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Michael Fremer Posted: Dec 01, 2007 0 comments

Jimi Hendrix’s second studio effort upped the outrageousness of his debut (British or American), beginning with what many would say was a sacrilegious, though eye-catching, cover and continuing with the opening bit of “nonsense about space ships and even space people.”

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Michael Fremer Posted: Dec 01, 2007 0 comments

Ed. note: Bishop Allen's new album is set to release March, 2009. This review of the group's debut album ran here December, 2007. It gets better with each play and is highly recommended.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Dec 01, 2007 0 comments

Back in 1956 at the dawning of the hi-fi era, the easy listening piano duo of Ferrante and Teicher, (whose career spans six decades) released an album called Soundproof! on Westminster records (WP-6014).

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Michael Fremer Posted: Dec 01, 2007 0 comments

Elvis delivers the album opening “Santa Claus Is Back In Town” on this fall of 1957 release with bawdy, bluesly, burlesque-like delight. There’s nothing in his voice that’s even remotely subtle when he sings “Santa Claus is coming down your chimney tonight,” or any of the rest of the tune’s normally innocent lyrics. At one point in a break Elvis utters some guttural grunts not normally associated with Christmas no how! This probably had teenaged girls tingling and their parents repulsed.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Nov 16, 2007 0 comments
Conceptually audacious, elegantly designed, executed with space-age precision, and remarkably compact, Grand Prix Audio's direct-drive Monaco turntable ($19,500) aims to turn the tables on the belt-drive designs that have dominated analog playback for three decades.
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Michael Fremer Posted: Nov 01, 2007 0 comments

French minimalist acoustic musician Colleen has established an unlikely strong international cult following in the wake of releasing four full-length albums, three of which were available in limited edition vinyl.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Nov 01, 2007 0 comments

Funky, bluesy electric guitarist Mel Brown, now 78, is still at it. He was 27 back in 1967 when Impulse released this showcase for his super-clarified style of electric funk/jazz blues guitar.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Nov 01, 2007 0 comments

Tony Bennett recorded a live album with Count Basie and his orchestra in Philadelphia that was issued in 1959 by Columbia Records (In Person! Tony Bennett, Count Basie and His Orchestra CS 8104 “6 eye”). In 1961 Peggy Lee released a live album on Capitol recorded at Basin Street East in New York City.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Nov 01, 2007 0 comments

Don Sebesky’s glib big band charts for “California Dreaming” and for a few other tunes on this 1966 Creed Taylor Production may exude almost comical “action television series” theme music swagger (I’m thinking “Mannix”), yet Wes Montgomery’s physical daring and sense of lyrical beauty quickly overcome any reservations you might have about being seen enjoying a blatantly commercial enterprise like this.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Nov 01, 2007 0 comments

Chronically undervalued and unappreciated in America, The Pretty Things, like The Kinks, The Rolling Stones and so many other British Invasion bands began life as a blues based rock outfit, churning out short, raunchy, Bo Diddley-influenced numbers as this American debut demonstrates, and later veering off into uncharted musical waters. In the case of The Pretty Things, even their name is Bo Diddley derived. Unlike some Brit bands, these guys were anything but pretty in the beginning. They got prettier as time passed.

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