motor coils, thus substantially reducing motor vibrations. In 1998, during a factory tour, a Rega engineer demonstrated the circuit's effectiveness to me. As he adjusted the circuit board's pot, vibrations from the motor dramatically decreased, until it was difficult to tell if the motor was spinning or not. Back then, this "hand-trimmed" motor technology was available only in the P9. The P3-24 uses a less sophisticated version of the same basic idea.
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Nick Katsafanas Posted: Jun 01, 2008 0 comments
Ryan Adams is a song-writing machine. With over 206 tracks recorded, the 33-year-old singer/songwriter has amassed a deep and thorough song library. In 2007, he released two albums, an LP and an EP. His 2007 LP, Easy Tiger , received rave reviews and debuted at #7 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. While Easy Tiger was recorded during a time when Adams was going through Valium therapy to beat his heroin addiction, the EP Follow The Lights was written during a rare time of sobriety. Adams’ clear (er) mind state really shows.
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Michael Fremer Posted: Jun 01, 2008 0 comments

On the opener, “Dragonfly Pie,” Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks want to lay a heavy trip on you, man. Dualing fuzz toned and wah-wah’d guitars, Mitch Mitchell (or Ed Cassidy)-like skin pounding (by Janet Weiss late of Sleater-Kinney), a plodding rhythm and a lysergic vibe produce an acid flashback swirl. Until the chorus, that is, where it becomes positively skip- on-stone jaunty.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jun 01, 2008 0 comments

Speaking personally, I never much cared for this corny West Coast band, particularly this incarnation, featuring lead singer Tom Johnston’s high-pitched, quivering and bleating.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jun 01, 2008 0 comments

The Canadian folk/rocker’s vital third album opens with an ambitious, though somewhat out of character tune featuring a melodic line and driving rhythmic pulse reminiscent of something that might have been penned by Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, though the vocal is unmistakably Edwards’: a feathery, vulnerable-yet-stoic tone fitted to unadorned, precise phrasing that can comfortably draw out a one syllable word the length of a football field.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jun 01, 2008 0 comments

Lou Donaldson playfully skids into a few bars of David Rose’s “Holiday For Strings” mid-solo during a cover of the Kelmar/Ruby standard “Three Little Words,” indulging himself in a bit of shtick popular back when jazz could be lighthearted, studious and physical. Sonny Rollins was and is a deft practitioner of the off-handed musical quote as are and were many of the other jazz greats of a bygone era. It’s rarely done today. Jazz is more serious and cerebral, unless it gets goofy as the drummer Matt Wilson sometimes can get.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jun 01, 2008 0 comments

Recorded live on June, 28th at the 1974 Montreux Jazz Festival, this hot session features Wells and Guy backed by a last minute “pick-up” band consisting of ex-Rolling Stone bassist Bill Wyman, Otis Spann’s Muddy Waters band replacement Pinetop Perkins, ex-Manassas drummer Dallas Taylor, best known for peeking (or peaking) out the door on the back cover of Crosby Stills, Nash (on which he also played) and his brother Terry Taylor on rhythm guitar.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jun 01, 2008 0 comments

From the NAIM archives comes this triple LP/double CD set, originally issued as two, long out of print, individual CDs, featuring Charlie Haden’s Quartet West, featuring Saxophonist Ernie Watts, pianist Alan Broadbent and the late, great drummer Billy Higgins on one session and the great, not late Paul Motian on the other.

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