Album Reviews

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Michael Fremer  |  Oct 18, 2016  |  18 comments
Best known to American Miles Davis fans as side one of the twelve inch Columbia Records LP release Jazz Track (CL1268), Ascenseur pour l’échafaud (“Elevator to the Scaffold”), the jazz soundtrack to the Louis Malle film was originally released in France in 1958 on the Fontana label as a 10” LP.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 15, 2016  |  14 comments
Originally released as a double LP back in 1956, Ella Fitzerald Sings the Cole Porter Song Book was both the first of her "songbook" albums and the first release on Norman Granz's then brand new Verve Records (MG V-4001/2).

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 26, 2016  |  4 comments
Though he's but thirty years old, guitarist, record producer, studio session and touring band member Blake Mills has had already had a dizzying career. He's toured with Jenny Lewis and Band of Horses and Lucinda Williams. He's done session work for Norah Jones, Weezer, The Avett Brothers and Andrew Bird among many others and he produced Alabama Shakes' Sound & Color for which he received a producer of the year, non-classical, Grammy nomination.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 03, 2016  |  11 comments
Fred Hellerman's obituary appeared in today's (Sept. 3, 2016) New York Times. Hellerman was the last surviving member of The Weavers, the folk group that helped usher in what became known as the "folk revival" of the late '50s and '60s.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 26, 2016  |  12 comments
The last time we heard from the adventurous Jamie Saft, he'd released The New Standard an all-analog straight ahead jazz trio album engineered by the great Joe Ferla.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 26, 2016  |  47 comments
Joe Jackson's "angry young man" stance came late in the cycle and so at the time was less than fully convincing. Elvis and Graham had already been there and done that. The picture of Jackson on the back cover of his debut Look Sharp just wasn't convincing.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 13, 2016  |  15 comments
Reunited with his old friend, producer and engineer Roy Halee, Paul Simon delivers an imaginative and vital record—his most fully realized since Graceland., though its musical complexity and mood more closely resemble Rhythm of the Saints”

Michael Fremer  |  Jun 22, 2016  |  24 comments
1971's Jack Johnson is Miles Davis making as close to a rock record as he's made.

Michael Fremer  |  Jun 21, 2016  |  13 comments
Seeing the superb documentary “What Happened, Miss Simone” isn’t mandatory but you’ll so much more enjoy this astonishing debut album recorded in 1957 (but not released until 1959) that it’s highly recommended, especially if you have Netflix. You’ll sit transfixed by this exceptional woman’s remarkable and often tragic life story.

Michael Fremer  |  Jun 15, 2016  |  6 comments
If you go into this ambitious acoustic Led Zeppelin covers project hard wired for Robert Plant and Jimmy Page you’re probably bound for disappointment but if you just relax into it, you might be pleasantly surprised by what you see in your mind’s eye. You’ll surely like what the production brings to your ears.

Michael Fremer  |  May 30, 2016  |  46 comments
Sony/Legacy recently announced that Pink Floyd's catalog would be reissued on vinyl for the first time in twenty years.

Michael Fremer  |  Apr 12, 2016  |  2 comments
Anthony Wilson, best known as a jazz guitarist, has released an organic, occasionally “noir-ish”, sounding album on which he sets up and sings within cinematic musical landscapes, proving himself to be an equally compelling story teller. "Frogtown" is an area of Los Angeles, whose official name is "Elysian Valley". People live there but other than a lush stretch of the L.A. riverbed, there's not much there, which is how the people like it. The same can't be said of this record, which will have you wondering from where came this Anthony Wilson?

Michael Fremer  |  Apr 07, 2016  |  6 comments
Petra Haden, the very talented daughter of the late bassist Charlie Haden, and former member of That Dog released in 2005 an a cappella version of The Who Sells Out that is charming, entertaining, ingenious and loads of fun. It was CD only until now.
Michael Fremer  |  Apr 01, 2016  |  17 comments
The Boulder, Colorado-based vinyl curating service Vinyl Me, Please aims its releases more at new vinyl collectors looking for some guidance and order than at established vinyl aficionados and audiophiles interest in provenance purity.

Michael Fremer  |  Apr 01, 2016  |  3 comments
On August 28,1962 Dave Brubeck's "classic" quartet and Tony Bennett backed by The Ralph Sharon Trio performed separately on the stage of the Sylvan Amphitheater at the base of the Washington Monument and then in an act of daring spontaneity, Brubeck and company backed Bennett on four unrehearsed tunes, all of which was captured to tape by. Columbia Records' remote recording team.

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