LATEST ADDITIONS

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Michael Fremer Posted: Apr 01, 2009 0 comments

The long running outfit known as Mercury Rev (first album, Yerself Is Steam issued 1991 on the UK Mint Films label and 1992 on U.S. Columbia) didn’t take its name from the liquid element. The first album’s back jacket offers a clue: with or without permission, it reproduces the ‘Stereo 35MM’ logo found on cloth-spined Command Classics LPs and that’s fine with me. “Fine”&#151get it? Fine? It even reproduces the part of the logo that says the recording was on 35MM magnetic tape, but I doubt that album really was. (Hint: those Commands were recorded by the legendary Mercury Records engineer (and mastered by George Piros for that matter).

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Michael Fremer Posted: Apr 01, 2009 0 comments

Recorded at L.A.’s famed United Recorders June 6th and 12th 1963 and arranged by Gerald Wilson (Anthony’s dad) for the spare and daring combo of organ, trumpet, tenor sax and drums, this Sarah Vaughan set of mostly familiar standards will confound your expectations with every note.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Apr 01, 2009 1 comments

Miles Davis’s major label debut, recorded with his quintet in the fall of 1955 and late summer of 1956 while he was still under Prestige contract and released early in 1957, was not particularly well-received at the time, though it has grown considerably in stature since then.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Apr 01, 2009 0 comments

Lee Morgan’s 1959 solo debut recorded when he was just 19 is aptly named. It’s an album of standards in a quartet setting designed to show off the prodigy’s ability to wrap his big, warm tone around familiar melodies.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Apr 01, 2009 1 comments

As soon as Young walks on stage and you hear the applause, you’ll know you’re in for a sonic treat. The audience has been carefully miked, which is not always the case with live recordings, even when the stage sound is good. The applause captures the hall space well too.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Apr 01, 2009 0 comments

I recently drove to Boston to visit three old friends I’d not seen for 30 years. I met them when I was in my mid-twenties and they were even younger. While most of my other friends and I sought shallow “hipness” through aggressively consuming what was new and avidly rejecting what was old, these guys didn’t filter their likes through time. They seemed to be as enthusiastic about Cab Calloway in 1972 as his fans must have been back in 1931 when he sold a million copies of “Minnie the Moocher.”

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Michael Fremer Posted: Mar 01, 2009 0 comments

In a 1991 book called The Worst Rock’n’ Roll Records of All Time, music critics Jimmy Guterman and Owen O’Donnell declare Van Dyke Parks’ Song Cycle the 23rd worst rock’n’roll album of all time.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Mar 01, 2009 1 comments

Larry “Ratso” Sloman’s annotation brings into sharp, entertaining focus this collection of vital Dylan outtakes, alternative takes, unreleased tracks and live performances from 1989’s Oh Mercy sessions through his most recent 2006 release Modern Times.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Mar 01, 2009 0 comments

Lou Reed’s bleak Berlin album dropped with a thud when first released back in 1973. The fans were probably expecting Transformer 2 and a “Walk on the Wild Side” reprise, but Lou was having none of that. He was moving on and down (both chart-wise and thematically) but times eventually catch up to vision and that’s the case with Berlin.

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