Album Reviews

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Michael Fremer Posted: May 10, 2017 23 comments
It all started as a misheard request for a condiment, Paul McCartney recollects in one of the introductions to the box's sumptuously produced book. During a flight back from America, the band's roadie Mal Evans asked Paul to "pass the salt and pepper", which he misheard as "Sergeant Pepper".

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Michael Fremer Posted: May 05, 2017 12 comments
Jerry Goldsmith's remarkable 84 minute, 54 second score for Star Trek The Motion Picture here in its entirety on vinyl for the first time is a musical and sonic spectacular that's far more exciting than was the movie itself. This is one film score you can definitely enjoy without having seen the movie.

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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: Apr 19, 2017 19 comments
Music composed for films is by definition precisely timed and intended to mirror or at least complement the on screen action. Of course that’s not always how its accomplished, especially when the hired musicians are not trained film composers.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Apr 07, 2017 7 comments
Over the past decade or so vinyl-loving jazz enthusiasts have been treated to a series of previously unreleased but significant recordings discovered under beds, in closets and in the vaults of European radio stations. Some were never before heard. Others were bootlegged from radio broadcasts

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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 09, 2017 5 comments
It doesn't slight to this well-produced, thoroughly engaging record to write that singer/songwriter/pianist/raconteur Judith Owen is best experienced live in concert.

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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: 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 25, 2017 4 comments
We think of "field recordings" as vital ancient musical history, primitively captured. These "field recordings" dating from the 1990s were recorded using a pair of Bruel & Kjaer 4165 microphones and B&K power supply, Cello preamp, Apogee 1000 ADC and a Nagra D digital recorder given by Mark Levinson (the man) to producer Timothy Duffy .

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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 30, 2016 14 comments
This is the first Roy Orbison collection that includes material from all of Roy's excellent recorded adventures. There are twenty six tunes in all, culled from Sun, Monument, MGM, Virgin and The Traveling Wilburys.

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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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