Michael Fremer

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 03, 2020  |  8 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  |  Sep 01, 2020  |  First Published: Sep 01, 2020  |  39 comments
The recently introduced iPhono 3 is the third iteration of the remarkably compact, full-featured phono preamp iFi first introduced in 2012 that AnalogPlanet most positively reviewed. The original unit sold for $399.

iFi introduced in 2016 the seriously upgraded iPhono2 more positively reviewed on this website. The company made significant upgrades to both parts and features. Despite the many improvements, the price increased a scant $100 to $499.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 31, 2020  |  First Published: Aug 31, 2020  |  24 comments
Capitol/UMe releases on October 9th, 2020 a multi-format 36 track John Lennon box executive co-produced by Yoko Ono Lennon and Sean Ono Lennon featuring "remixed from scratch" versions, in a process that the press release describes thusly: "...using brand new transfers of the original multi-tracks, cleaned up to the highest possible sonic quality. After weeks of painstaking preparation, the final mixes and effects were completed using only vintage analog equipment and effects at Henson Recording Studios in Los Angeles, and then mastered in analog at Abbey Road Studios by Alex Wharton in order to ensure the most beautiful and authentic sound quality possible."

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 27, 2020  |  10 comments
While you wait for that soon to be released Coltrane Ballads reissue, do yourself a favor and pick up tenor saxophonist Jimmy Heath’s worthy final recording. The younger brother of MJQ bassist Percy Heath passed away at age 93 January 19th, 2020 at home in Loganville, Ga.

Heath was as well-known as a composer and arranger as he was as a performer. He began as an alto saxophonist, emulating Charlie Parker but soon switched to tenor to get out from under Bird’s plumage.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 26, 2020  |  First Published: Aug 26, 2020  |  5 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 25, 2020  |  7 comments
Last year, producer Lee Townsend brought guitar-great Bill Frisell’s trio, fresh off the road and shortly after concluding two weeks at The Village Vanguard where almost 60 years ago another famous trio made an indelible record or two, into Tucker Martine’s Portland, Oregon studio for three days of recording.

The result is a first for Frisell—a trio recording with long time accompanists, bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Rudy Royston that is simultaneously densely packed with musical ideas and yet throughout, window wide open to the spaces between the notes.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 25, 2020  |  First Published: Aug 25, 2020  |  7 comments
Minneapolis, Minnesota (August 25, 2020) – TWS Enterprises, LLC, a privately held company owned wholly by Trent Suggs, has agreed to purchase Audio Research from the McIntosh Group, Inc. subject to completion of due diligence which is expected to be finalized by the end of August. As Audio Research celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year, it is time to embark on the next chapter of its journey in high performance music reproduction.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 24, 2020  |  First Published: Aug 24, 2020  |  13 comments
Optimal Media
Optimal Media recently announced a new "ecco-friendly" vinyl pressing package along with other environmentally friendly options for vinyl clientele wishing to minimize or eliminate their contribution to carbon-based pollution.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 21, 2020  |  First Published: Aug 21, 2020  |  11 comments
Verve will release on October 2nd, 2020 a never before issued Ella Fitzgerald concert performance recorded in stereo at Berlin's Sportpalast March 25th 1962. Ella recorded in Berlin 1960, one of her best known, most popular, double Grammy Award winning albums Mack The Knife: Ella in Berlin in which she bobbled the words. She remembers them here, but forgets where she is—understandable when you're in the middle of a long European tour. That one was recorded only in monophonic.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 20, 2020  |  First Published: Aug 20, 2020  |  28 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..

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