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Michael Fremer  |  Aug 28, 2015  |  9 comments
I’ll tell you how I got into medieval era dance music similar to what’s on this record and on la Spagna: back in 1969 when I worked in the downstairs record store division of Minuteman in Harvard Square, a salesman named Duane who worked upstairs selling audio gear I could not at the time afford, insisted I buy a record on Deutsche Grammophone’s Archive Production label.

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.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 20, 2016  |  21 comments
By now you know the drill: The Electric Recording Company finds a collectible and music-worthy title to reissue and does its fanatical-attention-to-details thing, both in the mastering from the original tape on a lovingly restored all-tube cutting system to a meticulously produced record sleeve and jacket that are in most ways difficult to distinguish from the original as described in previous ERC reviews.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 09, 2017  |  16 comments
A heavenly pairing of Bacharach's suburban pop melodic intent and Costello's insightful lyrics that well-capture the required Bacharach late afternoon bedroom melodrama produced this 1998 gem of a soap operatic collaboration.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 03, 2015  |  28 comments
Long time Gerry Rafferty fans were thrilled for the long-suffering artist when he finally had a hit single under his own name with “Baker Street”, taken from his late ‘70s release City to City.

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 17, 2015  |  32 comments
One of the greatest Broadway shows ever was also one of the great recordings of the dawning stereo era. Just reissued by Razor & Tie imprint Analog Spark and sourced using the original 3 track analog master tape, the music leaps from the speakers with new found conviction intensity and astonishing transparency.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 10, 2018  |  16 comments
It's difficult to believe that British born cellist Jacqueline Du Pré was but 20 years old on August 19th, 1965 when she delivered this recorded performance in famed Kingsway Hall with Sir John Barbirolli conducting the London Symphony Orchestra.

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  |  Sep 03, 2019  |  14 comments
This is the 45rpm version of IMPEX's 2017 33 1/3 all-analog reissue of Michel Legrand's somewhat overlooked musical and sonic treasure featuring many of the greatest jazz artists of the era. Nothing other than Legrand's passing has changed since the original reissue review, so I'm just repeating it, other than to add that it sounds even "Legrander" at 45rpm, though if you already own IMPEX's 33 1/3 version, it's not really necessary to buy it again, unless you must! An enticement might be the now glossy laminated jacket and gatefold booklet with a very useful and informed essay by KCRW's Tom Schnabel.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 26, 2016  |  15 comments
Recording direct-to-disk is difficult enough. The entire side has to be cut in one long take. Consider a big band vocal album like this, which has four songs per side. The orchestra and singer have to be ready as soon as the cutting stylus hits the lacquer and then they have to perform flawlessly on each track, pausing but a few seconds between songs.

Michael Fremer  |  Jun 26, 2017  |  20 comments
Bassist Scott LaFaro's death in a Geneva, New York car accident ten days after the Sunday, June 25th, 1961 recording of this Village Vanguard set did more than add a tragic luster to the story. It upended what might have been a very different track order here and on Waltz For Debby, the second record sourced using tracks recorded that day by engineer David Jones on a modified Ampex 350 using Scotch 111 tape.

 |  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  |  Jul 18, 2018  |  16 comments
The Buffalo Springfield box set reissue fans have long awaited is finally here and it was well worth waiting for. Neil Young points out in the enclosed heavy paper full color "one sheet" that all five records were cut directly from the original master tapes, not tape copies. Each record has a Neil-created "SPARS code"

Michael Fremer  |  Jun 05, 2019  |  2 comments
Buddy Guy’s 1967 Chess release—his first— has nothing to do with San Francisco, nor was it recorded July of 1967 though the jacket says it was. No big deal. Someone (probably Leonard Chess) chose to reference San Francisco because “flower power” was happening and it seemed like a good way to grab the white kids’ interest. The recording date was chosen close to the original release date so it would sound current but in fact, this is a compilation that includes tracks recorded between 1962 and 1967.

Michael Fremer  |  May 03, 2017  |  7 comments
While a great deal of attention rightly gets paid to Bill Evans' legendary Village Vanguard recordings early in his career, this superb set recorded in Paris, France shortly before his passing is equally worthy both musically and sonically.

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