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Robert Baird Posted: Jun 14, 2016 Published: Jul 01, 2016 1 comments
Allen Toussaint: American Tunes
Nonesuch 554644 (CD). 2016. Joe Henry, prod.; Ryan Freeman,, eng.; Wesley Seidman, Monique Eveleyin, asst engs. ADD? TT: 49:31
Performance ****½
Sonics ****½

David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Phife Dawg, Merle Haggard, Dan Hicks, Ernestine Anderson, Lonnie Mack, Maurice White, Blowfly, Otis Clay, Steve Young, George Martin, Keith Emerson, Henry McCullough, Prince. Was there a genre or subgenre of music that did not grieve in the closing months of 2015 through spring 2016—a period that must rank among the most devastating ever for the loss of important and influential songwriters and musicians?

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Robert Baird Posted: Jun 10, 2016 0 comments
Sinatra Again?
Robert Baird Posted: Jun 10, 2016 1 comments
Eine kleine Nachtmusik it ain't. And yet, in 1992, lightning struck, tectonic plates shifted, and the third symphony of Polish composer Henryk Mikolaj Górecki (1933–2010) became a bona-fide hit. Defying both skeptics and logic, a recording of this decidedly sepia-toned work, subtitled The Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, by the London Sinfonietta conducted by American maestro David Zinman, and featuring soprano soloist Dawn Upshaw, eventually sold over a million copies, making it the largest-selling recording of modern classical music ever.
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Robert Baird Posted: Jun 09, 2016 6 comments
What a songwriter!
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Robert Baird Posted: Jun 03, 2016 1 comments
"I mixed it before we recorded it."
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Robert Baird Posted: May 24, 2016 3 comments
Our Curly-Haired Boy is a Septuagenarian!
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Robert Baird Posted: May 18, 2016 1 comments
If songwriting is a lost art, then Guy Clark will always be one of its greatest old masters.
Robert Baird Posted: May 17, 2016 Published: Jun 01, 2016 3 comments
Esperanza Spalding: Emily's D+Evolution
Concord 7238281 (LP, 24/96 FLAC from PonoMusic). 2016. Esperanza Spalding, Tony Visconti, prods.; Kyle Hoffman, Tim Price, engs.; Martin Cooke, Kyle McAulay, Erin Tonkon, asst. engs.; Paul Blakemore, mastering; Rich Costey, mix. Mario Borgatta, mix assist. DDA? TT: 43:41
Performance ****½
Sonics ****½

It may have started back in 2011, when the crowd at the Grammy Awards let out a collective "Who?" as Esperanza Spalding was named Best New Artist, an award almost everyone had thought would go straight to Justin Bieber. Spalding was the first jazz artist ever to win that award.

The resulting notoriety took the jazz bassist and singer, who'd lived almost entirely in the rather insular world of jazz, by surprise. A child prodigy who played violin at five, and soon after learned oboe and clarinet, Spalding sings in Portuguese, Spanish, and English, and became one of the youngest teachers in the history of her alma mater, Boston's prestigious Berklee College of Music.

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Robert Baird Posted: May 13, 2016 1 comments
It was high concept yet wonderfully honky tonk.
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Robert Baird Posted: May 13, 2016 1 comments
The possibility exists that whoever bought this record did so sight unseen!

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