Matthew Greenwald  |  Jan 01, 2005  |  1 comments

The first studio album proper by the duet since 1976's Whistling Down The Wire, Crosby-Nash - a two-CD set - is an interesting, intriguing and overall thoughtful affair. To say something like that it reflects the 'lives in the balance' vibe that we are all surrounded by here in 2004 through the minds of these two firebrands would be accurate, but there's more, much more.

Andy Goldenberg  |  Jan 01, 2005  |  1 comments

A nice return to form has been achieved. While I thought their last album, Hello Nasty, was lacking compared to the groundbreaking holy trinity of Paul's Boutique, Check Your Head and Ill Communication, To the 5 Boroughs brings back some tasty examples of why the boys will go down in musical history as Rap-Rock trailblazers.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 01, 2005  |  1 comments

This 1978 set, featuring cornetist/arranger Bill Berry, backed by some of L.A.'s top jazz musicians, offers a time capsule into a not too distant past when both Pablo and Concord Records documented a still vital recording and gigging Southern California jazz scene that I'm not sure still exists. Players include many familiar jazz veterans such as Lew Tabackin (tenor sax/flutes), Bill Watrous (trombone), Dave Frishberg (piano), Monty Budwig (bass), and Frankie Capp (drums).

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 01, 2005  |  1 comments

Wow! Leave it to Sundazed to pull off the ultimate Christmas gift for Byrdmaniax-not that any of them will wait until then to devour this quintuple 45rpm box set. All of these A and B sides were originally conceived of as the “next” Byrds single, but for one reason or another, were shelved. Now Sundazed has resurrected them with fabulous sound and impeccable, sumptuous packaging.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 01, 2005  |  1 comments

This bio produced by the Spanish Eforfilms is essential viewing for any Nat King Cole fan. There's plenty of great Nat footage, but more importantly, an intelligent script a that looks at all facets of Nat's life, including the tension between Nat the jazz pianist and Nat the pop crooner. Also key was the difficult racial environment in which Cole, among others, was forced to suffer.
There are complete musical performances, including Cole with Ella and a hilarious duet with Sammy Davis, Jr., with Sammy doing a perfect Nat impression, much to the “King”'s delight. Unfortunately I was unable to view the bonus footage, because the bar code on the jacket was placed over where the disc sits and when the distribution company punched the promo hole, it put a hole in the disc. Even without the bonus footage, this is worth having. Other bios in the series include Billie Holiday and Lena Horne, with a Frank Sinatra disc due soon.
Also for Nat fans: Nat "King" Cole Soundies and Telescriptions (idem Home Video IDVD1017NT), a 72 minute DVD compilation of Cole performances from various venues. Mostly black and white with lo-fi sound, it's Nat's look that will mesmerize, and the music's so good, the bad sound will not interfere

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 01, 2004  |  1 comments

Englishman Dolby hit double paydirt with a catchy synth-novelty song and an accompanying video just as the pop-synth and music video/ MTV phenomena broke. However, “She Blinded Me With Science” was not his first song, nor does it really reflect what the guy's about. His first album, The Golden Age of Wireless (Harvest ST-12203), was originally issued without “She Blinded Me…”. When the song and video became popular, the album was reconfigured and reissued. Dolby was an instant celeb, and faded just as quickly, though his album Aliens Ate My Buick (EMI Manhattan E-148075) remains a cult fave for both music and sound. Come to think of it The Flat Earth was pretty good as well.

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 01, 2004  |  1 comments

Usually an aggressive Irish folkie with a penchant for some mad strumming, Mr. Bloom delivers a real snoozer on this 9 song set. If it puts you to sleep Bloom will be happy, for that is his intent.

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 01, 2004  |  0 comments

This 1957 classic, an early LP concept album filled with break- up songs, has always sounded better in mono because Capitol had a bad habit back then of tacking on way too much echo to stereo mixes. Hoffman remixed from the original 3 track master tape, cutting way back on the reverb to produce a positively stunning studio document from the golden age of analog recording.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 01, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments
TA: Let's go on the 5D era then, if we could. This is a major point of change for you guys. Your two primary sources of material, Gene Clark and then Bob Dylan were not on the record. Did you decide consciously not to do any more Dylan stuff for this record?

RM: I think maybe we got too much flack for doing too many Dylan songs.

John Nork  |  Oct 31, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments

The Tracking Angle Interview: David Crosby

TA: Let's begin with If I Could Only Remember My Name , your first solo album. It won some awards for sound quality. You once were quoted as saying the engineer Steve Barncord did a really good job. Do you think that a record like that could be made and released today?

DC: Probably not. Things have changed in the field. It's not as loose as it was then. Nowadays, if it isn't a clone of whatever's at the top of the charts, it's very hard to get anybody to pay any attention to it at all. We (CSN&Y) had just gotten through doing Déjà vu, you know? And I had more stuff and I was just having fun in the studio. It was the only place that I was really happy right then. That was not long after that girl had gotten killed that was my old lady, and so the studio was my refuge. I would hang out there and all my friends that were loose on any given night would wind up there. It was very self-indulgent, but we had no push, there was no pressure so we could do anything that I could think of. That's not true these days. Nowadays, the prices are so huge and the game is so distorted that winning is what matters and MTV has changed it to where theatrical acts win more than musical acts. Smoke bombs and costumes, you know, how much rage you can seem to express and anything to cut through the fog. It has very little to do with music. But that was a very musical album. I think if it came out now, it would fail.