Michael Fremer  |  Aug 01, 2005  |  1 comments

Sundazed's Bob Irwin plays guitar and loves guitarists. In case you haven't noticed, go through the Sundazed catalog and you'll see. Hank Garland, best known as a Nashville session cat who played with Elvis, Eddy Arnold (in his touring band) and many, many others, was equally adept at playing electric jazz and this album on SESAC records issued in 1960 proved it. Adding to the interest here is the inclusion on the session of the very young vibraphonist Gary Burton.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 01, 2005  |  1 comments

“Jazz” and “clarinet” usually equals Dixieland in the minds of many jazz fans, which may explain, in part, why jazz clarinetist Jimmy Guiffre, a most imaginative, and free-spirited musician failed to achieve the acclaim he deserved-not that there's anything wrong with Dixieland.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 01, 2005  |  1 comments

This simple 1957 session featuring the mellow-toned tenor sax player backed by Oscar Peterson's trio (bassist Ray Brown and guitarist Herb Ellis) plus drummer Alvin Stoller doesn't set off any sparks but like a good Cognac, it goes down easy and brings great warmth and much pleasure, both musically and sonically.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 01, 2005  |  0 comments

The South African trumpet and flugelhorn player Hugh Masekela first became known to American audiences as a pop star with his 1968 hit “Grazing in the Grass.” He played trumpet on The Byrds' hit “So You Want to Be a Rock and Roll Star,” and among audiophiles, his song “Stimela (Coaltrain),” recorded live, is a sonic standout as well as an inspiring track.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 01, 2005  |  0 comments

Duke Ellington in a hard charging trio session may surprise some listeners expecting the Duke's usual light touch. Spurred on by Charles Mingus's angry plucks and Max Roach's polyrhythms, Ellington hits the keyboard harder than usual, punctuating his flourishes with greater dynamic gusto than one hears on his big band recordings.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 01, 2005  |  2 comments

There were good reasons British blues musicians like the original Peter Green led Fleetwood Mac or blues influenced ones like The Rolling Stones wanted to record in Chess's legendary Ter-Mar Studios in Chicago. One, of course, was the possibility of jamming with blues legends like Willie Dixon, Otis Spann, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolk and, well, you can run down the names yourself, including “Guitar Buddy,” what Buddy Guy had to be called due to contractual obligations. The other reason is to get that fabulous Ter-Mar Sound, which The Stones managed to do on some of their earlier albums.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 01, 2005  |  0 comments

As you'll read in James Lyons's Iiner notes for this disc, Respighi was a nostalgic artist who preferred the melodic, romantic music of a bygone era to the atonal, serial, avante-garde constructions popular when these retro-impressionistic compositions were written in 1927.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 31, 2005  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments

Site mascot Eno, celebrated his 11th birthday today, July 18th, 2005—a major milestone for a Bernese Mountain Dog.

This breed has an average lifespan of around 8 years due to size (big dogs have shorter lifespans in general) as well as a variety of health issues includng cancer.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 10, 2005  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments
Michael Fremer wrote about the EAR 834P Deluxe in August 2003 (Vol.26 No.8):

I've been meaning to review this Tim de Paravicini design for years. Finally, egged on by readers, here goes.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 01, 2005  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments

You won't find Roy Halee's name on many great sounding records. Not because the veteran recording engineer hasn't made them, but because Columbia Records' policy for many years was to not credit the engineer on the jacket. So, aside from the few that do credit him, the others require you to know who they are. That's one reason I tracked Roy down through Sterling Sound's Greg Calbi who has mastered many of Halee's recent projects. But more importantly, as with Bill Porter, I just wanted to sit down face to face with someone who has consistently provided us with great sound, and find out why and how he managed to do it, when so many others failed.

Some of Halee's recording credits are well known:all of Simon and Garfunkel's records, the best sounding Byrds albums (Notorious Byrd Brothers and Sweetheart of the Rodeo), and of course, Paul Simon's two fascinating and extremely successful projects (both commercially and artistically) Graceland and Rhythm of the Saints.