LATEST ADDITIONS

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

Back in the 1970's, your editor (me!) was doing stand-up comedy at colleges around the country. In the fall of 1976 I was invited to perform at Ithaca College. Since I was a Cornell alumnus (1969) I really looked forward to the visit. At the time I had a pet Coatimundi—a racoon like animal that ranges from Oklahoma, through Arizona, Mexico and points south. Look it up and you'll see a "stretch racoon" with a cartoon-like face. His name was Jeepy—named by a friend for Popeye's imaginary friend The Jeep, which he sort of resembled.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 01, 2005  |  1 comments

I turned 50 when the car manufacturer Saab turned 50, so I celebrated my half century, by treating myself to a day at the Skip Barber racing school held in conjunction with Saab's 50th anniversary celebration/annual Saab club convention, which took place that summer (1997) at the beautiful Waterville Valley Ski Resort-no dogs allowed.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 01, 2005  |  0 comments

As with William Shatner's infamous cover of “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” Paul Anka's big band cover of Nirvana's “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was not meant to be a goof. However, unlike Shatner's mangling, Anka pulls it off brilliantly, thanks in part to the suave, sensitive arrangements, but mostly because the Vegas veteran clearly takes the tunes seriously and sees their intrinsic musical and lyrical merit. Whoever did the A&R work made inspired choices as the mix of tunes is eclectic and sometimes daring.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 01, 2005  |  1 comments

Long considered to be one of the best sounding RCA “Living Stereo” recordings, this Classic Records 45rpm single sided edition takes getting it into your home to new extremes. The flat “other side” means better disc to platter coupling, as does the Quiex SV-P 200 profile, which gives your platter no lip. At 45rpm, the wavelengths get elongated and thus are easier to track-especially at the inner groove area as the spiral gets tighter and tighter.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 01, 2005  |  1 comments

The title track is not twice as good as Desmond's surprise jazz “hit” “Take Five,” immortalized on the Time Out album recorded with his regular band mates in the Brubeck quartet, but it has its own serpentine charm, and having Jim Hall comping on guitar instead of Brubeck on piano gives the track a far different, more delicate texture.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 01, 2005  |  1 comments

If you're expecting the young, daring Brian Eno to materialize after not making a vocal album for 28 years, you'll be disappointed. This is the reflective, contemplative work of a mature artist more interested in setting the table than in hacking it up and eating off of the floor.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 01, 2005  |  1 comments

The Concord catalog is filled with great sounding recordings made by top tier artists in the later phases of their careers. There's nothing wrong with that. It's to label founder and producer Carl E. Jefferson's credit that he had a jazz label vision and saw it through at a time when jazz was on the decline commercially.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 01, 2005  |  1 comments

Euphoria Jazz is a division of Bob Irwin's Sundazed. Sundazed licensed this and other Dawn Records jazz titles from Shout Factory, itself a division of Retropolis LCC. Shout Factory is a recent entity created by Richard Foos, an original founder of Rhino (along with Harold Bronson).

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 01, 2005  |  1 comments

It's almost laughable to think they were complaining about “commercialization” of the Newport Jazz Festival back in 1960 given what's happened to the venerable jazz festival, not to mention Wynton Marsalis doing ads for Movado and corporate sponsorships of bands, and festivals. We've got McCartney hawking some mutual fund or other, the Stones selling their music for commercials (I'm waiting for “Start Me Up” in a laxative ad). It's reached the point where nothing surprises, nothing shocks, and there's not a damn thing you can do about it except shake you head, and even that's really a waste of energy, so as they say, just lie back and enjoy it.

\  |  Oct 01, 2005  |  0 comments

The problem with “greatest hits” packages issued by (or for) by rock artists who flourished during the golden age of album artistry (1967-1991 give or take a few) is that they inevitably shortchange the musician and the music-not to mention the fans.

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