Album Reviews

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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.

Michael Fremer  |  Mar 02, 2016  |  27 comments
There's something deeply offensive to me about picking apart the sound on the David Bowie [Five Years 1969-1973] box set. The guy is gone, the sadness lingers and maybe it's time to just enjoy and celebrate the music.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 26, 2016  |  24 comments
Music re-mixes may not be as complicated or as critical as brain surgery but when it comes to The Beatles, you could make the case.
Michael Fremer  |  Jan 20, 2016  |  14 comments
Like Paul McCartney's Kisses on the Bottom, The Eagles' Glenn Frey's standards album was produced with requisite class, though Frey's song choices range wider, covering everything from the 1922 Al Jolson classic "My Buddy" to Brian Wilson's soothing Pet Sounds solo turn "Caroline No" written with Tony Asher.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 01, 2016  |  3 comments
A description of this record in Twitter-like brevity: "Sandy Bull meets Michael Hedges in a church."

Of course that short-changes everyone involved, especially the only living artist among the three: guitarist Patrick Higgins.

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 30, 2015  |  4 comments
Recorded music comes to us pressed in plastic and frozen in time. The work leading up to the master often gets lost, tossed or erased and recorded over without a thought that it might be of interest to anyone. That’s most often true. Alternate takes, when they do surface, usually make clear why they were passed over in favor of the one programmed into your brain, though there are exceptions.

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 19, 2015  |  57 comments
A recent sales blurb from UMe's "The Sound of Vinyl" website reads: "Using the original analog master tapes this artisan process results in cuts that have superior high frequency response (treble) and very solid and stable stereo images. In short, a very high quality master that helps to create a very high quality record."

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 15, 2015  |  17 comments
Chad Kassem's got a vinyl selling website, a reissue label, a pressing plant and well-oiled licensing deals so what's left to do but a self-produced double vinyl Christmas compilation pressed on red and green?

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 12, 2015  |  15 comments
Of course the only "ultimate" Sinatra collection for fans is having a huge collection of his albums on Columbia, Capitol and Reprise—the label he started—plus some of the original 78s from the late '30's up until the era of the long playing record.

 |  Dec 02, 2015  |  8 comments
At the top of the Costello album heap (not there alone, though), Trust issued in 1981 is Elvis Costello peaking in anger and disillusionment and coupling his discontent to wiry melodic constructions riding atop tautly tensioned rhythms. The album title is obviously ironic.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 21, 2015  |  17 comments
"Jenny Sings Lenny" as Mr. Cohen playfully referenced this album in a cartoon included in the original release's liner notes but for some reason omitted here, both technically and musically has never sounded better.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 04, 2015  |  10 comments
The Bowie dress cover did not make the American cut when the album was first released in America in the Fall of 1970.
Michael Fremer  |  Nov 01, 2015  |  21 comments
Hunky Dory introduced a kinder, gentler David Bowie after two heavy albums laden with mythological imagery and pleasant dread—not that this album doesn't also include heavy doses of the latter.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 22, 2015  |  7 comments
Igor Stravinsky was the original rock'n'roller and if you don't think so, you don't know rock'n'roll or Stravinsky!

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 13, 2015  |  0 comments
When I interviewed singer/songwriter Jack Tempchin recently I joked about why older songwriters often lose their creativity.

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