LATEST ADDITIONS

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 02, 2017  |  14 comments
With so many great studio and live recordings of Mahler's three song cycles for solo voice readily available, any new contender has to offer something very special. On their new Pentatone hybrid SACD, Mahler Song Cycles, which is also available as a hi-rez PCM or DSD download in both stereo and surround here and here, mezzo-soprano Alice Coote and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra under Marc Albrecht present interpretations of Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer), the five Rückert-Lieder (settings of poems by Friedrich Rückert), and Kindertotenlieder (Songs to Dead Children) that can stand up against those of, to mention only a few leading mezzo-sopranos/contraltos of the last 70 years, Kathleen Ferrier, Janet Baker, Christa Ludwig, Brigitte Fassbaender, Anne Sofie Von Otter, and Frederica von Stade.
Margaret Graham  |  Aug 01, 2017  |  First Published: Oct 01, 1980  |  2 comments
Lincoln Hayorga and Amanda McBroom: Growing Up In Hollywood Town
Lincoln Hayorga and Amanda McBroom
Sheffield LAB-13 (LP).

This is a gorgeous recording. And would you believe, it's multi-miked? Sheffield's first since 1975, according to the notes. Ms. McBroom has that purity of intonation that once distinguished Julie Andrews' voice. This, plus a predominantly-string backup orchestra delivers a rich, warm sound. Each of the songs here is a gem in its own right, and the collaboration of McBroom and Mayorga creates moments here that are magical. My favorite is the song entitled "Amanda," with its frontier flavor and unadorned lyrics, followed by Mayorga's'waltz, "Wistful Lady."

J. Gordon Holt  |  Aug 01, 2017  |  First Published: Feb 01, 1991  |  0 comments
Manley is not a new company; it's the last name of the president and chief designer of VTL, David Manley, whose Model 300 has been my reference standard power amp for the past two years. In fact, Manley is not even a new brand name; it's the name of VTL's "deluxe" line of electronics, built (ostensibly) to industrial standards of ruggedness and reliability.

It's customary to think of "the tube sound" as being warm, rich, weak through the deep bass, fat through the midbass, forward through the midrange, bright through the middle highs, and soft at the extreme top, with superb rendition of depth and spaciousness. The "solid-state sound," by contrast, is generally thought to be cool, detailed, and pristine, with powerful deep bass, controlled midbass, rather reticent (laid-back) midrange and mid-highs, and a somewhat crisp high end, with variable (roulette-style) reproduction of depth and spatiality.

Robert Baird  |  Jul 31, 2017  |  0 comments
Chuck Berry's Swan Song
Fred Kaplan  |  Jul 30, 2017  |  3 comments
William Parker, Bronx-born bassist-composer extraordinaire, is one of the few jazz musicians who came up through the avant-garde (making his first big marks as a sideman to Cecil Taylor and David S. Ware) yet manages to fuse its techniques and innovations with standard rhythms, a sense of blues that might have wafted up from the Delta, a dash of wit, and a seemingly effortless swing.

His new two-CD album, Meditation / Resurrection (on the AUM Fidelity label), was recorded in the course of a single day last October, at Brooklyn's System Two Studio by Michael Marciano, who also mixed it live, to give it the feel of a spontaneous set at a club.

Robert Baird  |  Jul 29, 2017  |  32 comments
This kerfuffle oughta sell a few more Welch/Rawlings records, though.
Fred Kaplan  |  Jul 28, 2017  |  3 comments
Et tu, Thelonious? We've come to expect new discoveries from the vaults, annually or more often, by Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Bill Evans, and Sonny Rollins. But who knew there were hidden gems by the gnomic Monk—and from a professionally recorded studio session, no less!
Art Dudley  |  Jul 27, 2017  |  2 comments
How can you tell a classic product from the hi-fi hoi polloi? One sure sign is when third-party developers spring up around the thing, offering parts and service intended to maximize its performance—or just to keep it on the road. Thus regarded, a few true classics emerge: Quad's ESL and ESL-63 loudspeakers. Altec's 802 and 806 compression drivers. The Linn LP12 and Garrard 301/401 turntables. The Rega RB-300 tonearm and its direct descendants.
Robert Baird  |  Jul 27, 2017  |  2 comments
The three most traumatic events anyone can experience in life? The death of a loved one? A surprise audit by the IRS? Your entire LP collection purloined by a disgruntled ex-lover?

And, oh yes—moving.

As 2016 turned to 2017, my wife and I were forced to move from an apartment we wrongly assumed we'd never ever have to leave, which in New York City means a lot. Perhaps we were just a tad naïve?

Jana Dagdagan  |  Jul 26, 2017  |  10 comments
Last month, our sister site AnalogPlanet.com published a brief post about one of Koeppel Design's recent releases: the LP Block ($76; engraved or stenciled, above). The majority of the comments on the blog criticized the LP Block and few of Kate Koeppel's other products purely for being too expensive. When I read these comments, I felt that the value of her products weren't being appropriately considered. I believe it's because there isn't currently a huge market for record dividers, record stands, and casual record-carrying totes. Consumers have little to compare and therefore lack perspective.

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