Audiophiles, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

My Ode to Vinyl and CDs

Posted October 22, 2014 by | 4 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

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

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

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

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

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 …

Audiophiles, Jazz, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #28: Seductive New Releases from ECM and ACT

Posted November 1, 2013 by | 2 Comments

This is one of the shortest programs I’ve done so far, but all these releases from ECM and ACT–German-based labels–are just so good that I have to get the word out. This is music that doesn’t get much airplay on jazz stations because it doesn’t “swing” enough. Airplay and exposure comes mostly from NPR, audiophile publications like Stereophile,The Absolute Sound and from the music folks at …

Artist Spotlight, Audiophiles, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Perfection in Sushi and Sound

Posted July 19, 2013 by | 0 Comments

I recently dropped some serious coin on some new amplifiers. I normally first audition new albums in my mid-fi workhorse system of receiver and 5 cd carousel player, but for serious listening I use a more refined reference system. Music is my life and religion, so this is serious business for me. I replaced a pair of E.A.R. (Esoteric Audio Research) 509 tube monoblocks …

Audiophiles »

Steve Jobs at Home: Only Vinyl, Please

Posted June 1, 2012 by | 14 Comments
steve jobs

When I listened to Paul Simon’s latest album, So Beautiful or So What a few months ago, the recorded sound seemed harsh and compressed, at least through my tube audio system. I was surprised, because Paul Simon’s always been a stickler for sound on his albums, working with Roy Halee, Phil Ramone, and other studio pros. Then I realized:  perhaps the new album was …

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