Robert Baird

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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 ****
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.

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: Dec 03, 1996 0 comments
EMMYLOU HARRIS: Portraits
Reprise Archives 45308-2 (3 CDs only). Gregg Geller, prod.; Keith Blake, eng.; Jo Motta, project coordinator. 1996. TT: 3:42:11
Robert Baird Posted: Dec 09, 2001 0 comments
HANK WILLIAMS: Timeless
Lost Highway 088 170 239-2 (CD). 2001. Luke Lewis, Mary Martin, Bonnie Garner, prods.; Bob Brockman, Michael Hopkins, Mark Johnson, others, engs.; Hank Williams (no relation), mastering. AAD. TT: 43:19
Performance ****
Sonics *****
Robert Baird Posted: Jan 15, 2010 0 comments
CARLA BLEY: Carla's Christmas Carols
Carla Bley, piano, celeste; Steve Swallow, bass, chimes; Partyka Brass Quintet
WATT 35 (CD). 2009. Carla Bley, Steve Swallow, prods.; Gerard de Haro, Nicolas Baillard, engs. DDD? TT: 60:36
Performance ****
Sonics ****½
Robert Baird Kalman Rubinson Posted: Sep 25, 2012 Published: Oct 01, 2012 1 comments
Patricia Barber: Nightclub & Modern Cool
Nightclub
Premonition 90763-1 (2 LPs). Patricia Barber, prod.; Michael Friedman, exec. prod.; Jim Anderson, eng.; Bob Ludwig, mastering; Doug Sax, mastering (LP). AAA? TT: 51:20
Performance ****
Sonics *****

Modern Cool
Premonition 90761-4 (BD-A). Patricia Barber, prod.; Michael Friedman, exec. & surround prod.; Jim Anderson, eng. & surround eng. Robert Gatley, asst. surround eng. ADD? TT: 67:49
Performance ****
Sonics *****

Much as the music world at large supremely values so-called original compositions (as if . . . but then that's a discussion for another day), it takes a special talent to make a song written by someone else—in common parlance, a cover—your very own. Take Burt Bacharach and Hal David's "Alfie," from the 1966 film with Michael Caine in the title role. Recorded for the soundtrack by Cilla Black, and later cut by everyone from Babs and Bill Evans to the Delfonics and Sarah Vaughan—not to mention a pair of laughably bad versions from Cher—the song is nothing if not overexposed. Bacharach's own soaring arrangement for the film sticks in the world's collective head. For lesser performers, that alone would be more than enough to keep them well clear of trying to cover it.

Robert Baird Posted: May 06, 2014 Published: May 01, 2014 0 comments
Making a recording is always a personal journey—everyone has a story to tell. Jazz violinist Regina Carter's latest, Southern Comfort, is an eloquent musical expression of Carter tracing the roots of her paternal lineage back five generations. For the project's sound engineer, Joe Ferla, it's the final project of a engineering career, and the beginning point of his new life as a practicing musician. The entwining of these journeys gives the album's music and sound a rare honesty.

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