Recording of the Month

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Robert Baird Posted: Mar 03, 1999 0 comments
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: Tracks
Columbia CXK 69475 (4 CDs). 1998. Bruce Springsteen, Chuck Plotkin, prods., engs.; Jon Landau, Stevie Van Zandt, Roy Bittan, Mike Appel, Jim Cretecos, John Hammond, orig. engs.; Ed Thacker, Bob Clearmountain, Thom Panunzio, remix engs. AAD? TT: 4:13:30
Performance *****
Sonics ****?
Robert Baird Posted: Mar 18, 2000 0 comments
GUY CLARK: Cold Dog Soup
Sugar Hill Sug-CD-1063 (CD). 1999. Chris Latham, prod., eng.; Guy Clark, Verlon Thompson, Darrell Scott, prods. AAD. TT: 40:44
Performance *****
Sonics ****?
Robert Baird Posted: Mar 29, 2001 0 comments
RODNEY CROWELL: The Houston Kid
Sugar Hill SUG-CD-1065A (HDCD). 2001. Rodney Crowell, Peter Coleman, Steuart Smith, Jim Dineen, prods.; Hank Williams, eng. AAD? TT: 47:01
Performance *****
Sonics ****
Thomas Conrad Posted: Mar 17, 2002 0 comments
BUCKY PIZZARELLI: Swing Live
Bucky Pizzarelli, guitar; Allen Vaché, clarinet; Peter Appleyard, vibes; Michael Moore, bass; Bernard Purdie, drums
Chesky JD218 (CD), SACD223 (hybrid multichannel SACD), CHDVD222 (DVD-A, not reviewed). 2001. David Chesky, prod.; Barry Wolifson, Nicholas Prout, engs. DDD. TT: 60:00
Performance ****
CD Sonics ***?
SACD Sonics ****? (two-channel), ***** (multichannel)
Robert Baird Posted: Mar 16, 2003 0 comments
RY COODER & MANUEL GALBÁN: Mambo Sinuendo
Perro Verde/Nonesuch 79691-2 (CD). 2003. Ry Cooder, prod.; Jerry Boys, eng. AAD? TT: 50:31
Performance ****?
Sonics ****
Robert Baird Posted: Mar 14, 2004 Published: Mar 01, 2004 0 comments
IRON AND WINE: Our Endless Numbered Days
Sub Pop 630 (CD). 2004. Sam Beam, Brian Deck, prods., engs. AAD? TT: 44:49
Performance ****
Sonics ****
Dan Ouellette Posted: Mar 13, 2005 0 comments
DAVE HOLLAND BIG BAND: Overtime
Robert Levine Posted: Mar 11, 2006 0 comments
VERDI: La Traviata Anna Netrebko, Violetta; Rolando Villazón, Alfredo; Thomas Hampson, Germont; others; Vienna Philharmonic, Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor, Carlo Rizzi
Deutsche Grammophon B0005529-02 (2 CDs). 2005. Rainard Maillard, prod.; Jurgen Bulgrin, eng. DDD. TT: 2:04:13
Performance ****
Sonics ****
Robert Baird Posted: 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 ****
Robert Baird Posted: 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 ****
Robert Baird Posted: 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 *****
Robert Baird Posted: 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.
Stephen Mejias Posted: 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.)

Robert Baird Posted: 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.

Robert Baird Posted: 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.

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