Michael Fremer

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 16, 2013  |  2 comments
Best known for playing the traditional jazz it was founded to preserve fifty years ago, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band here celebrates its next fifty with a forward looking program of audacious, often raucous and sometimes mischievous new originals mostly written by 41 year old Ben Jaffe, son of the hall's founders Allan and Sandra and current Creative Director
Michael Fremer  |  Jul 15, 2013  |  6 comments
Mikey assembles an RB3000 tonearm—pray it won't be yours!

Politics and audio don't mix! Keep your pinko ideas to yourself. I cancel my subscription!"

How many times have we read that in Stereophile, shortly after a writer has injected a few cubic centimeters of ideology into a review or column? No doubt all of the offended parties dashed off equally angry letters to ultra-partisan House majority whip Tom (the bug exterminator) DeLay, who threw a hissy fit back in October when he found out that the EIA (Electronic Industries Alliance, the parent organization of CEMA, which runs the Consumer Electronics Show, etc.) had the gall, the nerve, to hire former Oklahoma Democratic representative Dave McCurdy as the group's president and industry spokesperson.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 13, 2013  |  97 comments
Don't speak ill of the dead is commonly accepted wisdom to which I almost always subscribe. However, an Amar Bose obituary in today's New York Times by Glenn Rifkin that read more like an advertisement than an obit forces my hand.

The obit writer claims the Bose Corporation "..became synonymous with high quality audio systems..." and that "His speakers, though expensive, earned a reputation for bringing concert-hall quality audio into the home." Really?

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 10, 2013  |  39 comments
Imports crowd the $1500 turntable price-point with entries from Rega, Pro-Ject, Music Hall, Clearaudio, JA Michell, Marantz (made by Clearaudio), Acoustic Signature and some others.

Until VPI surprised the turntable world last year with the Traveler, the only American-made ‘table manufactured at this price that I can think of is the SOTA Comet, which comes with an OEM Rega tonearm.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 09, 2013  |  30 comments
Most of us are convinced that the media regularly underreports record sales. It seems that Nielsen/Soundscan's numbers can't possible be correct, nor does it seem likely they have the ability to dig deeply into the sales portals where much of the vinyl activity occurs.
Michael Fremer  |  Jul 08, 2013  |  6 comments
By the time the "classic" Dave Brubeck Quartet arrived at Carnegie Hall on February 22nd, 1963 it had "practiced, practiced, practiced" as the old joke goes. The quartet of Brubeck, drummer Joe Morello, bassist Eugene Wright and alto saxophonist Paul Desmond was a well-oiled music making machine.

It was also the world's most popular and well-known jazz ensemble, having toured the world for the State Department and released numerous big selling albums such as Time Out, which sold well in excess of a million copies.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 05, 2013  |  6 comments
It was 9am as the plane touched down at Heathrow, but my brain screamed "4am! Go back to sleep!''—as if the eight hours of slouched-over dozing interrupted by cattle-prodding flight attendants could be called "sleep." Yes, the red-eye is considered by many travelers to be the most efficient way to jet to London, and Virgin tries hard to please, even in the cramped steerage section—but wedged into a middle seat and being a naturally fidgety sort, I found the transoceanic flight a form of water torture I can live without.
Michael Fremer  |  Jul 02, 2013  |  13 comments
ORG today announced a Roy Orbison reissue project that will bring to the 45rpm format Lonely and Blue and In Dreams, two of Roy's early Monument albums.
Michael Fremer  |  Jul 01, 2013  |  7 comments
This loving tribute to Les Paul featuring longtime trio cohort Lou Pallo and others with whom Les played at Fat Tuesdays and the Iridium is musically fabulous assuming you like the timeless "old school" style. And if not, why not? If it's good enough for Keith Richards, Steve Miller, Billy F. Gibbons and Slash, among others who perform here in that style, well hell, then it's good enough for you!

No doubt Les's playing and his technological innovations with guitar and multi-tracked overdubbing affected all of them. But surely his playing hit them more squarely in their young guitarist wheelhouse.

Michael Fremer  |  Jun 30, 2013  |  21 comments
Last winter an old audio biz friend of mine visited bearing a gift: a new Italian 45rpm pressing of Gil Evans' dark, brooding and oh so slinky 1960 recording of Out of the Cool originally issued in 1961 by the then new Impulse! label created by producer Creed Taylor for parent company ABC-Paramount. The album was Impulse! A-4, the label's fourth release.

This reissue on the DOXY label puts the entire album on a single 45rpm record. Given that side one runs almost 21 minutes, I was surprised they squeezed it onto a single side. Sides two's approximately 16 minutes is slightly more manageable with "slightly" the operative word.

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