Recording of the Month

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Robert Baird Posted: Apr 22, 2014 Published: May 01, 2014 1 comments
WANTED: Jazz Hero. Must be willing and able to bring stunning new creative energies to a musical genre in danger of becoming stale and repetitive. Must be comfortable with a Marsalis level of celebrity. Saxophone or trumpet players preferred. Old men need not apply.

In 2011, jazz prayers were answered with the release of When the Heart Emerges Glistening, a brilliantly inventive mainstream jazz album led by Ambrose Akinmusire, a photogenic, 28-year-old trumpeter from Oakland, California. The young man had lots of fresh ideas, speed and dexterity to burn, and a unique tone, the combination of which brought back a flood of memories: Miles Davis, Clifford Brown, Pops.

Richard Lehnert Posted: Apr 15, 2015 Published: May 01, 2015 5 comments
Bruckner: Symphony 8
Rémy Ballot, Upper Austrian Youth Symphony Orchestra
Gramola 99054 (2 SACD/CDs). 2015. John Proffitt, prod., eng.; Richard Winter, prod.; Rémy Ballot, Matthias Kronsteiner, eds., mastering. DDD. TT: 103:44
Performance ****½
Sonics *****

This performance of Bruckner's greatest, most generous work, his Symphony 8, took place in August 2014 in the basilica of St. Florian, the Austrian monastery where Bruckner was schooled and served as organist. It was taped before an audience, directly above the crypt in which Bruckner is buried. The band was the Upper Austrian Youth Symphony Orchestra: 130 players, average age 17, conducted by Rémy Ballot, a student of the late Sergiù Celibidache.

Robert Baird Posted: Apr 21, 2016 0 comments
Emitt Rhodes: Rainbow Ends Omnivore OVLP-163 (LP). 2016. Chris Price, prod., eng.; Pierre de Reeder, Kyle Frederickson, engs.; Nathan Flom, Emitt Rhodes, Emeen Zarookian, add'l. engs. ADA? TT: 37:01 Performance **** Sonics ****

"A few shows here, a few shows there—Emitt eventually found himself without a label, and his career came to a halt," reads the biography on EmittRhodesMusic.net. "He had had enough. He was 24."

Go on, admit it: Everyone loves a disappearing act—the plight of the unjustly snakebit, the ghostly casualties of a business that markets creativity but doesn't respect it. Hawthorne, California native Emitt Rhodes, onetime drummer for mid-'60s SoCal garage band (and later Nuggets staple) Palace Guard, and later the cofounder and leading force of L.A. psychedelic pop band Merry-Go-Round, went solo in 1969.

J. Gordon Holt Posted: Sep 10, 2014 Published: Nov 01, 1983 4 comments
1183rotm.250.jpgRimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade
Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Fritz Reiner conducting.
RCA ".5 Series" ARP1-W27 (LP).

In case you didn't already know, ".5" is RCA's name for their half-speed-–mastered line of audiophile LPs, whose releases to date have included many recordings, as well as some real gems, from their archive of older stereo recordings.

Their choice of old recordings is interesting to say the least, as it shows a side of RCA's classical division that we thought had atrophied and blown away many years ago: musical judgment. Instead of going for their most sonically spectacular tapes from yesteryear, the choices here were clearly made on the basis of musical performance first, with sound as a secondary consideration.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jun 30, 2011 Published: Nov 15, 1988 0 comments
A useful test CD has recently come my way, courtesy of the Stereophile editorial staff in Santa Fe (a copy was provided to each of the contributing equipment editors). Digital Test was produced in France by Pierre Verany (PV.788031/788032, 2 CDs), and is distributed in the USA by Harmonia Mundi. It provides a wide variety of tests and useful musical selections, but the subject of special interest here is its test bands for evaluation of laser-tracking and error-correction capability.

There are two interrelated parameters which, in the absence of drop-outs or information gaps—we'll get to them shortly—can affect the ability of a player to track the CD "groove" (or "whorl," as the quaintly translated disc booklet calls it): linear "cutting velocity" and track pitch. The standards for the first establish a range of 1.2 to 1.4 meters/second (the rotation speed of the disc varies from 500 to 200rpm from the inside to the outside of the disc to maintain this linear velocity); for the second, the spacing between adjacent tracks, from 1.50 to 1.70 micrometers (µm).

Richard Lehnert Posted: Jul 02, 2010 Published: Nov 02, 1989 0 comments
LAURA NYRO: Live at the Bottom Line
Cypress YL6430 (2 LPs), YD6430 (CD). Mark Linett, eng.; Laura Nyro, prod. AAA/AAD. TT: 62:00
Richard Lehnert Posted: Jul 06, 2009 Published: Nov 06, 1990 0 comments
KEITH JARRETT: Paris Concert
Keith Jarrett, piano
ECM 1401 (839 173-2, CD only). Peter Laenger, Andreas Newbronner, engs.; Manfred Eicher, prod. DDD. TT: 50:17
Richard Lehnert Posted: Aug 07, 2008 Published: Nov 07, 1991 0 comments
GONZALO RUBALCABA: Discovery
Gonzalo Rubalcaba, piano; Charlie Haden, bass; Paul Motian, drums
Blue Note CDP 7 95478 2 (CD only). Charlie Haden, prod.; David Richards, eng. DDD? TT: 54:06
Robert Hesson Posted: Nov 05, 1993 0 comments
ARTURO DELMONI: Music for Violin & Guitar
Handel: Sonata in E. Giuliani: Sonata in A, Op.85. Leisner: Sonata for Violin & Guitar. Kreisler: Andantino. Granados-Kreisler: Spanish Dance. Ravel: Pièce en forme de Habanera. Paganini: Cantabile. Chaminade-Kreisler: Serenade Espagnole.
Arturo Delmoni, violin; David Burgess, guitar
Athena Productions ACSC-10006 (CD only). Bob Katz, eng.; Arturo Delmoni, prod. DDD. TT: 62:04
Les Berkley Various Posted: Nov 22, 1994 0 comments
J.S. BACH: Suites for Solo Cello
Nathaniel Rosen, cello
John Marks Records JMR 6/7 (2 CDs only). Doris Stevenson, prod.; Jerry Bruck, eng. DDD. TT: 2:16:43
Robert Baird Posted: Nov 10, 1996 0 comments
MILES DAVIS & GIL EVANS: The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings
Gil Evans (arranger/conductor); Miles Davis, Ernie Royal, Johnny Coles (trumpet); Cannonball Adderley, Lee Konitz, (alto sax); Gunther Schuller (french horn); Paul Chambers (bass); Philly Joe Jones (drums); many others.
Columbia 67397 (6-CD set) Michael Cuscuna, exec. prod.; Phil Schaap, Mark Wilde, Bob Belden, reissue producers; additional engineering, Tom Ruff. TT: 6:56:39.
Les Berkley Posted: Nov 26, 1997 0 comments
HILDEGARD VON BINGEN: 11,000 Virgins
Anonymous 4
Harmonia Mundi HM 907200 (CD). 1997. Robina G. Young, prod.; Brad Michel, eng. DDD. TT: 72:07
Performance ****½
Sonics *****
Robert Baird Posted: Nov 07, 1998 0 comments
VARIOUS ARTISTS: Los Super Seven
Radv/RCA Nashville 67689-2 (CD). 1998. Dan Goodman, exec. prod.; Steve Berlin, prod.; Dave McNair, eng.; Fred Rennert, Steve Gamberoni, asst. engs. AAD? TT: 41:36
Performance ****?
Sonics ****
David Patrick Stearns Posted: Nov 23, 1999 0 comments
DVORÁK: Stabat Mater
Christine Goerke, soprano; Marietta Simpson, mezzo-soprano; Stanford Olsen, tenor; Nathan Berg, bass-baritone; Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Robert Shaw
Telarc 2CD-80506 (2 CDs). 1999. Robert Woods, prod.; Michael Bishop, eng. DDD. TT: 85:49
Performance ****
Sonics *****
Robert Baird Posted: Nov 02, 2000 0 comments
ROBERT WALTER'S 20TH CONGRESS: Money Shot
Fog City FCCD 004 (CD). 2000. Dan Prothero, prod., eng.; Kevin Ink, asst. eng. AAD? TT: 59:24
Performance ****?
Sonics ****?

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