LATEST ADDITIONS

Joseph W. Washek  |  Feb 28, 2022  |  6 comments
Billy Byers (1927-1996) was an excellent jazz trombonist that today is probably best known for his all over the horn, hard-swinging solo on the title track of Frank Zappa’s The Grand Wazoo album. Although he was awarded a long solo by Zappa, a famously exacting taskmaster, and played in the bands of the no less demanding Buddy Rich and Benny Goodman, recorded as a sideman on many jazz dates and made two albums as a featured soloist, Byers after the late 1950s, mainly worked as an arranger, not as a player. Probably the choice of the rigors and travails of the life of a touring jazz musician or the frequent tedium of studio work had little appeal and he made a long and successful career for himself, writing arrangements for hundreds of jazz recordings, movies and television shows. Discogs lists three hundred and forty-one “Writing & Arrangement” credits for Byers.

Michael Fremer  |  Feb 28, 2022  |  5 comments
Oscar the entertainer, Oscar the speed demon, Oscar the classicist, Oscar the sensitive listener, Oscar the composer, Oscar the nimble improvisor. All the Oscars you know and love were onstage in Helsinki's Kulttuuritalo concert hall, November 17th, 1987 along with Joe Pass, Dave Young and Martin Drew for an evening of great entertainment and music making recorded by the Finnish Broadcasting Company.

Malachi Lui  |  Feb 25, 2022  |  4 comments
Four years after his addiction-and breakup-themed magnum opus Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space, Spiritualized’s J Spaceman (Jason Pierce) reemerged with the band’s fourth album, 2001’s Let It Come Down. Greeted with high anticipation—and recently reissued as the final installment in Fat Possum’s Pierce-supervised Spaceman Reissue Program—Let It Come Down is now commonly seen as the moment when Spaceman lost the plot. “It all fell apart a little bit during this period,” he admits. Two decades later, Let It Come Down stands less as a great Spiritualized record and more as a product from the bygone era of expensive recording budgets and ample studio time.

Michael Fremer  |  Feb 20, 2022  |  142 comments
Thanks to a reader's generosity I was sent a copy to audition of Mobile Fidelity's One-Step release of Carole King's Tapestry album. It's clear to me I'm on Mo-Fi's "bad dog" list. I've not been offered for review any of the company's turntables, phono preamps or cartridges. When I ask, I'm met with stone silence. Over the past few years I've gotten only one record for review (that was wrong and to Mobile Fidelity music side I must apologize. I've gotten more than a few records to review since I reviewed and raved about the One Step Monk's Dream in April of 2020. My timeline was stunted by "Covid compression". Actually more than a few records did show up after that and I apologize to Mobile Fidelity for getting the timeline wrong. It's been quite a while since I got a record from them but that's mostly because nothing's been released in some time. Though after I asked for a copy of Jeff Beck's Truth album I got a copy and gave it a well-deserved great review). This audio product review shunning can't be accidental. What did I do to be cut out of the equipment? I have no idea and it's none of my business.

So, thanks to a reader's generosity here's a comparison of "So Far Away" from Tapestry as a One-Step Mobile Fidelity release and the ORG edition from a few years back cut by Bernie Grundman and Chris Bellman. Both of these editions are at 45 rpm. I'm not going to foul the waters by giving you my take. At least not until the votes are in and perhaps not at all. Polls will be open for 1 week.

BTW: turntable was OMA K3, Frank Schröder K3 arm, Lyra Atlas Lambda SL cartridge, CH Precision P1/X1 phono preamp, Lynx HiLo A/D converter.

File "1"

File "2"

<i>Tapestry</i> Mobile Fidelity One-Step Versus ORG Standard Pressing (Time Line Correction)
"So Far Away" Version 1
37% (265 votes)
"So Far Away" Version 2
63% (454 votes)
Total votes: 719
Michael Fremer  |  Feb 19, 2022  |  4 comments
Pushkin co-founder Malcolm Gladwell and his friend Bruce Headlam, co-founder of music podcast Broken Record (under the Pushkin umbrella, in which they share hosting with Rick Rubin), team up to converse with and attempt to “explain” Paul Simon’s genius in “Miracle and Wonder”, a lengthy, impeccably produced multi-chapter audio biography they rightly call a “book”.

Michael Fremer  |  Feb 14, 2022  |  7 comments
Sumiko today debuted the Wellfleet, a new high performance moving magnet cartridge featuring a nude elliptical stylus.

Michael Fremer  |  Feb 08, 2022  |  11 comments
First their Woodland Studio took a direct hit from the tornado that tore through Nashville March of 2020, and then came the Covid lock down.

Michael Fremer  |  Feb 06, 2022  |  14 comments
The extensive Hana moving coil cartridge lineup manufactured in Japan by the half-century old Excel Sound Corporation (“controversial” factory tour embedded below) is a high value, performance, and quality, logically progressing array that until the release of the $3950 Umami Red was priced from a $475 low to a $1200 high. Remarkably moderate prices in today’s cartridge market.

Michael Fremer  |  Feb 02, 2022  |  18 comments
Crescent, John Coltrane’s 9th Impulse! Album, released in the summer of 1964, followed a pair of live albums (Live at Birdland and Impressions [mostly live tracks from the Vanguard dates]) and a pair of collaborations (Duke Ellington & John Coltrane, and John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman) with Ballads—a quickly recorded album of standards sandwiched in between.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 31, 2022  |  74 comments
Toneoptic founder and graphic arts designer Fabian Geyrhalter decided "It is time to rethink how we store and select records". He's come up with a unique, patent pending design and hired "the best designer, engineer and advisors (from Frank Gehry Partners, Boeing Aircraft and Cambridge Audio amongst others)" to execute the concept.

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