Recording of the Month

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David Patrick Stearns Posted: Sep 15, 2002 0 comments
BEETHOVEN & MENDELSSOHN: Violin Concertos
Joshua Bell, violin; Roger Norrington, Camerata Salzburg
Sony Classical SK 89505 (CD). 2002. Andrew Keener, prod.; Arne Akselberg, eng. DDD. TT: 69:58
Performance *****
Sonics *****
Bradley Bambarger Posted: Sep 14, 2003 0 comments
FRANCK: Violin Sonata in A
RACHMANINOFF: Cello Sonata in g

Renaud Capuçon, violin; Gautier Capuçon, cello; Alexandre Gurning, Lilya Zilberstein, piano
EMI Classics 5 57505 2 (CD). 2003. Carlo Piccardi, prod.; Ulrich Ruscher, eng. DDD. TT: 65:33
Performance ****
Sonics ****
David Patrick Stearns Posted: Sep 09, 2004 Published: Sep 01, 2004 1 comments
MOZART: Requiem
Christine Schafer, soprano; Bernarda Fink, alto; Kurt Streit, tenor; Gerald Finley, bass; Arnold Schoenberg Choir, Concentus Musicus Wien; Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 82876 58705 2 (SACD/CD). 2004. Friedemann Engelbrecht, prod.; Michael Brammann, Josef Schutz, engs. DDD. TT: 50:23
Performance ****
Sonics *****
Thomas Conrad Posted: Sep 17, 2005 0 comments
CHARLIE HADEN LIBERATION MUSIC ORCHESTRA: Not In Our Name
Charlie Haden, bass; Carla Bley, piano, arranger, conductor; Seneca Black, Michael Rodriguez, trumpet; Miguel Zenón, alto sax; Chris Cheek, Tony Malaby, tenor sax; Curtis Fowlkes, trombone; Ahnee Sharon Freeman, French horn; Joe Daley, tuba; Steve Cardenas, guitar; Matt Wilson, drums
Verve B000494902 (CD). 2005. Charlie Haden, Carla Bley, Ruth Cameron, prods.; Gerard de Haro, eng. DDD? TT: 68:55
Performance ****
Sonics ****
Robert Baird Posted: Sep 17, 2006 0 comments
M. WARD: Post-War
Merge MRG 280 (CD). 2006. M. Ward, Jim James, prods.; Mike Coykendall, prod., eng.; Adam Selzer, Mike Mogis, Nick Luca, engs. AAD? TT: 37:35
Performance ****½
Sonics ***½
John Atkinson Posted: Sep 16, 2007 0 comments
J.S. BACH: The Goldberg Variations, BWV 988
Glenn Gould, piano (1955); Yamaha Disklavier Pro piano, "Re-Performance" by Zenph Studios Sony Classical 8697-03350-2 (SACD/CD). 2007. Howard H. Scott, prod. (1955 mono sessions); Steven Epstein, prod. (2007 stereo, multichannel, and binaural sessions); Peter Cook, Richard King, eng. (2007); Dennis Patterson, asst. eng. (2007); Marc Wienert, piano voicer (worked with Gould); Ron Giesbrecht, calibration. Zenph project team: Mikhail Krishtal, Anatoly Larkin, Peter J. Schwaller, John Q. Walker. DDD. TT: 77:02.
Performance *****
Sonics ****
Robert Baird Posted: Sep 09, 2008 Published: Sep 10, 2008 0 comments
RANDY NEWMAN Harps and Angels
Nonesuch 075597998931 (CD). 2008. Mitchell Froom, Lenny Waronker, prods.; David Boucher, eng. ADD. TT: 34:54
Performance *****
Sonics ****
Robert Baird Posted: Sep 09, 2008 Published: Sep 10, 2008 0 comments
RANDY NEWMAN Harps and Angels
Nonesuch 075597998931 (CD). 2008. Mitchell Froom, Lenny Waronker, prods.; David Boucher, eng. ADD. TT: 34:54
Performance *****
Sonics ****
Robert Baird Posted: Sep 14, 2009 0 comments
Willie Nelson: American Classic
Blue Note 5099926719726 (CD). 2009. Tommy LiPuma, prod.; Al Schmitt, Steve Genewick, engs. AAD? TT: 45:33
Performance ****½
Sonics ****
Stephen Mejias Posted: Sep 13, 2010 0 comments
Bushman's Revenge: Jitterbug
Rune Grammofon RCD 2097/RLP 3097 (LP/CD). 2010. Bushman's Revenge, prods.; Hasse Rosbach, prod., eng.; Morton Stendahl, eng. DDA/DDD. TT: 53:39
Performance *****
Sonics ****½
Robert Baird Posted: Sep 01, 2011 0 comments
John Adams Son of Chamber Symphony, String Quartet
John Adams, International Contemporary Ensemble; St. Lawrence String Quartet
Nonesuch 523014-2 (CD). 2011. Judith Sherman, prod.; John Kilgore, John D.S. Adams, engs.; Chris Allen, Tom Gloady, Nathan Chandler, asst. engs. DDD? TT: 54:00
Performance ****½
Sonics ****

When John Adams was working on his Chamber Symphony (1992), he became aware that his son Sam was in the next room watching old American cartoons, presumably those by Warner Bros. that used music by the great Raymond Scott. Hyperkinetic borrowings from Scott's witty scores made their way into that earlier work, and now into its successor, a fact hinted at by its humorous title: Son of Chamber Symphony. There's even a moment early on in this new work when the distinctive rhythmic rumble of Scott's masterpiece, "Powerhouse," can be fleetingly heard in what is, overall, a short but very sweet triumph.

Richard Lehnert Posted: Aug 28, 2012 Published: Sep 01, 2012 0 comments
Jarrett, Garbarek, Danielsson, Christensen: Sleeper
Keith Jarrett, piano, percussion; Jan Garbarek, tenor & soprano saxophone, flute, percussion; Palle Danielsson, double bass; Jon Christensen, drums, percussion
ECM 2290/91 (2 CDs; hi-rez FLAC files from HDTracks). 1979/2012. Manfred Eicher, prod., mix; Jan Erik Kongshaug, eng., mix. ADD. TT: 106:56
Performance *****
Sonics ****

Keith Jarrett's American quartet (with Redman, Haden, Motian) was prolifically inventive. His Standards trio (Peacock, DeJohnette) continues endlessly rich and ebullient at the end of its third decade. But Jarrett's Scandinavian quartet of saxophonist Jan Garbarek, drummer Jon Christensen (both Norwegian), and bassist Palle Danielsson (Swedish), was something else again. Each player's technical mastery, combined with their collectively perfect attunedness to one other, an apparently effortless intimacy of interplay that sounds telepathic, made them special even in a career as brilliant as Jarrett's—who wrote his best tunes for this band.

Robert Baird Posted: Aug 28, 2013 Published: Sep 01, 2013 3 comments
David Chesky: Jazz in the New Harmonic
David Chesky, piano; Javon Jackson, tenor saxophone; Jeremy Pelt, trumpet; Peter Washington, bass; Billy Drummond, drums
Chesky JD358 (CD). 2013. Norman Chesky, exec prod.; David Chesky, prod.; Nicholas Prout, prod., eng. DDD.? TT: 69:15.
Performance ****
Sonics *****

If there's a word that describes the feeling, the vibe present throughout Jazz in the New Harmonic, it's trance. Pianist and session leader David Chesky even uses it without prompting when asked how, among all his music endeavors—an album of difficult non–Joplin-like New York Rags in 2012, a children's ballet later this year, not to mention running Chesky Records—he found the time or inspiration to make a straight-ahead jazz record.

Robert Baird Posted: Aug 21, 2014 0 comments
Amy LaVere: Runaway's Diary
Archer ARR 319611/2 (LP/CD). 2014. Luther Dickinson, prod.; Kevin Houston, eng., Daniel Lyon, asst. eng. ADA/ADD. TT: 38:27.

"It's not your average gal that drinks bourbon neat, walks around with a pocket atlas and drives a big white gear van. I thought she was charming and awfully funny."

Talent and humor has never been a problem for Amy LaVere. Not long after high school she led Last Minute, a Detroit punk band. When we next hear of her, she's in Nashville as part of a husband-and-wife folk/country duo, The Gabe and Amy Show, who released a single, "Blankets of Love," b/w Johnny Cash's "Big River."

J. Gordon Holt Posted: Jan 30, 2012 Published: Apr 01, 1988 0 comments
Beethoven: Sonata No.32, Op.111; Sonata No.21, Op.53 ("Waldstein")
Tibor Szasz, piano
Bainbridge BCD-6275 (CD). Leo de Gar Kulka, eng. & prod. DDD. TT: 58:03

Mozart: Piano Concerto No.13, K.415; Overture to Lucio Silla, K.135
Jeremy Menuhin, piano; George Cleve, 1987 Midsummer Mozart Festival Orchestra
Bainbridge BCD-6273 (CD). Leo de Gar Kulka, eng. & prod. DDD. TT: 36:58

Prokofiev: Alexander Nevsky, Lieutenant Kije
Andre Previn, Los Angeles Philharmonic
Telarc CD-80143 (CD). Jack Renner, eng.; Robert Woods, prod. DDD. TT: 63:37

Rachmaninov: Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op.19
Steven Kates, Montagnana cello; Carolyn Pope Kobler, Bösendorfer piano
Bainbridge BCD-6272 (CD). Leo de Gar Kulka, eng. & prod. DDD. TT: 40:42

The Sounds of Trains, Vols.1 & 2*
Bainbridge BCD-6270, -6271* (CDs). Brad Miller, eng. & prod. DDD. TTs: 60:45, 50:14*

If you read my article in these pages about recording the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railway steam trains (January 1987, Vol.10 No.1), you may recall the mention of Colossus. Colossus is the name of a new digital recording system which designer Lou Dorren claims to be different from every other digital system in several ways, none of which has ever been disclosed to us. I had a chance to listen to some tapes made on it shortly after writing the C&TSRR article, but since they were made with a completely unfamiliar microphone (Mobile Fidelity Productions of Nevada's own design) and featured mainly the sounds of trains, airplanes, and other sources of potential ear damage, I couldn't really tell anything about the recording system, except that it had the kind of low end I expect from any respectable digital audio. A sonic evaluation had to wait until I heard Colossus on more familiar terms—that is, with music recordings. Now, that time has come.

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