Recording of the Month
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Recording of the Month
Robert Baird Mar 09, 2007 0 comments
KINGS OF LEON: Because of the Times
RCA (CD). 2007. Ethan Johns, prod., eng.; Lowell Reynolds, asst. eng. AAD? TT: 51:41
Performance ****½
Sonics ****
Recording of the Month
Robert Baird Mar 16, 2008 1 comments
SHELBY LYNNE Just a Little Lovin'
Lost Highways B0009789-02 (CD). 2008. Phil Ramone, prod.; Al Schmitt, eng.; Steve Genewick, asst. eng. AAD? TT: 39:21
Performance ****
Sonics ****
Recording of the Month
Robert Baird Mar 10, 2009 0 comments
ARVO PÄRT In Principio
In Principio, La Sindone, Cecilia, vergine romana, Da Pacem Domine, Mein Weg, Fur Lennart in memoriam.
Tõnu Kaljuste, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra
ECM New Series 2050 (CD). 2009. Manfred Eicher, prod.; Teije van Geest, Margho Kolar, engs. DDD. TT: 70:44
Performance *****
Sonics *****
Recording of the Month
Robert Baird Mar 15, 2010 0 comments
Neil Young: Official Release Series, Discs 1–4
Reprise 519173-1(4 LPs, Limited Edition Vinyl Boxed Set). 2009. Neil Young, David Briggs, Elliot Mazer, Jack Nitzsche, Henry Lewy, prods.; John Nowland, reissue eng. AAA.
Recording of the Month
Stephen Mejias Mar 07, 2011 1 comments
Wyatt/Atzmon/Stephen: For the Ghosts Within
Domino DNO271/WIGLP263 (CD/LP). 2010. Gilad Atzmon, prod.; Robert Wyatt, Jamie Johnson, Philip Bagenal, engs. ADD? TT: 56:13
Performance *****
Sonics ****

For the Ghosts Within marks my introduction to the wonderful world of Robert Wyatt. It happened in Denver, Colorado, at around 1am, several hours after the first full day of the 2010 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. I'd taken a break from posting blog entries to flip through the November 2010 issue of my other favorite magazine, The Wire. There, on p.11, I saw a neat, simple ad that offered little more than an album's intriguing cover art: stencil-like cutouts of three figures that seem meant to represent the album's three musicians, though these figures are almost entirely stripped of human form, reduced or distilled to their musical functions—as if the players are their instruments. Drawn by the rich colors and provocative imagery, I went straight to Domino Recording Co.'s website and listened to "Laura," track 1 of For the Ghosts Within. (Like so much of the album, "Laura" was completely new to me, but I have since learned that it is the title song from the 1944 film Laura, composed by David Raksin, and given fine treatments by Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and Julie London, among others.)

Recording of the Month
Robert Baird Mar 01, 2012 0 comments
Anthony Wilson: Seasons Anthony Wilson, Steve Cardenas, Julian Lage, Chico Pinheiro, guitars
Goat Hill Recordings 003 (CD/DVD). 2011. Anthony Wilson, prod.; Todd Whitelock, eng.; Damon Whittemore, asst. eng.; Kevin Gray, mastering; George Petit, live sound assistance; Steve Becker, Chris Scarafile, cameras. AAD? TT: 63:35
Performance ****½
Sonics ****½

Halfway into the interview in his management company's offices, as Steve Earle literally squirmed in his seat, I got the distinct impression that he had somewhere else to go, something more important to do. Turned out he was anxious to get to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the exhibition Guitar Heroes: Legendary Craftsmen from Italy to New York. Suddenly, instead of talking about his career, he was rhapsodizing about the jazz-guitar luthiers—John D'Angelico and James D'Aquisto—whose work was being exhibited, and a display that featured one of the four guitars known to have been made by Antonio Stradivari.

Recording of the Month
Robert Baird Feb 26, 2013 Published: Mar 01, 2013 1 comments
Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell: Old Yellow Moon
Nonesuch 534285-2 (CD/HDTracks download). 2013. Brian Ahern, prod.; Donivan Cowart, eng.; John Baldwin, Noland O'Boyle, asst. engs. AAD? TT: 41:04
Performance *****
Sonics ****½

A recent survey of my teenaged nephew and his friends turned up a number of musical trends both predictable and surprising. It sent them into paroxysms of disbelief and laughter when the old-man uncle asked whether they liked any guitar bands, like, say . . . Green Day. Guitar bands, to say the least, ain't cool. Pop-oriented hip-hop artists like Wiz Khalifa are. So are white, pop-rock "country" singers like Jason Aldean, whom teenaged boys, even in the age of piracy, continue to spend money on, be it downloads or a CD to rip.

Recording of the Month
Richard Lehnert Feb 25, 2014 Published: Mar 01, 2014 1 comments
Keith Jarrett's gift for brilliant invention is apparently inexhaustible throughout both of these concerts, recorded five days apart in spring 1981. The combinations of lyricism, literally foot-stomping gospel, chordings and voicings alternately sumptuously lush and astringently lean, and unexpected musical destinations reached in surprising ways, are here at least as rich as anything else he's done.
Recording of the Month
Richard Lehnert Jan 02, 2011 Published: May 02, 1989 1 comments
The ideal rock singer/songwriter? Someone who addresses adult issues with all the passion of adolescence (than which, believe me, there is none more monomaniacal—there's no righteous indignation like a teenager's). Someone who can sing about him- or herself and strike the universal; someone who can tell a story of what the swells call "the human condition," or of some social injustice, in terms of how it affects a single life in all that life's unique details. In this case, some musical near-illiterate like "The Beloved Entertainer," as it says on the little brass nameplate under the harlequin-painted face exploding from the golden Warner Brothers shield on the cover of Spike—The Little Hands of Concrete himself.

Recording of the Month
Beth Jacques Dec 31, 2009 Published: May 31, 1990 0 comments
DEBBIE HARRY: Def, Dumb and Blonde
Sire/Red Eye/Reprise 9 25938-1 (LP), -2 (CD). George Tutko, Mike O'Hara, engs.; Mike Chapman, prod. AAA/AAD. TT: 63:57
Recording of the Month
Robert Deutsch Feb 06, 2009 Published: May 06, 1991 0 comments
DICK HYMAN: Dick Hyman Plays Fats Waller
Dick Hyman, piano
Reference Recordings RR-33DCD (CD*), RR-33CD (CD**), RR-33LP (LP). Keith O. Johnson, recording eng.; Robert Harley, mastering eng. (RR-33DCD); J. Tamblyn Henderson, Jr., prod. D/DDD/AAA. TTs: 59:28,* 59:22,** 59:22
Recording of the Month
Les Berkley Feb 05, 2008 Published: May 05, 1992 0 comments
P.D.Q. BACH: WTWP Classical Talkity-Talk Radio
Prof. Peter Schickele and the Usual Cast of Clowns; many instruments, some of which you'll recognize
Telarc CD-80295 (CD only, as if we had to tell you that). Robert Woods, Elaine Martone, prods.; Jack Renner, Michael Bishop, engs. DDD (as if we had to tell you that, too). TT: 61:39
Recording of the Month
Les Berkley Nov 30, 2003 Published: May 01, 1993 0 comments
TOUS LES MATINS DU MONDE (soundtrack)
Jordi Savall, Christophe Coin, bass viols; Les Concert des Nations, Jordi Savall, dir.
Valois/Auvidis V 4640 (CD only). Pierre Verany Studios, production & engineering. DDD. TT: 76:00
Recording of the Month
Igor Kipnis May 10, 1994 0 comments
GERSHWIN: Piano Music
Rhapsody in Blue (solo piano version by Gershwin); 3 Preludes; "Sleepless Night"; Impromptu in 2 Keys; Song Transcriptions: "Sweet and Low-Down," "Maybe," "Clap Yo' hands," "So am I," "Looking for a Boy," "Someone to Watch Over Me," "That Certain Feeling"; Second Rhapsody (solo piano version by David Buechner)
David Buechner, piano
Connoisseur Society CD 4191 (CD only). Patricia A. Duciaume, eng.; E. Alan Silver, prod. D?D. TT: 59:26
Recording of the Month
Wes Phillips May 25, 1995 0 comments
CALAMUS: The Splendour of al-Andalus
Eduardo Paniagua, chabbada, flutes, salterio, târ, cymbals, voice; Luis Delgado, oud, citola, guimbri, doira, târ, handclaps, voice; Begoña Olavide, voice, quanun, salterio, caraqebs, târ, darûga; Rosa Olavide, voice, rabel, viola, portative organ, cymbals; Carlos Paniagua, darbûga, t'abila, pandero, campanillas, voice
M•A Recordings M026A (CD only). Todd Garfinkle, prod., eng. DDD. TT: 60:10
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