Album Reviews

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Nathan Zeller  |  Feb 16, 2021  |  12 comments
(Ed note: This is the first voice memo review on AnalogPlanet) Jacob Collier rightfully displays a childlike fascination with music. It would be a mistake, though, to confuse his youthful exuberance with mediocrity. The 26 year old, who released his first album five years ago, gets praise from music business legends. Herbie Hancock is in awe of Collier’s performance and production abilities. Quincy Jones, recognizing the multi-instrumentalist’s potential, signed Collier to his personal management division.

Michael Fremer  |  Feb 01, 2021  |  3 comments
The Nels Cline Singers doesn’t have a singer. The free jazz ensemble doesn’t even have a sewing machine. There you have it! Two! Two! Two jokes in one! A novelty name, yes, but the septet’s eclectic, shape-shifting music is serious musical business, though also as much fun as you might expect if you know bassist Trevor Dunn’s old group Mr. Bungle, which in 1990 started out as a death metal band, then a pseudo ska band and by 1991 into one sufficiently eclectic to draw the attention of John Zorn who produced its debut album.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 27, 2021  |  59 comments
“Do we really need yet another version of Patricia Barber’s café blue? was my reaction upon hearing about IMPEX Records’ new $125 “One-Step” edition of this more than a quarter century old (1994) Premonition release.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 26, 2021  |  17 comments
This limited to 1000 copies lavishly packaged "one-step" edition of John Coltrane's Lush Life sold out shortly after it was announced. Did you miss anything? If it's a favorite, probably. I hesitated to review it, much like I don't review The Electric Recording Company's limited editions that almost immediately sell out upon release announcement, but given Craft's uneven release history (unlike that of ERC), a review seems appropriate.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 21, 2021  |  2 comments
Patrick Higgins’ 2016 album Bachanalia —a sonically adventurous compilation of Bach compositions transcribed for guitar—provided smooth and familiar musical sailing compared to this recently released double LP of challenging, provocative Avant garde chamber music.

Nathan Zeller  |  Jan 19, 2021  |  45 comments
Forty years have come and gone since the release of the second entry within the self-produced McCartney series. One may wonder why a wait equivalent to a fourteenth century human lifespan was necessary. Or… one could let the feeling of gratitude wash over as at age seventy-eight, Paul McCartney continues to grace our lives with his music. Being my age, I lucked out in only living sixteen years in this world where the McCartney albums existed as a duology, or so I thought.

Mark Dawes  |  Dec 27, 2020  |  20 comments
Draw Me A Silence is the first long-player from Azu Tiwaline, a project of the electronic producer and DJ Loan, who has “origins which take root in the Sahara and El Djerid region in the south of Tunisia”. This new incarnation creates “a sound from the desert drawing on Berberian and Saharan trance music that connects human beings with Nature” according to her Bandcamp page.

Nathan Zeller  |  Dec 26, 2020  |  0 comments
It’s certainly no secret that Jacob Collier is an outrageously talented musician; after all, when family pastimes involve singing Bach chorales… what else was to be expected?

From his days as a Youtube sensation until now, Collier has been labelled as many things, most of which are positive. That statement of course leaves room for the negative. Despite making leaps and bounds as a producer and performer (check out the logic session breakdown for “All I Need”), there remains a fair few who long to see him fulfill his potential as a writer. After hearing Collier’s latest release, Djesse Vol. 3, I must say I share those same feelings.

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 19, 2020  |  1 comments
There's still time to order online this double LP set curated with love by Lee's granddaughter Holly Foster Wells—or if your local vinyl emporium has a copy—pick it up "live". The 22 song compilation of course includes ten tracks from Lee's Christmas album Christmas Carousel (1960), but it also features songs from her earlier Decca catalog along with from the Disney animated classic "Lady and the Tramp", and a pair of duets with Bing Crosby. Six of the album's songs were written or co-written by Lee.

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 18, 2020  |  9 comments
As a value proposition the 2016 “The Philips Years” seven LP box set covering all of Nina Simone’s recorded output between 1964 and 1967 can’t be beat. Digitized at 96/24 resolution at Abbey Road using the original master tapes and well-pressed at Record Industry, the seven LPs sound very good. However!

Nathan Zeller  |  Nov 30, 2020  |  3 comments
Should you ever flip through my music library you’d notice that I actively avoid accumulating too many “simple” pop albums. Needless to say, my selective collecting has its reasons. At this point in time, I’d not be shocked to discover that there are a million songs containing the simple lyric “I love you”; of course, that’s just what that line is: simple. That is exactly why my probable million song estimation truly disappoints.

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  |  17 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  |  Nov 02, 2020  |  13 comments
This March 25, 1962 recording of Ella Fitzgerald performing live at Berlin’s Sportpalast is remarkable for several reasons, starting with the then 44 year old’s exuberant, high energy performance backed by the trio of Paul Smith on piano, Wilfred Middlebrooks on bass and Stan Levey on drums.

Malachi Lui  |  Oct 30, 2020  |  4 comments
Shortly after their 1970 sophomore album Fun House’s release, Detroit proto-punk legends the Stooges played the Goose Lake Festival in Jackson, Michigan, 80 miles west of Detroit. Intended to be a Midwest Woodstock of sorts, with acts like the Small Faces, Jethro Tull, and Chicago (among many more) the 3-day festival drew 200,000 attendees over a stifling weekend. The environment became tense; in this LP’s liner notes, Jaan Uhelszki writes of 500 people attending the Open City LSD bad trip rescue tent, with countless others also being stoned on PCP masquerading as cocaine. Still, the festival itself was well-organized. Bands played on a rotating stage, were limited to 45-minute sets without exception, and a six-foot fence and trench blocked performer/crowd interaction.

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