AAA Vinyl

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Michael Fremer  |  Jul 30, 2015  |  23 comments
Perhaps it's because "Dino" cultivated a less than serious image as a friendly drunk or perhaps it's because of his long running role as Jerry Lewis's "straight man" in the most successful duo in comedy history, or maybe it was his long running "Dean Martin Celebrity Roast" television show.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 03, 2018  |  0 comments
Step away from your predictable audiophile fare and consider this double 45rpm LP set from the U.K.'s Gearbox Records of artists you've mostly never heard of playing music you've probably never heard either.

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 16, 2015  |  42 comments
The best album with one of the worst covers ever (well, at least of that era), has only grown in stature since it was first released in the Spring of 1966.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 09, 2018  |  11 comments
Gillian Welch's fourth album originally released in 2003 on CD-only finally gets an AAA release, cut by Stephen Marcussen on the Ortofon VMS-80 cutting system Welch and partner Dave Rawlings bought and restored. Now that's progress!

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 19, 2017  |  14 comments
With its compilation-like title, black and white cover art and wide ranging artists roster, The Sound of Jazz, originally issued in 1958, is often confused with one of Columbia Records' early stereo sampler albums.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 01, 2015  |  7 comments
This minor musical and major sonic gem features the great vibraphonist Gary Burton, Dave Brubeck Quartet drummer Joe Morello (reference only in case you just arrived from outer space) and veteran bassist Joe Benjamin on a jazz session headed by the great Nashville guitarist Hank Garland.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 26, 2017  |  7 comments
After the messy "supergroup" hype surrounding Blind Faith—more a one-off money maker than a group formed to last—Eric Clapton decided to downplay his fame and so was born in 1970 Derek and the Dominoes and the Layla... double LP that initially flopped. Many people today forget that, but flop it did. It didn't help that it was a costly double LP by an "unknown" group.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 12, 2015  |  14 comments
The golden gatefold cover art of Samantha Crain's Under Branch & Thorn & Tree makes clear that this is not a collection of "good times" tunes, but one is still left unprepared for the relentlessly bleak stories of betrayal, despair and desolation Crain delivers in an often pain-wracked voice that's somehow wrapped in a soothing, mesmerizing balm.

Michael Fremer  |  May 21, 2016  |  30 comments
At this point in his life and career, Eric Clapton has nothing to prove to anyone but himself. He’s gone from being called God on now famous graffiti that embarrassed him but others found justified, to later being called a snooze during a stretch of less than inspiring records and perhaps overexposure.

Malachi Lui  |  May 25, 2019  |  14 comments
Following a turbulent decade battling personal demons in the 1950s, tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon had mostly faded from the jazz scene by the end of that decade; after all, he only recorded three sessions (two of which he led) in the second half of it. By 1961, however, he began a successful relationship with Blue Note that commenced that year with Doin’ Allright. The Los Angeles-native moved back to New York City for the third time, got rediscovered by jazz listeners, and led a quintet on this album that included Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Horace Parlan on piano, George Tucker on Bass, and Al Harewood on drums.

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  |  May 03, 2017  |  12 comments
Characterizing The Gilded Palace of Sin as a “country-rock” album or “the first country-rock album” or as it’s incorrectly called by some Sweetheart of The Rodeo Part 2 sells short an album that transcends genre or for that matter “dash-genres”.

Michael Fremer  |  Apr 05, 2015  |  8 comments
On Storytone Neil Young wears his heart on his sleeve and splattered on his windshield, serving it up both straight and backed by orchestral and big band arrangements. All of the performances are recorded live, with no overdubs.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 03, 2015  |  6 comments
If you're looking for a good place to delve into the Sam Records reissue catalog beyond the obvious Chet Baker entry point, try this record featuring pianist John Lewis originally issued by Disques Versailles (MEDX 12005) in 1956.

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