LATEST ADDITIONS

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 01, 2004  |  0 comments

While Four Sail was an obligation owed to the old label (Elektra) after Lee had signed a new contract with Blue Thumb, and while Lee shows signs of losing his muse, the album has actually added luster over the years, as in hindsight, the brilliance of Lee’s eclectic, restless mind comes through with greater clarity, even as the originality hangs mostly on his arranging skills.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 01, 2004  |  1 comments

Perhaps this 1963 session isn’t peak Mingus, but it’s still unpredictable, volatile Mingus, leading two different 10 piece ensembles recorded in January and September of 1963. Side one’s group includes Eric Dolphy, Booker Ervin and Jaki Bayard, among others, and Mingus’s arrangements let them take flight beginning with a rumbling “II B.S.” (two bullshit), which probably became the template for every second rate jazz composer scoring for 1960’s television crime shows. The track absolutely smokes, fueled by Britt Woodman’s angry trombone blats and Jaki Bayard’s controlled keyboard pounding. Try not to get charged up when this track is playing.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 31, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments

There was a great deal of excitement a few months ago when Toshiba-EMI announced a new series of Beatles albums. The 1970’s EAS series from the label are considered by most collectors to be among the best sounding Beatles albums issued anywhere, but a ‘90’s series issued by the label, and cut from digital masters was expensive and sounded brittle and uninviting, though as usual, the packaging was sumptuous and the pressing quality was pristine.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 31, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments

The Eno CD Re-masters From Astralwerks/Virgin

As we reported back in April, Astralwerks/Virgin has remastered Brian Eno’s four classic 1970's albums. Here Come the Warm Jets, Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy), Another Green World and Before and After Science using the original masters—as delivered by Brian Eno. No re-equalization or other revisionist alterations have been made in the transfer process.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 01, 2004  |  0 comments

One might argue there have been enough Krauss vinyl reissues, what with two outstanding ones from Diverse Records, but give this two LP set a spin and end of argument-even if you have those two superb sounding sets.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 01, 2004  |  0 comments

They’ve been out of commission for 22 years, but you’d never know it listening to Mission of Burma’s powerful, bracingly-fresh, time-warp of a post-punk/art-rocking noise assault, recorded last year. It sounds more like someone lowered the stylus on a record that’s been spinning silently for decades than the premier effort of a re-formed trio of middle- aged geezers who sound as youthfully exuberant as they did in 1979.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 01, 2004  |  1 comments

I'm not sure how many Roy Orbison completists are out there. I know two: myself and my friend Frank Doris. Classic has issued Orbison's Crying in both mono and stereo and a good case can be made for either edition, once the case has been made for the music, which is a bit of a more difficult proposition.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 01, 2004  |  0 comments

Maybe you kicked yourself for not buying Steve Hoffman’s outstanding re-mastering of The All Tme Greatest Hits of Roy Oribison issued by DCC Compact Classics almost a decade ago. Maybe you didn’t have a turntable back then. Or maybe you have a copy of that limited edition release and you think it is now gaining value.It's not, now that this edition is about to be released.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 01, 2004  |  1 comments

Producer Norman Granz's “songbook” concept, made possible by the invention of the LP, proved to be one of his most popular and enduring ideas. Ella sang Rodgers and Hart, Cole Porter, and of course Gershwin, but this one, pairing two of the biggest names of the last musical century, with Ella performing with three ensembles, was perhaps Granz's most ambitious undertaking. Ella and the Duke were signed to different labels, and both had busy concert and recording schedules, but after Ella performed with Ellington at a Jazz at the Philharmonic date, Granz set about getting the two together in a recording studio for a songbook production.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 01, 2004  |  0 comments

At a time when glam “hair bands” reigned, and “synth bands” waned, two guys named David and a producer named Davitt decided to make a grittier sound—a rock-roots kind of album—yet one that didn’t stray completely from the synth strains still permeating pop music.

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