AAA Vinyl

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Michael Fremer  |  Sep 03, 2019  |  13 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.

Malachi Lui  |  Aug 14, 2019  |  59 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  |  Jul 26, 2019  |  11 comments
If you'd have told me a few years ago when Vinyl Me, Please launched, that within a few years the curated based vinyl subscription service would be at the top of the vinyl reissue heap, I'd have said you've been inhaling too many PVC fumes. But here we are with a vinyl reissue that's perfect in every way.

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.

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  |  May 17, 2019  |  2 comments
The first bi-annual Blue Note Review may have been a somewhat tentative and ill-focused project as label head Don Was worked to re-establish with a younger generation the Blue Note brand identity and “community”, yet few who purchased were disappointed (the set sold-out) other than in the digitally mastered Blue Mitchell album and its grade B jacket.

Malachi Lui  |  May 06, 2019  |  10 comments
Wouldn’t pairing a highly talented bluesman with one of the best house bands in the world result in a great record?

Michael Fremer  |  Apr 03, 2019  |  66 comments
Here's 100 recommended all-analog LP reissues worth owning. The video runs two hours so unless you are masochistic, you might want to watch in shorter segments but covering 100 LPs took time! Plus there are the usual fun stories interspersed throughout. Okay, I got wrong the The Who's "Tommy"'s original issue date (I said November '68, was May '69) otherwise all of the information should be correct. Yes, too many superlatives, but that’s video!

Malachi Lui  |  Mar 28, 2019  |  16 comments
Despite recording a handful of legendary Paramount Records sides in 1930, Eddie James “Son” House, Jr. vanished after his rediscovery in August 1941 by Alan Lomax. His recordings gained stature over the ensuing decades, which in 1964 lead Dick Waterman, Nick Perls, and Phil Spiro on a mission to find House. They eventually located him that June in Rochester, New York, approximately 1,000 miles from his origins in the Mississippi Delta. Following his migration, House worked as a New York Central Railroad porter, killed a man in self-defense, and perhaps most importantly in the context of this review, put down his Dobro after the death of close friend and fellow bluesman Willie Brown. However, the younger generation’s enthusiasm for House’s original recordings reinvigorated his desire to play, which he then did for the first time in seven or eight (according to the liner notes) years.

Michael Fremer  |  Feb 22, 2019  |  36 comments
Mobile Fidelity's One-Step reissue of Marvin Gaye's groundbreaking album What's Going On is long out of print but still deserving of a short review.

Michael Fremer  |  Feb 21, 2019  |  6 comments
Blue Note's new "Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series" is part of the company's 80th anniversary celebration. Wayne Shorter's Etcetera is the first release in the series. Joe Harley, well known among audiophiles for his work with AudioQuest both as a press liaison (among other tasks) and especially for the series of all-analog AudioQuest LPs he produced back when vinyl was "dead", "hand picked" these "Tone Poet" titles and oversaw their production.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 07, 2019  |  4 comments
Blue Note Records just announced a new "Tone Poet" Series of all analog vinyl jazz reissues curated by Joe Harley, who co-produces with Ron Rambach the Music Matters Blue Note vinyl reissue series. These records will be produced the way those are: mastered cut directly from the original analog tapes by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio and plated and pressed at RTI and deluxe gatefold packaged.

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 10, 2018  |  12 comments
Joan Baez recorded this Vanguard debut in 1960 at age 19. With her impossibly high and pure quavering voice and matching pristine finger picking guitar, she and this album created a sensation that helped shift the "folk-revival" back to authenticity from the commerciality into which it had drifted. Though while she sounded like a barefoot waif recently arrived from the Appalachian mountains, she was born on Staten Island. Her Mexico-born father who grew up in Brooklyn, the son of a minister, was a Stanford PhD credited with co-inventing the X-ray microscope. Her Scottish mother's father was an Anglican priest.

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 11, 2018  |  35 comments
A New Zealand-based reader recently emailed asking if Mobile Fidelity's double 45rpm monophonic Bob Dylan reissues were "worth the money". He added that he was a big Bob Dylan fan.

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