Art, Literature & Film, Audiophiles, Holiday, Jazz, Music History, New Releases »

Blue Note Records: Uncompromising Expression

Posted December 8, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Blue Note - Uncompromising Expression

Just in time for the holidays, Blue Note and Chronicle Books have published Uncompromising Expression, a gorgeous, 400-page hardcover tome celebrating the record label’s 75th anniversary. Authored by Richard Havers, this book takes readers through the evolution of Blue Note’s music-making history. It is a must-have for any jazz (or graphic design) fan, along with its companion box set of five CDs.
Blue Note Records was founded back …

Audiophiles »

Passive vs Active (Focused) Listening

Posted November 30, 2014 by | 3 Comments
Tom Pulling Vinyl

When Frances Anderton and I visited Henry Rollins a few weeks ago at his massive man-bunker, we talked about being completely immersed in the listening experience. Henry and I are both active listeners and music fanatics…but most people aren’t as crazy as we are.
It’s like texting while someone is trying to have a conversation with you, or texting during a concert. You’re distracted and probably won’t hear …

Artist Spotlight, Audiophiles, Interviews, Performances & Events »

Audiophile Alert: Me & Henry Rollins

Posted November 19, 2014 by | 3 Comments
Henry - Outside

Awhile back, Henry Rollins wrote a feature for Stereophile, a monthly rag for hi-fi enthusiasts and nerds. Henry is hardly a nerd, to wit this statement, he wrote in his article entitled “I Am an Audiophile”: “People can hurl any epithet they want about the snobbishness they think audiophiles retain. Let them drink their wine from boxes. The sound of my Bob Ludwig-mastered pressing of Led Zeppelin’s …

Audiophiles, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

My Ode to Vinyl and CDs

Posted October 22, 2014 by | 5 Comments
Just some of the collection.

The other day I was shopping at Amoeba Records in Hollywood, which as a seasoned music buyer, I have to say is undeniably the best record store in the world. Better than many of the stores I used to frequent over the past decades: Music Odyssey, Licorice Pizza, Wherehouse, Music Plus, Penny Lane…you remember.
My record shopping obsession got off to an early start, about as …

Artist Spotlight, Audiophiles, Interviews, Jazz, Music History »

Michael Cuscuna: Jazz Spelunker

Posted October 1, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Michael Cuscuna

Michael Cuscuna is a jazz curator and archivist, and a man you can trust. Today, vinyl is enjoying a resurgence of popularity, but many vinyl albums turn out not to analog at all: they’re mastered from digital files. You’re losing a generation of sound. The best companies: Analogue Productions, Impex, Mobile Fidelity, and Cuscuna’s Mosaic Records all go straight into record company archives and …

Audiophiles, Jazz, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

John Coltrane’s Africa/Brass: Still Amazing

Posted September 9, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Earlier this year, I got a copy of the Speakers Corner LP reissue of Coltrane’s incandescent 1961 classic, Africa/Brass. The other night I listened to it after listening to some straight-ahead, more mainstream jazz. I was amazed, even though I’ve heard this album many, many times. It was recorded by the legendary Rudy Van Gelder, produced by Bob Thiele, and the Speakers Corner vinyl reissue …

Artist Spotlight, Audiophiles, Music History, New Releases »

Reissued: The Piano Scene of Ahmad Jamal

Posted June 30, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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The German audiophile label Speakers Corner had just reissued, on LP–in glorious mono too–a classic album, The Piano Scene of Ahmad Jamal. This LP was originally issued by Epic Records in 1959.  There may have been a stereo version, but the original master tape is lost–or worse, it may have been reprocessed for stereo which is the kiss of death for any recording. On the …

Audiophiles »

CDs and Vinyl: An Odd Pas de Deux

Posted May 7, 2014 by | 1 Comment
images

When CDs started coming out in the early 1980s, they promised everything: cleaner sound, no surface noise, easier to use, more convenient. Early CDs also enabled record companies to resell their existing catalog, at higher prices of course, and sell the hardware to play it. Some of the early recordings eliminated the tape hiss inherent in analog recordings, ruining the upper octaves, harmonics, and …

Audiophiles, Music History »

Miles Davis’ ESP Deluxe Reissue from Impex Records

Posted January 15, 2014 by | 0 Comments
220px-E.S.P._cover

Audiophile vinyl reissue perfectionists work just as hard at their craft as museum conservators but don’t get nearly as much credit–or income. Conservators restore poorly maintained, damaged, or otherwise neglected art to pristine condition to hang on walls of art institutions or to be sold at auction.
Isn’t music conservation similar? Or does Walter Benjamin’s premise (in his essay The Work of Art in the …

Audiophiles »

Speakers Corner Records: Superb Sound for Audiophiles

Posted January 13, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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I recently got 5 LPs from a fine German record company, Speakers Corner: Ella Fitzgerald, Michel Legrand, Duke Ellington and Johnny Hodges, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane. Speakers Corner does everything right. What you get is even better than the original LP releases–because the pressings are of much higher quality.
Many companies reissue vinyl at cheaper price points but caveat emptor: you might be getting pressings …

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