Acoustic Sounds
Scott Billington and Michael Fremer

Every properly overseen vinyl record reissue series should have a gatekeeper/curator like Blue Note's Tone Poet series Joe Harley. Craft Recordings has brought on board for its new Bluesville series, Scott Billington, clearly the best possible individual for the job. Scott is a Grammy winning producer, musician, writer and record executive who's produced more than 150 records, even playing on a few. He's produced records by, among others, Charlie Rich,... Read More

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Los Angeles, CA (June 20, 2024)—Craft Recordings and Bluesville Records proudly announce a pair of classic reissues from two of blues music’s most influential artists: Albert King’s career-defining 1968 concert album, Live Wire/Blues Power, and 1961’s poignant Last Night Blues from Lightnin’ Hopkins with Sonny Terry. Releasing September 13 and available to pre-order today, these titles mark the latest releases in the acclaimed new series, which celebrates America’s... Read More

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Joni Mitchell The Asylum Albums (1976-1980)

LOS ANGELES – After The Hissing Of Summer Lawns tour, Joni Mitchell retreated to Neil Young’s beach house to recover. Eager to travel but undecided about a destination, Mitchell was unexpectedly invited on a cross-country road trip with friends. It was one of three road trips she took between 1975 and 1976 and the beginning of a period defined by wanderlust, both in her physical travels and musical exploration. This transformative phase is the focal point of The... Read More

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Ween Chocolate and Cheese

This is great news! Ween's 1994 classic "Chocolate and Cheese" is getting a deluxe, expanded 30th anniversary reissue including original double LP plus fifteen unreleased demos. Bernie Grundman ...well, read the press release below:Since its debut 30 years ago, Ween’s Chocolate and Cheese has become an alternative rock classic and a highwater mark for Gene and Dean Ween’s polished songwriting and irreverent humor. To celebrate the anniversary, Rhino... Read More

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OJC Series Final Five

Los Angeles, CA (June 18, 2024) – Craft Recordings announces the final batch of 2024 reissues for its Original Jazz Classics series, beloved by collectors and critics alike. The latest reissues include Clark Terry Quartet & Thelonious Monk’s In Orbit, Mal Waldron’s The Quest, Thelonious Monk Septet’s Monk’s Music, Blue Mitchell’s Blue’s Moods, and Cal Tjader’s Latin Kick. All of these titles can be pre-ordered today. As with previous releases, these new reissues... Read More

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Mo-Fi Masterdeck

Taking a lunch break during a mid 1990’s Consumer Electronics Show, Allen Perkins, then working for turntable manufacturer SOTA and I writing for The Absolute Sound, exited The Riviera Hotel, site of the “high end” exhibits, and took a walk along Las Vegas Boulevard, better known as “The Strip”. The west side of the street then was mostly demolished brick rubble behind chain link fencing. Among the few buildings on that side of the street was the old blue backlit... Read More

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Deutsche Grammophon’s outstanding, AAA-mastered Original Source Vinyl Series continues apace with four more titles just announced, slated for release on October 4th. 

Like previous releases, these are all mastered and cut directly from the original 4-track master tapes by Rainer Maillard and Sidney C. Meyer at Emil Berliner Studios, incorporating 2-tracks of ambient hall information recorded at the original sessions.  (For the full technical background on this series I refer you to my review of the first batch here).

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Stephan Crump "Slow Water"

Musicians from Handel to Jackson Browne to Philip Glass to The Beach Boys, to name but a few, have had water on their minds, which is not the same as having water on the brain. True, Glass only got as far as the beach, but that's close enough. Add bassist/composer Stephan Crump to the list. He's recorded two albums with the Rosetta Trio, an unusual grouping of bass and two guitars. Here, he's composed a sixty seven minute long suite for an... Read More

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Handmade in San Diego California, Wrensilva's eye-catching custom cabinetry houses a modernized version of a 50's/60's era console stereo. Revered among the attaché case carrying corporate climbers of the late '50s and early '60s, the form factor lost its hipness as the JFK era gave way to assassination, war and chaos, bringing with it a more austere, raw component esthetic.Wrensilva is one of a few companies riding the vinyl revival wave,... Read More

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David Bowie - Diamond Dogs half speed 50th anniversary

David Bowie’s self-produced 1974 album Diamond Dogs is undoubtedly the worst of his run from Hunky Dory through Scary Monsters (Pin Ups doesn’t count). As a messy exit from his glam period, it compiles ambitious ideas with less than ideal execution, yet in a sense, it still seems unfairly maligned.Everyone knows the story by now: Bowie, on stage at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1973, “killed” Ziggy Stardust and thus freed himself for whatever came next. Ready for even... Read More

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Central Park's Mosaics of Reservoir, Lake, Paths and Gardens

If you’re looking for 35 minutes of riveting calm, this is the album for you. And if “riveting calm” strikes you as oxymoronic, well, the album fits that in several ways. It consists of duets between trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith and pianist Amina Claudine Myers, both 82 years old but as youthful in spirit as anyone around. They’re veterans of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), known for its avant-garde jazz artists, but Myers has long... Read More

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Until 1972, David Robert Jones’ career was a classic case of trial and flaw. After fronting various R&B groups in the mid-1960s with no success and avoiding confusion with the Monkees’ Davy Jones, he changed his last name to Bowie and embarked on a career under his new name. Testing various musical grounds to see what worked, his early output ranged from a music hall-tinged eponymous debut album to a novelty single about a laughing gnome. Bowie hit paydirt in 1969... Read More

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Jaco Pastorius Truth, Liberty & Soul

Bill Minkowski's excellent annotation sets the stage. For various reasons both musical and otherwise Jaco and Joe Zawinul had a falling out and Jaco chose to devote more time to his Word of Mouth big band project (referred to a few times in the notes here as the "World of Mouth" big band). There's more detail in the annotation but the main result of the falling out was that Weather Report went one way and Pastorious (and drummer Peter Erskine) went... Read More

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Ben Webster Quintet Soulville

The "Ben Webster Quintet" was really Webster plus the Oscar Peterson Trio of Peterson, Herb Ellis and Ray Brown—a grouping Peterson once said was "the most stimulating"—plus Stan Levey on drums. It was a busy time for the Peterson Trio, which had played the previous day with Louis Armstrong in a session that probably resulted in Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson, though for some reason that wasn't released until 1959. The next day the trio... Read More

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ifi Zen Phono 3

Jerome Sabbagh's newest album Heart arrived as I was packing for Munich so I couldn't play it before leaving. Upon returning, once my ears had unclogged from the plane flight, I got right to it, playing it on the MoFi Electronics Masterdeck turntable, a review of which is coming right up. First play I found the James Farber engineered at The Power Station live to 2-track analog tape recording wonderfully transparent, timbrally rich, and overall, sonically... Read More

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Giulini Meets Bruckner: DG’s Classic Recordings by the Italian Maestro Given New Life on Vinyl by Emil Berliner Studios - Part 2

In Part 2 of this look at Giulini's legendary recordings of the late symphonies of Anton Bruckner, we review Symphonies 8 and 9, and talk with Rainer Maillard at Emil Berliner Studios about what made the original recordings so successful (even though early digital), and how he went about freshening up the original masters to create these new vinyl reissues (which include the first ever vinyl release for the 9th Symphony). You can read Part 1 here.

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