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Nathan Zeller  |  Oct 11, 2020  |  8 comments
We find ourselves during the ongoing pandemic abstaining from pleasurable activities like hanging out on the street. Listening to the 1970’s power pop group Big Star will one day help ease the way back to that once taken for granted lifestyle.

Discovering older musical acts like Big Star is for a child of the 21st century like me mostly a matter of pure luck. I happened upon Big Star’s song “Thirteen” on an episode of “That ‘70’s Show” airing on Netflix. That tune, a captivating piece of tender musical perfection, led me to discover Big Star the group and boy, am I thankful for that!

Malachi Lui  |  Oct 02, 2020  |  29 comments
(Review Explosion is a recurring AnalogPlanet feature covering recent releases for which we either don’t have sufficient time to fully explore, or that are not worthy of it. Curated by AnalogPlanet contributing editor Malachi Lui, Review Explosion focuses on the previous few months’ new releases.)

Ty Webb  |  Sep 28, 2020  |  2 comments
In this, the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birthday, Yarlung Records offers a recording worthy of the master, a delectation from the Janaki String Trio that was originally recorded in 2006 in Zipper Hall. The sonics are as inviting as the playing.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 24, 2020  |  0 comments
Even as the Acoustic Sounds Series reissues from Verve/UMe of Coltrane's A Love Supreme and Ballads are set for October 9th release, the label announced today pre-orders for the third installment in the series: two classic (and much needed and welcomed at this time) 1965 Nina Simone albums: I Put A Spell On You and Pastel Blues slated for November.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 24, 2020  |  102 comments
Analogue Productions announced yesterday a limited to 5000 copies deluxe double 45rpm 200g UHQR release of Jethro Tull's enduring 1971 classic Aqualung. The pressing and presentation will be similar to that of the Are You Experienced? box released in 2019.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 17, 2020  |  4 comments
There’s no better time than now to release a live performance of Civil War era “lifeline” spirituals dedicated to Harriet Tubman, an escaped slave herself, who is best known as an “Underground Railroad” organizer personally responsible for smuggling to freedom hundreds of slaves, first to the North and then after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850 that allowed the recapture of freed slaves in non-slave states, to Canada.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 09, 2020  |  13 comments
Miles Davis's second collaboration with arranger/orchestrator Gil Evans (and the first recorded in stereo) is arguably the duo's best effort—a majestic, moody re-working of George Gershwin's classic folk opera recorded in three summer of 1958 sessions at Columbia's 30th street studios.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 09, 2020  |  29 comments
ERC just announced a limited to 150 copies edition of one of the British Columbia Records label's most "sonically spectacular" releases, Ravel's Complete Orchestral Works with André Cluytens conducting Société de Concerts du Conservatiore (ERC061) in performances said to be commensurate with the sonics.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 03, 2020  |  11 comments
This agreeable set of standards sung by Louis Armstrong backed by the Oscar Peterson Quartet, then consisting of Herb Ellis, Ray Brown and Louis Bellson recorded at the then new Capitol Studios, L.A. in 1957 but not released in stereo until 1959, was a follow-up of sorts to the highly successful Norman Granz-produced Ella & Louis (Verve MGV-4003) recorded August of 1956.

Like this set, there Armstrong and Fitzgerald were backed by the Oscar Peterson Quartet, but with Buddy Rich drumming instead of Louis Bellson.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 26, 2020  |  6 comments
Pandemic-related closures temporarily put Blue Note’s “Tone Poet” series production on hold, but the series resumes on August 28th with the release of three titles: vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson’s first session The Kicker (1963), alto saxophonist Jackie McLean’s It’s Time (1964) and tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson’s The State of the Tenor: Live at the Village Vanguard, Volume 1 (1965).

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 20, 2020  |  30 comments
Arriving October 16th in multiple formats and configurations, Wildflowers & All the Rest features the original 1994 Wildflowers album, newly re-mastered and cut directly from the original ½” analog master tapes by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering and pressed at Record Industry in The Netherlands, plus unreleased tracks, solo demos, live performances, alternate versions and more—many of which were sourced from analog tape but then of necessity digitized..

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 17, 2020  |  29 comments
Verve/UMe announced today the October 9th release of its second round of Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series/ Acoustic Sounds pressings of two essential John Coltrane albums: A Love Supreme and Ballads, both in stereo, cut using the original analog master tapes. Deluxe laminated Stoughton Press Tip-On gatefold jackets complete the "must have" release.
Michael Fremer  |  Aug 05, 2020  |  25 comments
(Review Explosion is usually a recurring AnalogPlanet feature covering recent releases for which we either don’t have sufficient time to fully explore, or that are not worthy of it. Normally curated by AnalogPlanet contributing editor Malachi Lui, this particular Review Explosion has been hijacked by AnalogPlanet editor Michael Fremer and covers in capsule form Direct-to-Disc releases).

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 28, 2020  |  13 comments
This previously unreleased March 9th 1959 session recorded at Rudy Van Gelder’s Hackensack home studio is a “must have” for Blue Note “completists”, especially for those with an affinity for car and plane crash videos. If you are just getting into the rich Blue Note catalog, your money is best spent elsewhere as this session, despite the stellar group, often sounds listless and forced. Grooves get glossed over in favor of speed.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 24, 2020  |  8 comments
Suave, swinging and exuberant, Michael Weiss’s self-produced Soul Journey sounds something like a big band playing on a Blue Note Records date, but it’s really a small ensemble making like a big one thanks to Weiss’s deft, harmonically-rich, rhythmically neck-snapping arrangements and free-spirited yet tightly drawn, well-meshed performances by the three man veteran horn section of saxophonist Steve Wilson, trumpet and flugelhorn player Ryan Kisor and trombonist Steve Davis.

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