Recording of the Month

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Richard Lehnert  |  Aug 13, 2009  |  First Published: Oct 13, 1990  |  0 comments
STEVE EARLE & the Dukes: The Hard Way
MCA MCA-6430 (LP), MCAD-6430 (CD). Steve Earle, Joe Hardy, prods.; Joe Hardy, eng. DDA/DDD. TT: 55:53
J. Gordon Holt  |  Oct 03, 2017  |  First Published: Apr 01, 1978  |  3 comments
This is more to my liking than the other records I review this month! Side 1 is devoted entirely to a real humdinger of a thunderstorm, replete with rain, thimble-sized hailstones, and five minutes of someone diddling with a set of wind chimes. Side 2 is four sequences in the saga of Steam Locomotive 4449, which was refurbished from rusty decrepitude to haul the bicentennial Freedom Train 28,000 miles around the continent.
J. Gordon Holt  |  Jul 08, 2015  |  First Published: Apr 01, 1982  |  1 comments
482rotm.promo250.jpgWilliams: Suites from Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra, Zubin Mehta.
Mobile Fidelity MFSL-C.008 (cassette).

Originally released on London Records, then re-released with better sound on a Mobile Fidelity disc (now a cutout), these are stunning performances of these popular film scores, rivaling the composer's own performances of them. (Composers aren't always the best conductors of their own music, but John Williams is one who is.)

Sonically, this is simply a tour de force: Without a doubt the best commercially made cassette I've ever heard (and I've heard a lot of them). Last month, I expressed some doubt that the high end on any cassette could rival that of a half-speed LP and, indeed, there is a softening at the top on this cassette, when compared with the Mobile Fidelity disc. But the truth of the matter is that the cassette's high end is substantially more natural than that from the disc, which was one of Mobile Fidelity's first and had a slightly steely edge to it.

J. Gordon Holt  |  Feb 01, 2011  |  First Published: Apr 01, 1989  |  1 comments
It is often said that anyone with a recorder and a couple of microphones can record an orchestra. It's true, assuming you can get permission to do it (another story entirely). But that statement fails to address an important question: "How well?"

The rudiments of any skill can be learned from books. Practice can develop a fair level of competence. Beyond competence, however, the student is governed by his genes and/or family environment, depending on which theory of human potential you subscribe to. Whatever the reason, some practitioners of both disciplines never seem able to transcend mere competence, while others go on to become legends in their own times. John Eargle, chief recording engineer for Delos Records and producer of this fascinating recording, may or may not qualify as a legend, but he is obviously 'way past "a fair level of competence."

Robert Hesson  |  Feb 08, 2010  |  First Published: Apr 08, 1990  |  0 comments
DVORÁK: Symphony 9, "From the New World"
WAGNER: Flying Dutchman Overture, Siegfried-Idyll

Jascha Horenstein, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Chesky Records CD 31 (CD only). Bob Katz, remastering eng.; David & Norman Chesky, executive prods. (Original 1962 recordings: K. E. Wilkinson, eng.; Charles Gerhardt, prod.) ADD. TT: 67:30
Richard Lehnert  |  Mar 03, 2009  |  First Published: Apr 03, 1991  |  0 comments
BOBBY KING & TERRY EVANS: Rhythm, Blues, Soul & Grooves
Rounder 2101 (LP), CD 2101 (CD). Brian Levi, eng.; Bobby King, Terry Evans, prods. AAA/AAD. TT: 49:53
Richard Lehnert  |  Mar 07, 2008  |  First Published: Apr 07, 1992  |  0 comments
WAGNER: Parsifal
Siegfried Jerusalem, Parsifal; Matthias Hölle, Gurnemanz; Waltraud Meier, Kundry; José van Dam, Amfortas; Günter von Kannen, Klingsor; John Tomlinson, Titurel; others; Berlin Philharmonic, Daniel Barenboim
Teldec 9031-74448-2 (4 CDs only). Helmut Mühle, prod.; Jean Chatauret, eng. DDD. TT: 4:16:35
Corey Greenberg  |  Dec 07, 2003  |  First Published: Apr 01, 1993  |  0 comments
RY COODER/VISHWA BHATT: A Meeting by the River
Water Lily Acoustics WLA-CS-29-CD (CD only; LP available eventually). Kavichandran Alexander, prod., eng. AAD. TT: 39:48
Michael Ross  |  Apr 24, 1994  |  0 comments
TORI AMOS: Under the Pink
Atlantic 82567-2 (CD). John Beverly Jones, Paul McKenna, Eric Rosse, engs.; Eric Rosse, Tori Amos, prods. AAD? TT: 56:52
Richard Lehnert  |  Apr 04, 1995  |  0 comments
MIGHTY SAM McCLAIN: Keep On Movin'
AudioQuest Music AQ-1031 (LP/CD*). Joe Harley, prod.; Michael C. Ross, Andrew Page, Scott Gormley, engs. AAA/AAD. TTs: 49:48, 54:27*
Robert Baird  |  Apr 29, 1997  |  0 comments
SON VOLT: Straightaway
Warner Bros. 46518-2 (CD). 1997. Brian Paulson, Son Volt, prods. TT: 40:27
Music: *****
Sonics: *****
Chip Stern  |  Apr 09, 1998  |  0 comments
BILL FRISELL: Gone, Just Like A Train
Bill Frisell, electric & acoustic guitars; Viktor Krauss, bass; Jim Keltner, drums, percussion
Nonesuch 79479-2 (CD). 1998. Lee Townsend, prod.; Judy Clapp, eng. AAD. TT: 69:58
Performance *****
Sonics *****
David Vernier  |  Apr 24, 1999  |  0 comments
JOHN TAVENER: Eternity's Sunrise
With: Song of the Angel, Petra: A Ritual Dream, Sappho: Lyrical Fragments, Funeral Canticle
Patricia Rozario, Julia Gooding, sopranos; George Mosley, baritone; Andrew Manze, violin; Choir & Orchestra of the Academy of Ancient Music, Paul Goodwin
Harmonia Mundi HMU 907231 (CD). 1998. Robina Young, prod.; Mike Hatch, eng. DDD. TT: 65:03
Performance ****
Sonics ****
Richard Lehnert  |  Apr 04, 2000  |  0 comments
JONI MITCHELL: Both Sides Now
Joni Mitchell, vocals; Wayne Shorter, soprano & tenor sax; Mark Isham, trumpet; Herbie Hancock, piano; Chuck Berghofer, bass; Peter Erskine, drums; Vince Mendoza, arr., cond.
Reprise 47620-2 (HDCD). 2000. Larry Klein, Joni Mitchell, prods.; Geoff Foster, Ben Georgiades, engs. ADD? TT: 51:35
Performance ****?
Sonics ****?
Zan Stewart  |  Apr 22, 2001  |  0 comments
JIMMY SMITH: Dot Com Blues
Jimmy Smith, Hammond B-3 organ; Russell Malone, Phil Upchurch, guitar; Reggie McBride, electric bass; Harvey Mason, drums; Lennie Castro, percussion. Guest: Dr. John, vocal, piano;, Etta James, vocal; B.B. King, Taj Mahal, vocals, guitars; Keb' Mo,' vocals. Horn section: Darrell Leonard, trumpet, arr.; Oscar Brashear, Leslie Drayton, trumpets; Herman Riley, Joe Sublett, saxes; George Bohanon, Maurice Spears, trombones
Verve 314 549 978-2 (CD). 2000. John Porter, prod.; Rik Pekkonen, eng. DDD. TT: 60:43
Performance ****
Sonics *****

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