Mark Smotroff

Mark Smotroff  |  Jun 24, 2022  |  20 comments

There’s a striking new reissue from Craft Recordings I’m sure many jazz fans and collectors are as excited about as I am: 1957’s The Poll Winners. This LP features three of the greatest jazz musicians of their time — Barney Kessel on guitar, backed by Shelly Manne on drums and Ray Brown on bass. How does Craft's QRP-pressed 180g reissue sound and compare to my original LP? In short, it is pretty fantastic. The new edition is much bigger-sounding in many ways, notably on the low end. Read on to find out more. . .

Mark Smotroff  |  Jun 17, 2022  |  19 comments
I discovered New York’s Grizzly Bear in a most typical way, for me — over the in-store PA system at Amoeba Music here in San Francisco. When their in-store play got to the band’s then-big hit — “Two Weeks,” from their May 2009 album Veckatimest — I realized I had indeed previously heard the song’s distinctive, earworm-inducing, millennial-whoop-flavored signature hook. Soon enough, I started collecting the Grizzly Bear catalog on vinyl. While I’ve enjoyed my 180g Veckatimest reissue, I’ve long suspected there might be more depth tucked away in the recording. Thus, I was excited to learn the good folks at Vinyl Me Please were re-releasing Veckatimest in a half-speed mastered, 45rpm colored vinyl edition.
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