Album Reviews

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Michael Fremer  |  Feb 06, 2019  |  5 comments
You know those records that “got away”? The ones you saw in the bins when they first were released that you mean to buy but somehow didn’t? One for me was Peter Walker’s Rainy Day Raga on Vanguard. I’ll pick up a copy eventually (I said that before, back in the ‘60s, but this time I mean it!) but for now there’s this old-time/modern psych-drone fest with the recently resurfaced Walker, now in his 80s, collaborating with Harmony Rockets (better known as Mercury Rev along with Wilco’s Nels Cline, Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley and Martin Keith.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 28, 2019  |  8 comments
Sam Records just issued a never before released series of absolutely rocking live performances by the under appreciated American-born tenor/soprano saxophonist and flutist Nathan Davis (1937-2018).

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 25, 2019  |  4 comments
Darkness into Light, Evil into Good, Ugliness into Beauty, Ignorance into Knowledge, Confusion into Certainty, deliverance from oppression (and the other way around) and simultaneous alternative realities are familiar transformative comic book and biblical themes (Shorter is a known comic book fan; not sure about his biblical proclivities).

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 24, 2019  |  16 comments
Former N.Y.C. Deputy Mayor Edward Morrison's obituary appeared in today's New York Times. Morrison was instrumental in helping John Lennon remain in America at a time when Richard Nixon was trying to deport him. Lennon's anti-war political agitation bugged Nixon. The deportation was going to based on an old pot bust. Morrison intervened and helped Lennon to remain in America by having him declared a "valuable cultural asset to New York City".

Malachi Lui  |  Jan 02, 2019  |  5 comments
On August 11 of last year, I had the amazing opportunity to meet Jack White and his band at their Portland, Oregon concert after the publication of my Boarding House Reach review. White read my review, loved it, and through his tour manager and a few other connections, invited my family backstage. We got to stand right behind the sound engineers and lighting controllers, and I even got to view the show from the side of the stage next to White’s guitar technician. Needless to say, I’m a fan; we purchased concert tickets prior to his invitation (and in February 2016, we even made the trek from New Jersey to his Third Man Records headquarters in Nashville).

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 01, 2019  |  5 comments
This recently released 5 LP Mack Avenue Records box set celebrates Gary Burton's incredible six decades of outstanding music making, organized chronologically and by label, beginning with his earliest and arguably best sounding recordings on the RCA Victor label where he began recording, first as a sideman, during the summer between high school and his enrollment at The Berklee College of Music. The Indiana native was first "discovered" by "Yakety" saxophonist Boots Randolph at an Evansville, Indiana club and made his way to RCA through Chet Atkins and fellow guitarist Hank Garland.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 29, 2018  |  15 comments
Billed as “The Expanded 1963 New York Studio Sessions”, Resonance Records’ Black Friday offering Eric Dolphy Musical Prophet is anything but one of those RSD repackaged assemblages of cast off secondary material meant for fanatical completists. The phrase “connective tissue” kept running through my head as I listened to the 3 LPs and read “mouth agape” the vital annotation that threaded together the confused recorded history.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 27, 2018  |  18 comments
To help pay for her self-funded debut EP Sophia Pfister worked in a mortuary. Now, two years later, she’s released her first LP—also self-funded. Since that first effort she’s expanded her web presence on her own website as well as on most social media platforms and streaming services. Most importantly, she’s steadily gigged, performing live around the Los Angeles area.

Malachi Lui  |  Nov 06, 2018  |  33 comments
Over the past 70 years, the world has been treated to Christmas songs recorded by Bing Crosby, the Vince Guaraldi Trio, Nat “King” Cole, and many others. These classics evoke the wonderful feelings of the holiday season among listeners of all ages. Happy Xmas is Eric Clapton’s attempt to create his own seasonal classic. With a “slight blues tinge” to holiday favorites, he falls painfully short with an amazingly boring, emotionless, and by-the-numbers album.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 02, 2018  |  14 comments
1974's Blood on the Tracks (Columbia PC 33235) was for many at the time a "Bob Dylan's back" album. He was back on Columbia Records after leaving for David Geffen's Asylum for a pair of not particularly well-received at the time albums backed by The Band. But more importantly Dylan was back in the more familiar role as folk-poet and story teller—though spinning more deeply felt tales from various points of view that many observers wrongly thought were personal chronicles.

Malachi Lui  |  Oct 31, 2018  |  17 comments
“Why another Axis: Bold As Love?” That’s what I asked myself before buying this SACD. After all, mono and stereo AAA LPs have been in print for several years, and were obviously made for audiophiles. For digital listeners, the most recent CD edition mastered by the late George Marino at Sterling Sound isn’t bad. How much better can this album sound?

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 23, 2018  |  36 comments
If you want to quickly know if you’re going to like Giles Martin’s The Beatles remixes start with “Long, Long, Long”. If you don’t like that one, you’re probably not going to like the rest, but for me, that remix in particular is far superior to the one on the two original “Top Loader” U.K. pressings I have: more transparent and more spacious, with a holographic George front, center and three-dimensional as he’s not presented on the original.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 20, 2018  |  11 comments
If you do a "Gene Clark" search on this website you'll find plenty to read and to listen to—including an AnalogPlanet Radio show dedicated to the late musician and former member of The Byrds. Please also read here the many record, book and documentary reviews covering Gene Clark's life and recorded output.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 18, 2018  |  0 comments
In an era where virtuosity is seemingly shunned, here comes 32 year old Welsh-born finger picking, multi-instrumentalist Gwenifer Raymond who, listening to this album, you’d swear must have been born on the Appalachian trail somewhere south of the Mason Dixon line.

Malachi Lui  |  Oct 14, 2018  |  9 comments
“If there’s one thing that ties the two EPs together, it’s that all the songs are about moving,” wrote Brooklyn-based indie rock band The Dig in a recent press statement. Over the course of their move from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, they wrote and recorded the songs that would make up two new EPs, Moonlight Baby and Afternoon With Caroline. After dropping tracks from these releases throughout the year, the latter has finally been released in full and both EPs have been paired for a new vinyl release courtesy of Roll Call Records.

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