AAA Vinyl

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Michael Fremer  |  Sep 01, 2017  |  41 comments
It’s not an insult to call singer Lyn Stanley’s fourth album “formulaic”. Not when the formula includes bringing onboard some of today’s best studio and touring jazz musicians and arrangers, recording in the best studios and hiring the greatest engineers. Another part of the formula is the cover art: highly stylized, glamorous black and white photos of Lyn.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 24, 2015  |  2 comments
Originally released in 1980 on the Swedish BIS label, the double LP la spagna became an instant, certified “audiophile classic”. It was on the late Harry Pearson’s “Super Disc” list since forever, with used copies regularly fetching upwards of $200.

Malachi Lui  |  Aug 14, 2019  |  60 comments
Dexter Gordon led the Clubhouse session May 27,1965 with Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Barry Harris on piano, Bob Cranshaw on bass, and Billy Higgins on drums. Two days later Gordon recorded Gettin’ Around, trading Freddie Hubbard for Bobby Hutcherson on vibes but otherwise maintaining the same lineup. However, until 1979 the former didn’t see the light of day. What happened?

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 14, 2016  |  8 comments
Three years before he passed away in 1983 at age 60 from lung cancer, a somewhat diminished Johnny Hartman entered Ben Rizzi's Master Sound Productions in the small Long Island 'burb of Franklin Square and recorded this album for the small Bee Hive label. It would be his next to final appearance on record, and one that earned him a "Best Male Jazz Vocalist" Grammy Nomination.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 18, 2017  |  3 comments
España is Chasing the Dragon's latest and most ambitious Direct-to-Disc record. It's difficult enough to record Direct-to-Disc a string ensemble, or a big band or a big band with vocalist, all of which the label has done successfully managed.

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.

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