Recording of the Month
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Recording of the Month
John Atkinson Dec 26, 2000 1 comments
Little Feat: Hotcakes & Outtakes: 30 Years of Little Feat
Warner Archives/Rhino R2 79912 (4 CDs). 1970-2000. Russ Titelman, Ted Templeman, Lowell George, Van Dyke Parks, Erik Jacobsen, George Massenburg, Bill Payne, Paul Barrère, Bill Wray, Ed Cherney, Frank Zappa, Michael O'Bryant, Richard Moore, orig. prods.; Gary Peterson, Bill Payne, Paul Barrère, reissue prods.; Bill Inglot, reissue sound. AAD. TT: 5:13:48
Performance *****
Sonics ****
Recording of the Month
Robert Baird Dec 15, 2002 0 comments
COLDPLAY: A Rush of Blood to the Head
Capitol 5 40504 2 (CD). 2002. Coldplay, Ken Nelson, prods.; Mark Phythian, Ken Phythian, engs.; Rik Simpson, Jon Withnal, Ben Thackeray, Jon Bailey, Andrea Wright, asst. engs. AAD? TT: 54:14
Performance ****½
Sonics ****
Recording of the Month
Robert Baird Dec 15, 2003 Published: Dec 01, 2003 0 comments
RANDY NEWMAN: The Randy Newman Songbook Vol.1
Nonesuch 79689-2 (CD). 2003. Mitchell Froom, prod.; David C. Boucher, eng.; Steven Rhodes, asst. eng. AAD.? TT: 47:22
Performance *****
Sonics ****½
Recording of the Month
Robert Baird Dec 12, 2004 0 comments
BRIAN WILSON: SMiLE
Nonesuch 79846-2 (CD). 2004. Brian Wilson, prod., mix; Mark Linett, eng.; Kevin Deane, Daneil S. McCoy, Pete Magdaleno, asst. engs.; Darian Sahanaja, mix. AAD? TT: 47:01
Performance ****½
Sonics **** (footnote 1)
Recording of the Month
Robert Baird Dec 11, 2005 0 comments
Geffen B0005345-02 (CD). 2005. Sigur Rós, prods.; Birgir Jon Birgisson, Kenneth Vaughan Thomas, engs. AAD. TT: 65:34
Performance ****½
Sonics ****
Recording of the Month
Robert Baird Dec 17, 2006 0 comments
JERRY LEE LEWIS: Last Man Standing
Shangri-La Entertainment 2006. (CD) Steve Bing, Jimmy Rip, prods. No eng listed. AAD? TT: 66:45
Performance ****
Sonics ****
Recording of the Month
John Swenson Dec 17, 2007 0 comments
MILES DAVIS: The Complete On the Corner Sessions
Miles Davis, trumpet, electric trumpet, electric organ, electric piano, synthesizer; Michael Henderson, (electric bass); Badal Roy (tablas); Dave Leibman, Carlos Garnett, Bennie Maupin, John Stubblefield, Sonny Fortune, Sam Morrison (reeds, flute); Wally Chambers (harmonica); Cornell Dupree, John McLaughlin, Dave Creamer, Reggie Lucas, Pete Cosey, Dominique Gaumont (guitar); Al Foster, Bernard Purdie, Jack DeJohnette, Billy Hart, Pete Cosey (drums); Mtume, Don Alias, Billy Hart (congas, percussion); Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Harold Ivory Williams, Lonnie Liston Smith, Cedric Lawson (keyboards); Colin Walcott, Khalil Balakrishna (electric sitar), Paul Buckmaster (electric cello).
Columbia/Legacy 88697 06239 2 (6 CDs). 1972–75/2007. Teo Macero, Billy Jackson, orig. prods.; Bob Belden, Michael Cuscuna, reissue prods.; Stan Tonkel, Don Pulese, Russ Payne, Doug Pomeroy, orig. engs. AAD? TT: 6:47:42
Performance ****½
Sonics *****
Recording of the Month
Robert Levine Dec 11, 2008 0 comments
TARIK O'REGAN: Threshold of Night
Had I Not Seen the Sun, The Ecstasies Above, Threshold of Night, Tal Vez Tenemos Tiempo, Care Charminge Sleepe, Triptych, I Had No Time to Hate
Conspirare Company of Voices, Company of Strings; Craig Hella Johnson, conductor
Harmonia Mundi HMU 807490 (SACD/CD). 2008. Robina G. Young, prod.; John Newton, eng. DDD. TT: 59:31
Performance *****
Sonics *****
Recording of the Month
Robert Baird Dec 14, 2009 0 comments
Anouar Brahem: The Astounding Eyes of Rita
Anouar Brahem, oud; Klaus Gesing, bass clarinet; Björn Meyer, bass; Khaled Yassine, darbouka, bendir
ECM 2075 (CD). 2009. Manfred Eicher, prod.; Stefano Amerio, eng. DDD. TT: 53:31
Performance ****
Sonics *****
Recording of the Month
Robert Baird Dec 10, 2010 0 comments
Having a long career in the temporal world of indie rock, as the Posies have, has its drawbacks. Before I wrote this review, someone sent me a quote about Blood/Candy from the all-powerful world of Internet music criticism, where speed trumps knowledge. "A collection that's thankfully a world away from their largely charmless and invariably dull nineties output for Geffen."
Recording of the Month
Robert Baird Dec 01, 2011 1 comments
Bill Frisell All We Are Saying . . .
Bill Frisell, guitar; Jenny Scheinman, violin; Greg Leisz, pedal steel guitar; Tony Scherr, bass; Kenny Wollesen, drums
Savoy Jazz SVY17836 (CD). 2011. Lee Townsend, prod.; Adam Blombert, prod. asst.; Adam Munoz, eng.; Greg Calbi, mastering. AAD? TT: 68:12
Performance ****
Sonics *****

How do you escape the pressures that come with making a record of well-known John Lennon tunes, many of them from archetypal Beatles songs? Convene a quartet of longtime bandmates, each a skilled instrumentalist with whom you've played this material before—albeit not in a while—and just hang loose, let the ideas flow, and jam up beautifully recorded, feel-no-heat-from-the-classic-originals versions whose rough charms somehow seem exactly right. Oh yeah, and bring in pedal-steel wizard Greg Leisz to put an evocative, legato tang on the whole thing.

Recording of the Month
Robert Baird Nov 29, 2012 Published: Dec 01, 2012 4 comments
David Byrne & St. Vincent: Love This Giant
4AD CAD3231 (LP). 2012. David Byrne, Annie Clark, prods.; Patrick Dillett, John Congleton, asst. prods., engs.; Yuki Takahashi, Jon Altschuler, asst. engs. DDA? TT: 44:23
Performance *****
Sonics ****

The world's Web-based culture has progressed to the point that you don't need to be in the same room, or even the same general region, to be inspired by or collaborate with someone else. Ideas can fly back and forth for years across time and distance. By all accounts, the Internet played a key role in the creation of this sparkling and unexpected bit of funky world pop. This pair of wonderfully hard-to-define talents, who over a three-year gestation period seem to have found a glorious common ground for songwriting and harmonizing, has succeeded in fashioning an utterly original shard of brass-band-meets-layers-of-drum-programming, all of it overflown by the delicate voice of Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent, and the recognizable keen of the Talking Heads' former big-suited frontman, David Byrne.

Recording of the Month
Robert Baird Nov 30, 2013 Published: Dec 01, 2013 3 comments
Deadlines and the Dead don't mix. Let me explain . . .

Back when I was a cub reporter, green as ivy, I was, in retrospect, suckered into volunteering to review a Grateful Dead concert. I dutifully drove to the venue for the 8pm show, abstained from intoxicating substances, and was on track—until I realized that, after two hours, the band was still on just the third song. Jerry was deep into an epic, 2000-bar solo that was gaining rather than losing momentum. In Deadspeak, it was one of those nights.

J. Gordon Holt, Larry Archibald Jul 11, 2013 Published: Feb 11, 1984 6 comments
BEETHOVEN: Violin Sonata in G, Op.96
ENESCU: Violin Sonata No.3, Op.25 (In Rumanian Style)

David Abel, violin, Julie Steinberg, piano
Wilson Audio W-8315 (LP). David Wilson, prod., eng. AAA.

Oh, what a breath of fresh air this is! An audiophile recording of real music that isn't bombastic, overblown, or high-powered.

Imagine, if you can, a private recital in your own home by two consummate artists who play these works for their own delight as much as for yours. Imagine sound so completely and disarmingly natural that after 30 seconds you're unaware it's reproduced. That's what this record is all about.

I could rhapsodize endlessly about this record, but I won't. Suffice it to say that if you think there's even a remote chance you'll like this music, you will be positively mesmerized by this recording of it . . .

Recording of the Month
Bernard Soll Mar 22, 2012 Published: Feb 01, 1988 0 comments
The Moscow Sessions
Barber: First Essay for Orchestra; Copland: Appalachian Spring; Gershwin: Lullaby (for string quartet); Glazunov: Valse de Concert in D; Glinka: Russlan and Ludmilla Overture; Griffes: The White Peacock; Ives: The Unanswered Question; Mussorgsky: Khovanshchina Prelude; Piston: The Incredible Flutist (ballet suite); Shostakovich: Symphony 1, Festive Overture; Tchaikovsky: Symphony 5
Lawrence Leighton Smith, Dmitri Kitayenko, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
Sheffield Lab CD-1000 (3 CDs); TLP-1000 (3 LPs). CDs DDD. LPs AAA. TT: 180:40

The ecumenical collaboration between Sheffield Lab, the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, conductors Lawrence Leighton Smith and Dmitri Kitayenko, an imposing gaggle of businessmen and bureaucrats, and partial sponsorship by The Absolute Sound's Fund for Recorded Music, if somewhat short of epoch-making, is, nonetheless, a positive example of free enterprise and socialism bedding down together, liberally (pardon the expression) lubricated with glasnost. Art, we are told, is universal. It transcends philosophical, racial, political, and religious differences of opinion. Yet, despite the implied altruism of this international cooperative effort, the actual genesis of the project was essentially pragmatic, fundamentally bottom line.

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