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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 23, 2017  |  8 comments
Alto saxophonist Paul Desmond (Paul Emil Breitenfeld) best known for his work with Dave Brubeck made solo albums of greater musical consequence than his string-accented confection, including his duet album Two of A Mind (RCA LSP-2624) with Gerry Mulligan, also on RCA-Victor. Nonetheless, this album pleases every play.

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  |  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  |  Jun 26, 2017  |  2 comments
Charles Lloyd's young group, together but a year, played this set September 8th 1966 at the Monterey Jazz Festival, opening with the title tune—actually the two-in-one "Forest Flower-Sunrise" and "Forest Flower-Sunset", both lilting, hypnotic and mesmerizing "hippie-like" tunes that presaged in its mood the next year's "Summer of Love" Monterey Pop Festival.

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.

Michael Fremer  |  Jun 19, 2017  |  13 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  |  Jun 08, 2017  |  13 comments
At his Masters of Vinyl seminar at LAAS 2017 mastering engineer Kevin Gray mentioned that he'd cut a series of records for Speakers Corner using original master tapes.

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.

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  |  Mar 16, 2017  |  18 comments
When The Crickets' "That'll Be the Day" exploded on the radio in 1957 and the absolutely geeky looking 21 year old Buddy Holly and group appeared December 1st on The Ed Sullivan Show, a generation of kids were moved the way the next one was by The Beatles. You didn't have to look like Elvis. Anyone could be a rock'n'roll star. In fact, "That'll Be the Day" was the first demo cut by The Quarrymen, the skiffle group that eventually morphed into The Beatles.

Michael Fremer  |  Mar 14, 2017  |  6 comments
You’ve probably seen or at least heard about Damien Chazelle’s musical “La La Land”, about a musician (Ryan Gosling) whose less than fully expressed mission was to “save jazz”. He brings his turntable and retro-record collection to Los Angeles where he lives in a crummy apartment and makes ends meet by playing in a piano bar.

Michael Fremer  |  Mar 11, 2017  |  7 comments
A group of determined fans of both the Blue Note jazz catalog and the Music Matters reissues, which are always done from tape and done correctly recently started a drive to convince the label to issue more of Blue Notes after the label apparently decided it had released a sufficient number.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 26, 2017  |  44 comments
Pictured are three percussion records you should own—especially if you feel like banging your head against the wall. One is an "oldie" Living Stereo novelty that's back in print, one was originally released in 1984 thanks to a grant from The National Endowment For the Arts (today an endangered species) reissued in the 1990s and one is a current release.

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