AAA Vinyl

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Michael Fremer Posted: May 04, 2017 7 comments
While a great deal of attention rightly gets paid to Bill Evans' legendary Village Vanguard recordings early in his career, this superb set recorded in Paris, France shortly before his passing is equally worthy both musically and sonically.

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Michael Fremer Posted: May 04, 2017 11 comments
Characterizing The Gilded Palace of Sin as a “country-rock” album or “the first country-rock album” or as it’s incorrectly called by some Sweetheart of The Rodeo Part 2 sells short an album that transcends genre or for that matter “dash-genres”.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Mar 17, 2017 20 comments
When The Crickets' "That'll Be the Day" exploded on the radio in 1957 and the absolutely geeky looking 21 year old Buddy Holly and group appeared December 1st on The Ed Sullivan Show, a generation of kids were moved the way the next one was by The Beatles. You didn't have to look like Elvis. Anyone could be a rock'n'roll star. In fact, "That'll Be the Day" was the first demo cut by The Quarrymen, the skiffle group that eventually morphed into The Beatles.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Mar 15, 2017 7 comments
You’ve probably seen or at least heard about Damien Chazelle’s musical “La La Land”, about a musician (Ryan Gosling) whose less than fully expressed mission was to “save jazz”. He brings his turntable and retro-record collection to Los Angeles where he lives in a crummy apartment and makes ends meet by playing in a piano bar.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Mar 12, 2017 Published: Mar 11, 2017 9 comments
A group of determined fans of both the Blue Note jazz catalog and the Music Matters reissues, which are always done from tape and done correctly recently started a drive to convince the label to issue more of Blue Notes after the label apparently decided it had released a sufficient number.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Feb 26, 2017 15 comments
Originally licensed in 1959 from British Decca and issued by RCA Victor in America on its lavish Soria series as LDS-6065, the "Gala Performances" performed by The Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Gardens conducted by Ernest Ansermet continues to draw new enthusiasts to what many consider one of legendary engineer Kenneth Wilkinson’s most spectacular recordings.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Feb 12, 2017 Published: Feb 11, 2017 39 comments
The file labels were not reversed in this story!

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jan 27, 2017 Published: Jan 26, 2017 40 comments
Pictured are three percussion records you should own—especially if you feel like banging your head against the wall. One is an "oldie" Living Stereo novelty that's back in print, one was originally released in 1984 thanks to a grant from The National Endowment For the Arts (today an endangered species) reissued in the 1990s and one is a current release.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jan 04, 2017 10 comments
There was a period in '60s record history when you could buy "by the label" and pretty much be assured of a great listen. It was true of Elektra and later, after it got off its "high horse," Columbia, which for a while wouldn't touch rock.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Dec 24, 2016 19 comments
The just released (November 18, 2016) six LP box set of the four Brahms symphonies recorded direct-to-disc performed by Sir Simon Rattle and The Berlin Philharmonic before a live Philharmonie audience is as meticulously produced and presented as its existence is unlikely.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Nov 24, 2016 Published: Nov 23, 2016 41 comments
Sir Simon Rattle conducts Brahms: The Berlin Philharmonic performs the four Brahms symphonies conducted by Rattle and recorded live at the Berlin Philharmonie direct to disc September, 2014 using a One-Point microphone set-up.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Nov 21, 2016 22 comments
By now you know the drill: The Electric Recording Company finds a collectible and music-worthy title to reissue and does its fanatical-attention-to-details thing, both in the mastering from the original tape on a lovingly restored all-tube cutting system to a meticulously produced record sleeve and jacket that are in most ways difficult to distinguish from the original as described in previous ERC reviews.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Nov 15, 2016 8 comments
Three years before he passed away in 1983 at age 60 from lung cancer, a somewhat diminished Johnny Hartman entered Ben Rizzi's Master Sound Productions in the small Long Island 'burb of Franklin Square and recorded this album for the small Bee Hive label. It would be his next to final appearance on record, and one that earned him a "Best Male Jazz Vocalist" Grammy Nomination.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Nov 11, 2016 86 comments
Before you pay $100 for any record you have to ask yourself if you really like the music, right? Then the question becomes is this version that much better than the one you already have, assuming you already have one.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Oct 27, 2016 15 comments
Recording direct-to-disk is difficult enough. The entire side has to be cut in one long take. Consider a big band vocal album like this, which has four songs per side. The orchestra and singer have to be ready as soon as the cutting stylus hits the lacquer and then they have to perform flawlessly on each track, pausing but a few seconds between songs.

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