Recording of the Month

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Robert Baird Posted: Jun 23, 2014 Published: Jul 01, 2014 8 comments
Stevie Ray Vaughan: Texas Hurricane
Epic/Legacy/Analogue Productions AAPB SRV33-BOX (6 LPs, 331?3rpm). 1983–1991/2014. John Hammond Sr., orig. exec. prod.; Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Hammond Jr., Richard Mullen, others, orig. prods.; Richard Mullen, James Geddes, Lincoln Clapp, others, orig. engs.; Chad Kassem, reissue exec. prod.; Ryan Smith, remastering. AAA. TT: 3:55:20
Performance *****
Sonics *****

He was the shining star the blues world had always dreamed of: the rare performer who could break through to the musical mainstream. Yet alas, he flashed across the musical heavens and was gone far too soon, dying in a helicopter crash in August 1990, at the age of 35. That Stevie Ray Vaughan's reign as blues-guitar hero was brief but incendiary is driven home yet again by this spectacular new boxed set from Epic/Legacy and Chad Kassem's Analogue Productions label.

Margaret Graham Posted: Sep 13, 2013 Published: Jun 01, 1983 1 comments
683rotm.jpgJAMES WELCH: Magnum Opus
James Welch, Organist, and D.A. Flentrop, Organ-builder.
Wilson Audio W8111 (LP). David Wilson, eng.

Hearing this organ gives one delusions of grandeur! How wonderful to be rich as Croesus and be able to commission an organ like this for one's (baronial) home. At any rate, those of us who don't live in Seattle can hear it at home, thanks to this superb recording.

True to its title, this is as much a recording of the organ as it is of the organist. Full specifications are given on the back, and although it is not Flentrop's largest organ in terms of number of ranks of pipes, it is physically the largest: it contains a 32-foot Pedal Prestant which emits a floor-shuddering 16Hz!

J. Gordon Holt Posted: Oct 24, 2013 Published: Jun 01, 1987 0 comments
Copland: Appalachian Spring (Suite), Eight Poems of Emily Dickinson, An Outdoor Overture (CD only)
Pacific Symphony Orchestra/Clark/Marni Nixon (soprano)
Reference Recordings LP RR-2 and CD RR-22CD. Tam Henderson, prod.; Keith Johnson, eng.

This is unquestionably one of the best recordings Reference Recordings has done. The sound of the LP is up-front and quite bright, giving the orchestra that peculiarly nasal quality I usually associate with small French orchestras. There is truly remarkable detail and naturalness here; I was about to write that the recording makes the orchestra sound very small and pinched in Appalachian Spring when I noticed on the record jacket that this is the "Original version for 13 instruments." Okay, so I know what it costs to hire musicians in the US, but I still prefer the version of this work scored for full, bombastic, overblown 108-piece symphony orchestra. The 13 instruments are superbly balanced, though—even the piano, which is usually (and wrongfully) relegated to behind the orchestra. About a half a block behind it.

Robert Hesson Posted: Nov 21, 2011 Published: Jun 01, 1988 5 comments
Songs My Mother Taught Me
Arturo Delmoni, violin; Meg Bachman Vas, piano
Kreisler: Tempo di Menuetto; Brahms: Hungarian Dance No.1; Valdez: Gypsy Serenade; Paradis: Sicilienne; Sarasate: Romanza Andaluza; Massenet: Meditation; Tartini: Variations on a Theme of Corelli; Smetana: From the Home Country; Gluck: Melodie; Vieuxtemps: Romance "Desespoir"; Faure: Apres Un Reve; D'Ambrosio: Canzonetta; Mendelssohn: Song Without Words ("May Breeze"); Kreisler: Sicilienne et Rigaudon; Dvorak: Songs My Mother Taught Me
Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab MFCD 877 (CD), North Star DS 0004 (LP). David Hancock, eng.; Bruce Foulke, prod. A-D. TT: 52:51

Here, at last, is one huge exception to the "Rule": an outstanding musical performance superbly recorded. Songs My Mother Taught Me is the product of a love affair between violinist Arturo Delmoni and the almost defunct practice of programming only short pieces in recitals. Delmoni's aim was to recreate that lost practice, and the result is stunning.

Richard Lehnert Posted: Dec 04, 2009 Published: Jun 04, 1990 0 comments
DELBERT McCLINTON: I'm With You
Curb D2-77252 (CD only). Justin Niebank, Carry Summers, engs.; Delbert McClinton, Barry Beckett, prods. DDD? TT: 34:11
Corey Greenberg Posted: Jul 30, 2007 Published: Jun 01, 1992 1 comments
Nirvana: Nevermind
Geffen/Sub Pop DGCD-24425 (CD only). Butch Vig, Nirvana, prods. AAD. TT: 59:22
Michael Ullman Posted: Nov 23, 2003 Published: Jun 01, 1993 0 comments
MIKE GARSON: The Oxnard Sessions, Volume Two
Mike Garson, piano; Eric Marienthal, alto & soprano sax; Brian Bromberg, bass; Ralph Humphry, Bill Mintz, drums
Reference Recordings RR-53CD (CD, LP to come). Keith Johnson, eng.; J. Tamblyn Henderson, prod. DDD. TT: 73:50
Allen St. John Posted: Jun 03, 1994 0 comments
RICHARD THOMPSON: Mirror Blue
Capitol CDP 7 81492 2 (CD). Tchad Blake, eng.; Mitchell Froom, prod. AAD. TT: 55:13
Richard Lehnert Posted: Jun 20, 1995 0 comments
STEVE EARLE: Train a Comin'
Steve Earle, guitar, harmonica, vocals; Peter Rowan, guitar, mandolin, mandola, vocals; Norman Blake, guitar, dobro, fiddle, Hawaiian guitar; Roy Huskey, acoustic bass; Emmylou Harris, vocals
Winter Harvest WH 3302-2 (CD only). Steve Earle, William Alsobrook, prods.; Wayne Neuendorf, Mike Elliot, engs. ADD. TT: 40:01
Wes Phillips Posted: Jun 29, 1996 0 comments
CASSANDRA WILSON: New Moon Daughter
Cassandra Wilson, vocals; Brandon Ross, guitars; Kevin Breit, guitars, banjo, Irish bazouki; Charlie Burnham, violin; Lonnie Plaxico, bass; Dougie Bowne, drums; others.
Blue Note CDP 8 32861 2 (CD only). Craig Street, prod.; Danny Kopelson, eng. TT: 61:59
Robert Baird Posted: Jun 08, 1997 0 comments
GUY CLARK: Keepers
Sugar Hill SHCD-1055 (CD). 1997. Guy Clark, prod.; Miles Wilkinson, prod., eng.; Johnny Rosen, eng. AAD? TT: 64:45
Performance ****½
Sonics *****
David Vernier Posted: Jun 26, 1998 0 comments
EDWARD ELGAR: Enigma Variations, In the South, Coronation March
George Hurst, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Naxos 8.553564 (CD). 1997. Paul Myers, prod.; Dave Harries, eng. DDD. TT: 58:47
Performance ****
Sonics ****
Dan Ouellette Posted: Jun 03, 1999 0 comments
GINGER BAKER & THE DJQ2O: Coward of the County
Ginger Baker, drums; Ron Miles, trumpet; James Carter, baritone sax, bass clarinet; Fred Hess, tenor sax; Eric Gunnison, piano; Shamie Royston, organ; Todd Ayers, guitar; Glenn Taylor, pedal-steel guitar; Artie Moore, bass
Atlantic 83168-2 (CD). 1999. Ginger Baker, Ron Miles, prods.; Danny Kopelson, eng. DDD. TT: 60:26
Performance ****?
Sonics ****
David Patrick Stearns Posted: Jun 14, 2000 0 comments
SHOSTAKOVICH: String Quartets 1-15
Emerson String Quartet
Deutsche Grammophon 289 463 284-2 (5 CDs). 1999. Emerson Quartet, prods.; Da-Hong Seetoo, eng. DDD. TT: 5:59:19
Performance *****
Sonics ****
Hyperion Knight Posted: Jun 08, 2001 0 comments
RACHMANINOFF: Piano Concerto 2
With: Prelude in g-sharp, Op.32 No.12; Etudes-Tableaux, Op.33 Nos. 1, 2, 9; Variations on a Theme of Corelli, Op.42
Hélène Grimaud, piano; Vladimir Ashkenazy, Philharmonia Orchestra
Teldec 8573-84376-2 (CD). 2001. Friedemann Engelbrecht, prod.; Eberhard Sengpiel, Andreas Florczak, engs. DDD. TT: 70:33
Performance *****
Sonics *****

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