Recording of the Month

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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.

Richard Lehnert Posted: 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.
Robert Baird Posted: Feb 24, 2015 Published: Mar 01, 2015 4 comments
Estrella Morente: Amar en Paz
Estrella Morente, voice; Niño Josele, guitar
Calle 54/Sony Music 88875011922 (CD). 2014. Fernando Trueba, prod., exec. prod.; Nat Chediak, exec. prod.; Jose Luis Crespo, eng.; Jim Anderson, mix; Alan Silverman, mastering. DDD? TT: 66:29
Performance ****
Sonics ****½

What makes a great singer great is a magical combination of virtuosic physical skills with mental and emotional powers of interpretation that allow you to hear and feel a lyric's subtext: the emotions the songwriter hoped to evoke by a turn in the melody.

J. Gordon Holt Posted: Jun 30, 2015 Published: May 01, 1982 2 comments
666shefdrum.jpgThe Sheffield Drum Record
Improvisations by Jim Keltner and Ron Tutt (drums)
Sheffield LAB-14 (LP) (1981). Reissued as FIM DXD 001 (CD) (2010). Bill Schnee, Doug Sax, prods.; Lincoln Mayorga, exec. prod.; Steve Haselton, Bill Schnee, engs. TT: 13:49.

There was a time when drum records were as common as records of steam locomotives and thunderstorms. It has been so long since anyone has tackled any of them that a lot of technology has gone over the dam, but they are precisely the kind of program material which illuminate the state of the audio art like nothing else. Thus, Sheffield's Drum Record emerges as a landmark—a technological tour de force that should discourage anyone else from issuing a similar disc until the state of the art advances by a few more years.

Richard Lehnert Posted: 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.

Beth Jacques Posted: 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
Robert Deutsch Posted: 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
Les Berkley Posted: 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
Les Berkley Posted: 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
Igor Kipnis Posted: 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
Wes Phillips Posted: 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
Mortimer H. Frank Wes Phillips Posted: May 05, 1996 0 comments
MOZART: Piano Concertos 21 & 24, K.467 & K.491
Eugene Istomin, piano; Gerard Schwarz, Seattle Symphony Orchestra
Reference Recordings RR-68CD (CD only). Adam Stern, J. Tamblyn Henderson, Jr., prods.; Keith O. Johnson, eng. DDD. TT: 59:34
David Patrick Stearns Posted: May 22, 1997 0 comments
BEETHOVEN: The String Quartets
Emerson String Quartet
Eugene Drucker, 1st violin, Philip Setzer, 1st violin, Lawrence Dutton, viola, David Finckel, cello.
DG, 447 075-2. (7 CDs). 1997. Alison Ames and Roger Wright, exec. prods; Max Wilcox, prod.; Nelson Wong, eng. DDD. TT: 8:18:02.
Music: *****
Sonics: *****
Robert Baird Posted: May 02, 1998 0 comments
OLU DARA: In the World, from Natchez to New York
Atlantic 83077-2 (CD). 1998. Yves Beauvais, Olu Dara, prods.; Danny Kopelson, eng. Tom Schick, asst. eng. AAD? TT: 47:03
Performance ****
Sonics ****(But see final paragraph.)

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