Recording of the Month

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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.)
Robert Baird Posted: May 10, 1999 0 comments
BILL LLOYD: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
Koch LOC-CD-8035 (CD). 1999. Bill Lloyd, Scott Baggett, prods., engs.; Brad Jones, prod.; Robin Eaton, Marshall Crenshaw, engs. AAD? TT: 56:46
Performance ****?
Sonics ****
Robert Baird Posted: May 28, 2000 0 comments
DR. JOHN: Duke Elegant
Blue Note 5 23220 2 (CD). 2000. Mac Rebennack, prod.; Suz Dyer, eng.; Steve Revitte, Tovi Rodriguez, asst. engs. AAD? TT: 66:40
Performance ****?
Sonics ****?
Marc Weidenbaum Posted: May 15, 2001 0 comments
RAE & CHRISTIAN: Sleepwalking
GrandCentral/Studio K7 K7096CD (CD). 2001. Steve Christian, prod., eng.; Mark Rae, prod.; Rick Cowling, Graham Harwood, Howard Payne, Dejuana "DK" Richardson, Philippe Simonin, Eric Steinen, engs.; Mike Ball, Chris Owen, asst. engs. AAD? TT: 47:05
Performance ****?
Sonics ****
Robert Baird Posted: May 12, 2002 0 comments
NEIL YOUNG: Are You Passionate?
Reprise 48111-2 (CD). 2002. Neil Young, Booker T. Jones, Duck Dunn, Poncho Sampedro, prods.; John Hanlon, eng.; Aaron Prellwitz, Alex Osborne, asst. engs.; Tim Mulligan, mix, mastering; John Hausmann, Denny Purcell, mastering; John Nowland, A/D transfer. AAD? TT: 65:29
Performance ****?
Sonics ****
Bradley Bambarger Posted: May 09, 2004 Published: May 01, 2004 0 comments
HESPÈRIAN XXI: Villancicos y Danzas Criollas de la Iberia Antigua al Nuevo Mundo (1550-1750)
La Capella Reial de Catalunya, Hespèrian XXI, Jordi Savall
Alia Vox CD 9834 (CD). 2004. Nicolas Bartolomée, prod.; Nicolas de Beco, eng. DDD. TT: 77:03
Performance ****½
Sound *****
Robert Baird Posted: May 15, 2005 0 comments
TORD GUSTAVSEN TRIO: The Ground
Tord Gustavsen, piano; Harald Johnsen, double bass; Jarle Vespestad, drums
ECM 1892 (CD). 2005. Manfred Eicher, prod.; Jan Erik Kongshaug, eng. DDD. TT: 60:13
Performance ****½
Sonics ****½
David Patrick Stearns Posted: May 14, 2006 0 comments
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony 6, Serenade for Strings
Daniele Gatti, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Harmonia Mundi HMU 907394 (SACD). 2006. Brad Michel, prod.; Chris Barrett, Craig Silvry, engs. DSD. TT: 77:09
Performance *****
Sonics *****
Dan Ouellette Posted: May 13, 2007 0 comments
Michael Brecker Pilgrimage
Michael Brecker, tenor sax, EWI; Pat Metheny, guitars; Herbie Hancock, Brad Mehldau, keyboards; John Patitucci, bass; Jack DeJohnette, drums
Heads Up International HUCD 3095 (CD). 2007. Michael Brecker, Gil Goldstein, Steve Rodby, Pat Metheny, prods.; Darryl Pitt, exec. prod.; Joe Ferla, eng. DDD. TT: 77:57
Performance ****½
Sonics ****½
Robert Baird Posted: May 15, 2008 0 comments
BON IVER: For Emma, Forever Ago
Jagjaguwar Jag 115 (CD). 2008. Justin Vernon, prod., eng. AAD? TT: 37:15
Performance ****1/2
Sonics ****
Robert Baird Posted: May 15, 2009 0 comments
Willie Nile: House of a Thousand Guitars Circle P/River House RHR9904 (CD). 2009. Willie Nile, Brad Albetta, Frankie Lee, Andy York, prods.; Stewart Lerman, Rich Pagano, prods., engs.; Rich Lamb, eng. AAD? TT: 52:36 Performance ****½ Sonics ***½
Robert Baird Posted: May 15, 2010 0 comments
Johnny Cash: American VI: Ain't No Grave
Lost Highways/American Recordings B0013954-02 (CD). 2010. Rick Rubin, prod.; David Ferguson, eng.; Greg Fidelman, Jimmy Tittle, Paul Fig, Dan Leffler, asst. engs. AAD.? TT: 32:23
Performance ****½
Sonics ***½
Robert Baird Posted: May 06, 2011 1 comments
The Twilight Singers: Dynamite Steps
Sub Pop SPCD 844 (CD). 2011. Greg Dulli, prod.; Brenndan McGuire, Ben Mumphrey, Steve Nalepa, Mike Napolitano, others, engs. AAD? TT: 43:03
Performance ****
Sonics ****

Unleash "Retarded," the unforgettable first track of Up In It (1990), the Afghan Whigs' first Sub Pop album—the one with the eerie stitched-up hand on the cover—and immediately the madness seeps out. No one has ever done the angry leer and tormented spat quite like AW singer/songwriter Greg Dulli. As the charismatic leader of one of the nastiest, hardest-edged live acts ever to prowl a 1990s indie-rock stage, he and the Whigs were one of the Yo MTV 120 Minute generation's most striking acts—one that combined buzzy guitar thunder with odd but welcome leanings toward classic R&B that persist to this day in the Twilight Singers. The assault of the Cincinnati-based Whigs was led by Dulli, a seemingly normal Ohio boy whose unhinged wailing, self-flagellating lyrics, and shrieking, Cobra-like stage persona made him a rock star: dangerous candy for the girls, unhinged fury for the fellas.

Thomas Conrad Posted: May 01, 2012 0 comments
Ryan Truesdell: Centennial: Newly Discovered Works of Gil Evans
Ryan Truesdell, conductor; 35 musicians including those mentioned in text, plus: Scott Robinson, Charles Pillow, reeds; Greg Gisbert, trumpet; Marcus Rojas, tuba; Romero Lubambo, guitar; Lewis Nash, drums
ArtistShare AS0114 (CD). 2012. Ryan Truesdell, prod.; James Farber, eng. DAD. TT: 74:18
Performance *****
Sonics ****½

It is dreamlike when the opening track, "Punjab," begins so softly, with the tapping of a tabla. Exotic woodwinds, perhaps English horn and bassoon, murmur in the left channel, whisper in the right. It is dreamlike because Gil Evans died in 1988, yet this unfamiliar music sounds like him, and when suddenly that deep, solemn brass figure looms out of the right channel, it could only be him. More instruments enter, and more motifs, with brighter colors from alto saxophone and flute. Like all the greatest Gil Evans music, "Punjab" creates its own world of high drama and mysterious allusion. It belongs in the exalted company of such Evans masterpieces as Out of the Cool and Sketches of Spain. And it is new.

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