WAGNER: The Ring of the Nibelung
Norman Bailey, Wotan, Wanderer; Derek Hammond-Stroud, Alberich; Alberto Remedios, Siegmund, Siegfried; Rita Hunter, Brünnhilde; Margaret Curphey, Sieglinde, Gutrune; Gregory Dempsey, Mime; Aage Haugland, Hagen; Norman Welsby, Gunther; Emile Belcourt, Loge; Clifford Grant, Fafner, Hunding; Katherine Pring, Fricka I, Waltraute II; Ann Howard, Fricka II; Anne Collins, Erda, First Norn; Valerie Masterson, Woglinde; Shelagh Squires, Wellgunde; Helen Attfield, Flosshilde; Gillian Knight, Second Norn; Anne Evans, Third Norn; Maurine London, Woodbird; others; Sadler's Wells (Siegfried) and English National Opera Orchestra & Chorus, Reginald Goodall
Chandos CHAN 3065 (16 CDs). 1974–78/2001. John Mordler, Ronald Kinloch Anderson, prods.; Robert Gooch, Stuart Eltham, engs. ADD. TT: 16:53:30
Hasil Adkins: Out to Hunch
Norton Records (no catalog # whatso-a-ever) LP, no CD. No producer, no engineer, no studio, no stereo, no mikes that weren't carbon police dispatcher models, no other people at all in fact—just Hasil Adkins, vocals and guitars and one-man drums and some weird rhythmic screeching that may or may not be LP surface noise. TT: infinite, as I can't stop hearing it in my head hours after I raised the needle off it. To order, send $10 to Norton Records, Box 646, Cooper Station, New York, NY 10003. If you don't, you shall burn in hellfire eternal. Hasil Adkins Fan Club; Hasil Adkins Headquarters.
MIKE GARSON: The Oxnard Sessions, Volume One
Mike Garson, piano; Bob Summer, trumpet; Bob Shephard, sax; Rick Zunigar, electric guitar; Brian Bromberg, acoustic bass; Billy Mintz, drums
Reference Recordings RR-37 (LP), RR-37CD (CD*). Keith O. Johnson, eng.; J. Tamblyn Henderson, Jr., Marcia Martin, prods. AAA/DDD. TTs: 49:53, 75:51*
Eva Martón, Brünnhilde; Siegfried Jerusalem, Siegfried; John Tomlinson, Hagen; Thomas Hampson, Gunther; Eva-Maria Bundschuh, Gutrune; Marjana Lipovsek, Waltraute; Theo Adam, Alberich; Jard Van Nes, First Norn; Anne Sofie von Otter, Second Norn; Jean Eaglen, Third Norn; Julie Kaufmann, Woglinde; Silvia Herman, Wellgunde; Christine Hagen, Flosshilde; Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra & Chorus; Bernard Haitink
EMI CDCD 54485 (4 CDs only). Wolfram Graul, Peter Alward, prods.; Martin Wöhr, eng. DDD. TT: 4:17:42
CHARLES LLOYD QUARTET: Fish Out Of Water
Charles Lloyd, tenor sax, flute; Bobo Stenson, piano; Palle Danielsson, bass; Jon Christensen, drums
ECM 1398 (841 088-2). TT: 57:50 KENNY WHEELER QUINTET: The Widow In The Window
Kenny Wheeler, fluegelhorn, trumpet; John Abercrombie, guitar; John Taylor, piano; Dave Holland, bass; Peter Erskine, drums
ECM 1417 (843 198-2). TT: 61:17 Both: CD only. Jan Erik Kongshaug, eng.; Manfred Eicher, prod. DDD.
Ry Cooder: Get Rhythm
Warner Bros. 25639 (LP). Ed Cherney, eng.; Ry Cooder, prod. TT: 40:43 John Hiatt: Bring the Family
A&M SP5158 (LP). Larry Hirsch, eng.; John Chelew, prod. TT: 45:26
There are a few white men in American musicDelbert McClinton, Jerry Jeff Walker, John Fogarty, Van Morrison, Joe Ely, and Steve Earle all come to mindwhose music is consistently true, believable, honorable, and unpretentious. Ry Cooder has been one of those names since his solo debut in 1970; with Bring the Family, John Hiatt's must now be added to the list.
Bring the Family is what Robbie Robertson's overrated new album should have been (sorry, Gary Krakow): simple, strong, mature, its feet rock-solid on the ground. "Thing Called Love," in fact, sounds much like the album The Band might have made between The Band and Stage Fright.
It is often said that anyone with a recorder and a couple of microphones can record an orchestra. It's true, assuming you can get permission to do it (another story entirely). But that statement fails to address an important question: "How well?"
The rudiments of any skill can be learned from books. Practice can develop a fair level of competence. Beyond competence, however, the student is governed by his genes and/or family environment, depending on which theory of human potential you subscribe to. Whatever the reason, some practitioners of both disciplines never seem able to transcend mere competence, while others go on to become legends in their own times. John Eargle, chief recording engineer for Delos Records and producer of this fascinating recording, may or may not qualify as a legend, but he is obviously 'way past "a fair level of competence."
DVORÁK: Symphony 9, "From the New World"
WAGNER: Flying Dutchman Overture, Siegfried-Idyll
Jascha Horenstein, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Chesky Records CD 31 (CD only). Bob Katz, remastering eng.; David & Norman Chesky, executive prods. (Original 1962 recordings: K. E. Wilkinson, eng.; Charles Gerhardt, prod.) ADD. TT: 67:30