Album Reviews

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Michael Fremer  |  Nov 27, 2016  |  12 comments
The subscription-based, vinyl-only record label Newvelle Records is an audacious project on many levels—a “closed loop” system wherein jazz enthusiasts pay an annual “membership fee” of $425 (includes shipping) and receive six Newvelle-produced records—all performed by mostly familiar “world class” artists— over the course of the year.
Michael Fremer  |  Nov 20, 2016  |  20 comments
By now you know the drill: The Electric Recording Company finds a collectible and music-worthy title to reissue and does its fanatical-attention-to-details thing, both in the mastering from the original tape on a lovingly restored all-tube cutting system to a meticulously produced record sleeve and jacket that are in most ways difficult to distinguish from the original as described in previous ERC reviews.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 01, 2016  |  6 comments
This fascinating Record Store Day release last spring probably got lost in a crowd of LPs so you may have missed it. I did. it was recently sent to me for review by Northern Spy Records (NSPY).
Michael Fremer  |  Oct 28, 2016  |  72 comments
You don’t have to be Phil Spector or Brian Wilson to appreciate mono sound, as anyone who’s purchased the recent mono Beatles box can attest. When these records were originally produced, they were meant to be heard in mono both because they were played on the AM radio, which was mono and because the young people buying the music mostly had monophonic record players. Plus that is how The Rolling Stones wanted to be heard, which is the most important reason of all.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 26, 2016  |  15 comments
Recording direct-to-disk is difficult enough. The entire side has to be cut in one long take. Consider a big band vocal album like this, which has four songs per side. The orchestra and singer have to be ready as soon as the cutting stylus hits the lacquer and then they have to perform flawlessly on each track, pausing but a few seconds between songs.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 26, 2016  |  0 comments
Jay Fisher, in his mid-forties is Apple Rabbits. He writes and arranges, sings, plays guitar, bass, piano, keyboards and percussion. He also likes to experiment with electronica. The strings and flutes on this record are real though, and very convincingly recorded .

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 26, 2016  |  7 comments
The late Allen Touissant preferred working in the background for most of his long career. He got his start playing piano in the 1950’s, when his Dr. Longhair-influence rollicking style caught the ear of Dave Bartholomew, Fats Domino’s producer.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 18, 2016  |  18 comments
Best known to American Miles Davis fans as side one of the twelve inch Columbia Records LP release Jazz Track (CL1268), Ascenseur pour l’échafaud (“Elevator to the Scaffold”), the jazz soundtrack to the Louis Malle film was originally released in France in 1958 on the Fontana label as a 10” LP.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 15, 2016  |  14 comments
Originally released as a double LP back in 1956, Ella Fitzerald Sings the Cole Porter Song Book was both the first of her "songbook" albums and the first release on Norman Granz's then brand new Verve Records (MG V-4001/2).

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 02, 2016  |  30 comments
One of the great albums of the 1960s—for me an essential album— gets the double 45rpm treatment from Mobile Fidelity. Rhino reissued this a few years ago mastered by Chris Bellman and Bernie Grundman Mastering from the original tape.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 02, 2016  |  1 comments
Jamaican-born pianist Monty Alexander still tours at age seventy two. He was but thirty two when this live album was recorded at The Montreux Jazz Festival.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 26, 2016  |  4 comments
Though he's but thirty years old, guitarist, record producer, studio session and touring band member Blake Mills has had already had a dizzying career. He's toured with Jenny Lewis and Band of Horses and Lucinda Williams. He's done session work for Norah Jones, Weezer, The Avett Brothers and Andrew Bird among many others and he produced Alabama Shakes' Sound & Color for which he received a producer of the year, non-classical, Grammy nomination.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 09, 2016  |  24 comments
Analogue Productions recently completed one of the major reissue projects in modern vinyl playback history with the release of the final eight Beach Boys albums in both mono and stereo.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 03, 2016  |  11 comments
Fred Hellerman's obituary appeared in today's (Sept. 3, 2016) New York Times. Hellerman was the last surviving member of The Weavers, the folk group that helped usher in what became known as the "folk revival" of the late '50s and '60s.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 26, 2016  |  12 comments
The last time we heard from the adventurous Jamie Saft, he'd released The New Standard an all-analog straight ahead jazz trio album engineered by the great Joe Ferla.

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