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Michael Fremer  |  Nov 29, 2020  |  5 comments
I was asked to write a short item for a U.K. business about the high prices of today's new records. I ended up thinking they are not all that high. The Sam Goody's ad from 1973 at the top is for the Led Zeppelin catalog, that at the time consisted of five LPs. The list price was $4.98. The sale price (if you brought in the advertisement) was $3.49. Sounds cheap, no? Well, no.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 17, 2020  |  15 comments
“I have to admit that this (D2D) recording technique was completely unknown to me before. When I ultimately realized what it entailed, I had mixed feelings at first.” So admitted Jakub Hrusa, the Bamberg Symphony’s 39 year old Czech-born conductor, who joined the orchestra in 2016. Based on the stunning musical and sonic results it was well worth whatever trepidation resulted from the decision to proceed with the recording of Czech-born Bedrich Smetana, which took place July 2th/26th, 2019 in Bamberg, Germany’s Joseph-Keilberth-Saal concert hall. (please forgive the lack of proper accents over the names).

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 12, 2020  |  14 comments
One ferocious and one mellow, these two John Coltrane albums dropped last month by Verve in association with Acoustic Sounds serve as both a great intro for the unfamiliar and as possibly the best sounding versions of both and of course affordable too.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 27, 2020  |  32 comments
Talk about bad luck: Love And Theft Bob Dylan’s first album in four years, his 43rd (at the time, including live and studio) and the follow up to the million-selling, triple-Grammy Award winning (including “Album of the Year”) Time Out of Mind had a September 11th, 2001 drop date. Buildings dropped instead.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 23, 2020  |  25 comments
(Blue Note Press Release): OCTOBER 23, 2020—We’re proud to present the Blue Note Classic Vinyl Reissue Series, a continuation of our acclaimed Blue Note 80 Vinyl Reissue Series which was launched in celebration of our 80th anniversary in 2019. The Classic Series will once again feature all-analog 180g vinyl pressings in standard packaging that are mastered by Kevin Gray directly from the original master tapes and manufactured at Optimal in Germany.

Nathan Zeller  |  Oct 11, 2020  |  7 comments
We find ourselves during the ongoing pandemic abstaining from pleasurable activities like hanging out on the street. Listening to the 1970’s power pop group Big Star will one day help ease the way back to that once taken for granted lifestyle.

Discovering older musical acts like Big Star is for a child of the 21st century like me mostly a matter of pure luck. I happened upon Big Star’s song “Thirteen” on an episode of “That ‘70’s Show” airing on Netflix. That tune, a captivating piece of tender musical perfection, led me to discover Big Star the group and boy, am I thankful for that!

Malachi Lui  |  Oct 02, 2020  |  29 comments
(Review Explosion is a recurring AnalogPlanet feature covering recent releases for which we either don’t have sufficient time to fully explore, or that are not worthy of it. Curated by AnalogPlanet contributing editor Malachi Lui, Review Explosion focuses on the previous few months’ new releases.)

Ty Webb  |  Sep 28, 2020  |  2 comments
In this, the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birthday, Yarlung Records offers a recording worthy of the master, a delectation from the Janaki String Trio that was originally recorded in 2006 in Zipper Hall. The sonics are as inviting as the playing.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 24, 2020  |  0 comments
Even as the Acoustic Sounds Series reissues from Verve/UMe of Coltrane's A Love Supreme and Ballads are set for October 9th release, the label announced today pre-orders for the third installment in the series: two classic (and much needed and welcomed at this time) 1965 Nina Simone albums: I Put A Spell On You and Pastel Blues slated for November.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 24, 2020  |  98 comments
Analogue Productions announced yesterday a limited to 5000 copies deluxe double 45rpm 200g UHQR release of Jethro Tull's enduring 1971 classic Aqualung. The pressing and presentation will be similar to that of the Are You Experienced? box released in 2019.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 17, 2020  |  4 comments
There’s no better time than now to release a live performance of Civil War era “lifeline” spirituals dedicated to Harriet Tubman, an escaped slave herself, who is best known as an “Underground Railroad” organizer personally responsible for smuggling to freedom hundreds of slaves, first to the North and then after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850 that allowed the recapture of freed slaves in non-slave states, to Canada.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 09, 2020  |  13 comments
Miles Davis's second collaboration with arranger/orchestrator Gil Evans (and the first recorded in stereo) is arguably the duo's best effort—a majestic, moody re-working of George Gershwin's classic folk opera recorded in three summer of 1958 sessions at Columbia's 30th street studios.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 09, 2020  |  29 comments
ERC just announced a limited to 150 copies edition of one of the British Columbia Records label's most "sonically spectacular" releases, Ravel's Complete Orchestral Works with André Cluytens conducting Société de Concerts du Conservatiore (ERC061) in performances said to be commensurate with the sonics.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 03, 2020  |  10 comments
This agreeable set of standards sung by Louis Armstrong backed by the Oscar Peterson Quartet, then consisting of Herb Ellis, Ray Brown and Louis Bellson recorded at the then new Capitol Studios, L.A. in 1957 but not released in stereo until 1959, was a follow-up of sorts to the highly successful Norman Granz-produced Ella & Louis (Verve MGV-4003) recorded August of 1956.

Like this set, there Armstrong and Fitzgerald were backed by the Oscar Peterson Quartet, but with Buddy Rich drumming instead of Louis Bellson.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 26, 2020  |  5 comments
Pandemic-related closures temporarily put Blue Note’s “Tone Poet” series production on hold, but the series resumes on August 28th with the release of three titles: vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson’s first session The Kicker (1963), alto saxophonist Jackie McLean’s It’s Time (1964) and tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson’s The State of the Tenor: Live at the Village Vanguard, Volume 1 (1965).

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