Album Reviews

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Michael Fremer  |  May 08, 2013  |  15 comments
Through her early EMI recordings, among others, the late Hungarian violinist Johanna Martzy has achieved fame, notoriety and a cult following that escaped her during her lifetime.

Michael Fremer  |  Apr 25, 2013  |  3 comments
Singer/songwriter Thom Chacon delivers hardscrapple tales in a voice well-suited to the task that will immediately remind you of what's his name? Maybe John Prine, or John Mellencamp, or Steve Earle or Bruce or Guy Clark or?

Michael Fremer  |  Apr 21, 2013  |  12 comments
Frank Sinatra recorded this album for Capitol in the summer of 1960—the same year he left the label and with a few hundred thousand dollars of his own money started Reprise Records. You can be sure plans for the new label were well underway during the production of this thirty three minutes and change long album.

Michael Fremer  |  Apr 04, 2013  |  12 comments
Greatest Hits albums from the '60s are a crap shoot: how many were made from original tapes strung together to produce reels for lacquer cutting? A few but not most. Instead the originals (hopefully) were pulled and tape copies of the hits were made and those were strung together for the hits package.

Michael Fremer  |  Apr 02, 2013  |  4 comments
Note: The pressing issue I encountered with the copy I bought was corroborated by some readers but not all. The producer's QC copy was fine, so we exchanged copies. The replacement I was sent (autographed by Bryan Ferry, thank you!) sounded fine throughout.
Michael Fremer  |  Mar 09, 2013  |  7 comments
Why am I reviewing a CD???? The answer(s) are easy. Firstly, 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.
Michael Fremer  |  Feb 19, 2013  |  4 comments
A record label forensic specialist might be required to trace how The Allman Brothers Band ended up an Island/Def Jam property issued on Mercury Records, all now owned by Universal Music Group. The original was issued in 1969 on the ATCO division of Atlantic Records. Perhaps it had to do with the sale of the late Phil Walden's Capricorn imprint, through which the ATCO deal had been made.
Michael Fremer  |  Aug 14, 2012  |  2 comments
Over the past few years, jazz fans have been treated to some astonishing, heretofore unreleased treasures. Unlike in the rock world, where such finds, along with “bonus tracks” usually tell you why they weren’t released in the first place (with Bob Dylan being a notable exception), these jazz releases have felt like un-mined diamonds, only occasionally in the rough.

Michael Fremer  |  May 10, 2012  |  16 comments

Twenty five years later, it’s easy to forget that Graceland, the album many consider to be Paul Simon’s finest musical achievement, was mired in controversy because of the continuing disgraceland that was apartheid South Africa. Nelson Mandela was still jailed and protests erupted on college campuses and in the halls of government around the world.

Michael Fremer  |  Mar 29, 2012  |  1 comments

  Randy Wells' recent review of this Sundazed reissue may have seemed thorough and matter-of-fact to most of you and judging by the emails, well appreciated, but the folks at Sundazed were anything but pleased, which kind of surprised me, though Wells did prefer the Audio Fidelity release so perhaps I should not have been surprised.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 01, 2011  |  0 comments

Poor misunderstood Steven Demetre Georgiou/Cat Stevens/Yusef Islam. Like Bob Marley or Barack Obama, he’s a “hybrid” and subject to misinterpretation and fear-mongering.

Michael Fremer  |  Apr 01, 2011  |  2 comments

Still, some might find the new records too aggressive. I’m not in that group, but it sounds as if Mr. Grossinger mastered the original LPs, manipulating the tonal balance as he saw fit, whereas it sounds as if the GZ folks just took the files they were sent and cut. I’m just surmising that. It could be the ‘soft’ lacquer versus the ‘hard’ copper.

Michael Fremer  |  May 01, 2005  |  0 comments

Petra Haden, the very talented daughter of bassist Charlie Haden, and former member of That Dog has released an a cappella version of The Who Sells Out that is charming, entertaining, ingenious and loads of fun.

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