Album Reviews

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Michael Fremer  |  Mar 13, 2019  |  55 comments
AnalogPlanet editor Michael Fremer is not a classical music authority. If you didn't know that before watching this frantic, somewhat shallow video, you will after!

Michael Fremer  |  Feb 22, 2019  |  34 comments
Mobile Fidelity's One-Step reissue of Marvin Gaye's groundbreaking album What's Going On is long out of print but still deserving of a short review.

Michael Fremer  |  Feb 21, 2019  |  5 comments
Blue Note's new "Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series" is part of the company's 80th anniversary celebration. Wayne Shorter's Etcetera is the first release in the series. Joe Harley, well known among audiophiles for his work with AudioQuest both as a press liaison (among other tasks) and especially for the series of all-analog AudioQuest LPs he produced back when vinyl was "dead", "hand picked" these "Tone Poet" titles and oversaw their production.

Michael Fremer  |  Feb 16, 2019  |  9 comments
The boomer generation is firmly out of cultural control and rock is pretty much dead—not in terms of interest but in the same way big band music is dead—though back in 1980 when this Linda Ronstadt concert was produced and recorded for an HBO special, boomer power peaked.

Michael Fremer  |  Feb 11, 2019  |  16 comments
One of the Anthony Wilson-shot photographs in the coffee table quality photobook housed within Songs and Photographs’s handsome, textured paper slipcase— along with the jacketed 180 gram LP (Goat Hill Recordings GHR-005)—is of a church’s red brick back wall, in front of which are three gravestones. The late afternoon sun casts against the wall three long offset shadows.

Michael Fremer  |  Feb 06, 2019  |  5 comments
You know those records that “got away”? The ones you saw in the bins when they first were released that you mean to buy but somehow didn’t? One for me was Peter Walker’s Rainy Day Raga on Vanguard. I’ll pick up a copy eventually (I said that before, back in the ‘60s, but this time I mean it!) but for now there’s this old-time/modern psych-drone fest with the recently resurfaced Walker, now in his 80s, collaborating with Harmony Rockets (better known as Mercury Rev along with Wilco’s Nels Cline, Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley and Martin Keith.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 28, 2019  |  7 comments
Sam Records just issued a never before released series of absolutely rocking live performances by the under appreciated American-born tenor/soprano saxophonist and flutist Nathan Davis (1937-2018).

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 25, 2019  |  4 comments
Darkness into Light, Evil into Good, Ugliness into Beauty, Ignorance into Knowledge, Confusion into Certainty, deliverance from oppression (and the other way around) and simultaneous alternative realities are familiar transformative comic book and biblical themes (Shorter is a known comic book fan; not sure about his biblical proclivities).

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 24, 2019  |  16 comments
Former N.Y.C. Deputy Mayor Edward Morrison's obituary appeared in today's New York Times. Morrison was instrumental in helping John Lennon remain in America at a time when Richard Nixon was trying to deport him. Lennon's anti-war political agitation bugged Nixon. The deportation was going to based on an old pot bust. Morrison intervened and helped Lennon to remain in America by having him declared a "valuable cultural asset to New York City".

Malachi Lui  |  Jan 02, 2019  |  5 comments
On August 11 of last year, I had the amazing opportunity to meet Jack White and his band at their Portland, Oregon concert after the publication of my Boarding House Reach review. White read my review, loved it, and through his tour manager and a few other connections, invited my family backstage. We got to stand right behind the sound engineers and lighting controllers, and I even got to view the show from the side of the stage next to White’s guitar technician. Needless to say, I’m a fan; we purchased concert tickets prior to his invitation (and in February 2016, we even made the trek from New Jersey to his Third Man Records headquarters in Nashville).

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 01, 2019  |  5 comments
This recently released 5 LP Mack Avenue Records box set celebrates Gary Burton's incredible six decades of outstanding music making, organized chronologically and by label, beginning with his earliest and arguably best sounding recordings on the RCA Victor label where he began recording, first as a sideman, during the summer between high school and his enrollment at The Berklee College of Music. The Indiana native was first "discovered" by "Yakety" saxophonist Boots Randolph at an Evansville, Indiana club and made his way to RCA through Chet Atkins and fellow guitarist Hank Garland.

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 10, 2018  |  12 comments
Joan Baez recorded this Vanguard debut in 1960 at age 19. With her impossibly high and pure quavering voice and matching pristine finger picking guitar, she and this album created a sensation that helped shift the "folk-revival" back to authenticity from the commerciality into which it had drifted. Though while she sounded like a barefoot waif recently arrived from the Appalachian mountains, she was born on Staten Island. Her Mexico-born father who grew up in Brooklyn, the son of a minister, was a Stanford PhD credited with co-inventing the X-ray microscope. Her Scottish mother's father was an Anglican priest.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 29, 2018  |  15 comments
Billed as “The Expanded 1963 New York Studio Sessions”, Resonance Records’ Black Friday offering Eric Dolphy Musical Prophet is anything but one of those RSD repackaged assemblages of cast off secondary material meant for fanatical completists. The phrase “connective tissue” kept running through my head as I listened to the 3 LPs and read “mouth agape” the vital annotation that threaded together the confused recorded history.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 27, 2018  |  17 comments
To help pay for her self-funded debut EP Sophia Pfister worked in a mortuary. Now, two years later, she’s released her first LP—also self-funded. Since that first effort she’s expanded her web presence on her own website as well as on most social media platforms and streaming services. Most importantly, she’s steadily gigged, performing live around the Los Angeles area.

Malachi Lui  |  Nov 23, 2018  |  5 comments
By the time Jeff Beck recorded 1976’s platinum-selling Wired, the former Yardbirds guitarist had moved on from the blues rock of the 60s and chased a new musical obsession: fusion. With George Martin at the production desk, and prominently accompanied by Jan Hammer on synthesizer, Narada Michael Walden on drums, Wilbur Bascomb on bass, and Max Middleton on Clavinet, Beck recorded an entirely instrumental album of fusion material.

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