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Joseph W. Washek  |  May 16, 2022  |  1 comments
On the evenings of July 12, 13, and 14, 1957, Bill Broonzy made his last recordings at Universal Recording Studios in Chicago. He was suffering from lung cancer, was scheduled to be operated on in a few days, and had been told that he would probably not be able to sing after the operation.

Nathan Zeller  |  May 15, 2022  |  20 comments
The $725 ($995 CAD) io is Rega Research’s entry level integrated amplifier. At 30 watts per channel into 8Ω—compared to the more costly Brio’s 50—the io aims toward listeners using easy-to-drive loudspeakers and/or headphones. Featuring the Brio’s moving magnet phono preamplifier and class A/B power amplifier stage, the io strives to borrow at a lower price point the Brio’s sonic characteristics: wonderful detail, wide dynamic range, and raw musicality. It shares the more costly Brio’s high quality “Alps Alpine” potentiometer and linear power supply. Rega even offers a lifetime warranty against any potential manufacturing defects. With its integrated phono preamplifier, two line level inputs, 3.5mm headphone output and remote control, the io offers everything a beginner hobbyist may require… at least theoretically.

Malachi Lui  |  Apr 28, 2022  |  35 comments
(Review Explosion, curated by contributing editor Malachi Lui, is AnalogPlanet’s guide to notable recent releases and reissues. It focuses on the previous few months’ new releases for which we don’t have time or energy to cover more extensively.)

Michael Fremer  |  Apr 21, 2022  |  5 comments
Jazz historian, Resonance Records Co-President and tireless searcher for unreleased jazz treasures Zev Feldman in 2015 was searching the French Institut National de la audiovisual (INA) archives when he came upon the complete, never before released in their entirety, Albert Ayler’s 1970 ORTF 1970 Fondation Maeght Recordings, recorded by Radio France, using professional recording equipment—a completely different STEREO source for this material than the radio broadcast, parts of which had previously been issued.

Michael Fremer  |  Apr 20, 2022  |  19 comments
For an artist who passed away at a relatively young age (51) Bill Evans left a rich and varied recorded legacy—more music on disc than even the most dedicated Evans fan could possibly consume, yet more rare and often precious gems continue to be discovered and released, particularly by Resonance Records, whose Co-President Zev Feldman is a huge Evans fan.

Nathan Zeller  |  Apr 19, 2022  |  9 comments
“Obsessive” is the one word that best describes a true Beatles fan. Most Beatles songs contain subtleties that some first notice only after a few hundred listens. Add critical listening tendencies and repeated plays to the fragility of vinyl records, plus the ease with which defects can be heard and you have a recipe for disaster—especially if you add to the mix “audiophilia”.

Malachi Lui  |  Apr 12, 2022  |  39 comments
(Review Explosion, curated by contributing editor Malachi Lui, is AnalogPlanet’s guide to notable recent releases and reissues. It focuses on the previous few months’ new releases for which we don’t have time or energy to cover more extensively.)

Joshua B. Smith  |  Apr 12, 2022  |  9 comments
L-R: Allen Klein, George, Ravi. (Photo: Leonard Detrick/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
How to describe the notorious music industry figure Allen Klein, the one-time manager of both the Beatles and Rolling Stones? One lawyer working with Klein called him “the devil incarnate.” Paul McCartney called him a “trained New York crook,” and that acutely cool figure, Mick Jagger, once had to be restrained from attacking Klein at a business meeting.

Malachi Lui  |  Mar 24, 2022  |  52 comments
Mere months after his patience-testing yet rewarding opus Donda, Kanye West is back with its lazily titled sequel, Donda 2. Don’t expect to find it on streaming platforms or in record stores, however. The artist now legally known as Ye instead independently released it exclusively on the $200 Stem Player, a proprietary, Yeezy Tech- and Kano-developed device that allows users tactile interaction with his last three albums (more about that later). Most of Donda 2’s media coverage centers around the Stem Player situation, how everyone thinks Kanye is “crazy” to so highly value his art by making everyone pay $200 for it. Yet, Donda 2 itself doesn’t cost $200; it’s a free download accessible only via the $200 Stem Player, meaning he doesn’t technically have to pay anyone royalties or sample clearances. Kanye would tell you he’s winning, except it’s his own game designed to eliminate any threat of competition. (Either way, Billboard ruled the album ineligible to chart. Kanye’s decision to keep Donda 2 off streaming is immensely respectable, though I wish he also put out a more convenient $20 CD or tape.)

Malachi Lui  |  Feb 28, 2022  |  7 comments
(Review Explosion, curated by contributing editor Malachi Lui, is AnalogPlanet’s guide to notable recent releases and reissues. It focuses on the previous few months’ new releases for which we don’t have time or energy to cover more extensively.)

Joseph W. Washek  |  Feb 28, 2022  |  6 comments
Billy Byers (1927-1996) was an excellent jazz trombonist that today is probably best known for his all over the horn, hard-swinging solo on the title track of Frank Zappa’s The Grand Wazoo album. Although he was awarded a long solo by Zappa, a famously exacting taskmaster, and played in the bands of the no less demanding Buddy Rich and Benny Goodman, recorded as a sideman on many jazz dates and made two albums as a featured soloist, Byers after the late 1950s, mainly worked as an arranger, not as a player. Probably the choice of the rigors and travails of the life of a touring jazz musician or the frequent tedium of studio work had little appeal and he made a long and successful career for himself, writing arrangements for hundreds of jazz recordings, movies and television shows. Discogs lists three hundred and forty-one “Writing & Arrangement” credits for Byers.

Michael Fremer  |  Feb 19, 2022  |  4 comments
Pushkin co-founder Malcolm Gladwell and his friend Bruce Headlam, co-founder of music podcast Broken Record (under the Pushkin umbrella, in which they share hosting with Rick Rubin), team up to converse with and attempt to “explain” Paul Simon’s genius in “Miracle and Wonder”, a lengthy, impeccably produced multi-chapter audio biography they rightly call a “book”.

Joseph W. Washek  |  Jan 24, 2022  |  17 comments
John Hartford (1937-2001) wrote “Gentle On My Mind” which won four Grammys, was chosen by BMI as the #16 Song Of The Century, was in 1990, the fourth most played song in the history of radio, has been covered by dozens, including Elvis, Sinatra and REM and by 2017 had been downloaded 250,00+ times. He was a regular on The Smothers Brothers, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour and the Johnny Cash TV shows. Between 1967 and 1970, he recorded seven albums for RCA which are an uncategorizable mixture of folk, rock, country, bluegrass, easy listening, psychedelic-folk and just plain oddness. If that wasn’t enough, he got hip credentialled by playing on The Byrds’ Sweetheart of The Rodeo LP.
Michael Fremer  |  Jan 10, 2022  |  14 comments
Rudy Van Gelder turned his parents’ cozy Hackensack, N.J. living room into a recording studio in which was produced, recorded and mastered some of Blue Note and Prestige’s most iconic and sought-after records, or so the legend goes.

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