Robert Baird

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Robert Baird Posted: Jun 23, 2015 1 comments
Vivaldi: L'Estro Armonico: 12 Concertos for Violins, Op.3
Rachel Podger, Bojan Cicic, Johannes Pramsohler, violin; Brecon Baroque, Rachel Podger
Channel Classics CCS SA 36515 (2 SACD/CDs). 2015. Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, prod.; Jared Sacks, eng.; Ernst Coutinho, asst. eng. DDD. TT: 96:54
Performance *****
Sonics *****

It's no big secret that classical music is in trouble. At a time when selling a few hundred CDs will land you squarely in the upper reaches of the classical music chart, and the venerable New York Philharmonic faces an unsettled future in terms of its endowment, future conductor and hall renovation, many say that what the genre most lacks are genuine shining stars. It's been a long time since maestros like Leonard Bernstein or Georg Solti trod the boards, or a brilliant instrumentalist like Jacqueline du Pré became a celebrity and attracted the attention of a larger public that then might actually buy a record or attend a concert. In 2015, building an audience is classical music's central dilemma—so having a dominant player like baroque violinist Rachel Podger is a much-needed development. It's a sign of our fragmented times that a baroque violinist, rather than one who concentrates on the classical and romantic repertoire, has now become a leading light in the classical world.

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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Robert Baird Posted: Apr 27, 2006 0 comments
Having heard from the good folks at Ralston Purina—sorry, "good folks" seems to be a trigger for 60's TV commercial flashbacks for puppy chow or something. Lemme try again...When I heard from the good folks at the burgeoning mini–mega empire that Concord/Fantasy Telarc has become that a new series called Stax Profiles was about to begin, I anxiously tore open a Concord box that arrived in the office yesterday.
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Robert Baird Posted: Jun 11, 2014 2 comments
The combination of piracy, streaming, and the accompanying devaluation of music these days has forced musicians back to the stage to make their daily bread.
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Robert Baird Posted: Apr 26, 2013 1 comments
For better or worse, some musical careers are defined by a single searing moment in time and for Richie Havens, who died on April 22; his career will forever be linked to his appearance as the opener for the Woodstock Festival in 1969.
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Robert Baird Posted: Jun 19, 2015 1 comments
His screams, rapid fire delivery, and end-of-line trills in tracks like “Lucille,” “Jenny Jenny” and of course, “Tutti Frutti,” every one recorded with an overloaded microphone, are impassioned in the extreme.

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