Mark Smotroff

Mark Smotroff  |  Nov 18, 2022  |  8 comments

The notion of Bruce Springsteen releasing a vintage soul and pop covers album this late in his stellar career is not all that surprising, really, if you’ve been following The Boss since the beginning like we have. But does the notion of Only The Strong Survive being a truly good and vital Springsteen album that stands proudly next to the rest of his storied catalog hold sway? Read Mark Smotroff’s review of the 180 2LP edition of Survive to find out if Survive has what it takes on wax. . .

Mark Smotroff  |  Nov 15, 2022  |  28 comments

Last week, we sung the praises of the new 180g 1LP Geffen/UMe edition of Steely Dan’s November 1972 debut album, Can’t Buy A Thrill. This week, we cue up Analogue Productions’ 200g 2LP UHQR edition of Thrill, and — spoiler alert! — it’s one of the best listening experiences you’ll have this year (or any other). Read on to find out all the pressing details why this 200g Thrill is one for the ages. . .

Mark Smotroff  |  Nov 11, 2022  |  5 comments

Steely Dan’s November 1972 debut release Can’t Buy A Thrill has often been overlooked in the wake of the band’s later, mega-impactful hit albums like September 1977’s Aja and November 1980’s Gaucho. But the reality is, the template for the Steely Dan sound was born in full flower on their first album, and is thus ground zero for understanding and appreciating the trajectory of the band. Read on to find out how just good this new 180g 1LP Geffen/UMe standard-edition reissue sounds in relation to a 1970s pressing, and how well it bodes for the concurrent UHQR 20g 1LP version from Analogue Productions we’ll be reviewing here next week. . .

Mark Smotroff  |  Nov 07, 2022  |  3 comments

Trumpet legend Dizzy Gillespie collaborated with Cuban percussionist Chico O’Farrill on Afro, a fantastic Afro-Cuban hybrid-genre jazz album in 1954 that’s been out of print for ages — until now, that is. Afro has just been reissued in fine 180g 1LP form by Vinyl Me Please (VMP), and the results are quite exhilarating overall. Read Mark Smotroff’s review to find out why Afro belongs in your collection. . .

Mark Smotroff  |  Oct 28, 2022  |  2 comments

A fabulous new retrospective collection being released via BMG on November 4 that celebrates Jamaican-born jazz pianist Monty Alexander is the latest offering from the Montreux Jazz Festival archives. Called simply Monty Alexander: The Montreux Years, this 180g 2LP set is a fine addition to this important archival series, which curates the finest performances from the Swiss festival’s acclaimed, vast catalog of recordings between 1993 and 2016. Read on to see why Alexander’s Montreaux Years on vinyl deserves to be a part of your upcoming rotation. . .

Mark Smotroff  |  Oct 21, 2022  |  18 comments

If you are considering buying the new 180g 4LP/1EP Super Deluxe Edition vinyl box set celebrating The Beatles’ landmark August 1966 album Revolver that’s set for release on October 28, then you’ve come to the right place. Read on to discover why this landmark Beatles box set is worth the coin for mono and stereo fans alike. . .

Mark Smotroff  |  Oct 14, 2022  |  17 comments

Your decision as to whether you need the second volume in the 1950s trilogy of recorded collaborations between Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong — October 1957’s Ella And Louis Again — may depend on how much of a fan you are of the Great American Songbook and vocal jazz in general. Read on to see if this 180g 2LP offering from Verve and Acoustic Sounds whets the audiophile palate. . .

Mark Smotroff  |  Oct 07, 2022  |  15 comments

John Coltrane’s landmark lone album for Blue Note Records, January 1958’s Blue Train, is an acknowledged jazz classic that has only grown in stature over the years. In fact, the album is so highly revered and so popular that demand for original 1950s pressings have escalated on the collector’s market, putting those editions essentially out of reach for most consumers. Fortunately, the good folks behind Blue Note’s Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue series have crafted not one but two releases to celebrate the 65th anniversary of this most beloved Trane album — namely, separate 180g 1LP mono and 180g 2LP stereo editions. This likely raises a slight dilemma for some of us as to which version of we should buy. Read on to find out if one, or both versions are worth obtaining. . .

Mark Smotroff  |  Oct 06, 2022  |  4 comments

Unlike household names like John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Herbie Hancock, respected drummer Idris Muhammad is perhaps not all that well-known to most mainstream jazz music fans. Luckily, the good folks at Vinyl Me Please — working in conjunction with Craft Recordings’ Jazz Dispensary series — have just released a quite fine, RTI-pressed, Kevin Gray-remastered-and-lacquer-cut 180g 1LP reissue of Muhammad’s rare second solo album made for Prestige Records, 1971’s Peace and Rhythm. Read on to find our why you need to get your hands (and ears) on this long-lost limited-edition soul jazz classic. . .

Mark Smotroff  |  Sep 30, 2022  |  17 comments

We’ve been talking about Pink Floyd’s Animals 2018 Remix LP for a few months now, and we’ve finally gotten copies in hand to spin on the AnalogPlanet reviewing turntable. How good does this new Animals 180g LP sound, you ask? Read on to find out what Mark Smotroff finds — as in, what’s truly great, and what’s not-so-great — in his in-depth review. . .

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