Acoustic Sounds

Best known for the cover of Chet Powers' (stage name Dino Valenti) anthemic "Get Together" found on the group's eponymous Felix Pappalardi produced 1967 debut album and later as the launch pad for Jesse Colin Young's fizzled solo career, The Youngbloods never got the much deserved recognition for its three smooth, dreamy, well-crafted rock-folk-jazz albums released by RCA between 1967 and 1969, the last and best one being this one, Elephant... Read More

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The press release: 85 years ago on January 6, 1939, a German-Jewish immigrant and passionate Jazz fan named Alfred Lionproduced his first recording session in New York City founding what would go on to become the most iconic and longest-running Jazz label in the world. For 85 years Blue Note Records has represented The Finest In Jazz, tracing the entire history of the music from Hot Jazz, Boogie Woogie, and Swing, through Bebop, Hard Bop, Post-Bop, Soul Jazz,... Read More

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Artists include: Black Sabbath, The Doors, The English Beat, Grateful Dead, Stevie Nicks, Velvet Underground, Yes and More. These are not part of the Rhino "High Fidelity" series so there's lotsa colors and little information about who mastered from what and where these were pressed.Available January 5:America – Now PlayingLimited Edition 1-LP 140g Coke Bottle Clear vinylThe Doors – Alive, She CriedLimited Edition 1-LP 140g Translucent Emerald... Read More

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Bunny Wailer - A critical look at his solo albums

In part 1 of our Bunny Wailer retrospective we followed his life from a young boy to age 30 and covered his first two solo albums, Blackheart Man and Protest. Now we will delve into his next eight albums somen of which were award winners.As mentioned in part 1, Bunny's debut album, Blackheart Man, is considered by most every music critic to be one of the ten greatest reggae albums of all time. The follow up, Protest, although good, was a bit of a let down. That... Read More

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Shakti "This Moment"

The first Shakti album in 46 years is miraculous for a few reasons, the first being a "mind-body" cure for John McLaughlin's arthritic hand that had forced his 2017 retirement. The second is that though McLaughlin considers Shakti primarily a live band, this release was "phoned in" from various continents where the group members were living at the time. Not a problem for three of them—McLaughlin, percussionist Zakir Hussein and vocalist... Read More

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Selling England by the Pound

By 1973, things were starting to come together for Genesis. The classic lineup of vocalist Peter Gabriel, guitarist Steve Hackett, bassist Mike Rutherford, keyboardist Tony Banks, and drummer Phil Collins embarked on a string of albums, 1971’s Nursery Cryme and 1972’s Foxtrot, that would go down to define the ethos of progressive rock. These albums exemplify Genesis’ liberating drive to incorporate European classical elements into multi-segment compositions with... Read More

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The Donnas

The turn of the millennium was a promising time for The Donnas. Churning out an album a year, consecutive tours and placements in film soundtracks established a respectable platform for the Palo Alto female rockers fresh out of high school. The steady productivity, both on and off the road, allowed the girls to evolve. The female Ramones stylings of their self-titled debut and the sleazier glam rock sound of American Teenage Rock ‘n’ Roll Machine are almost total... Read More

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Roland Shaw and his Orchestra

The Decca/London Phase 4 Stereo records of the 1960s set the gold standard for albums of film music and easy listening. Building on the already fabled Decca sound, Phase 4 exploited the latest multi-track mixing and miking techniques to show off the new stereo technology. And of all the albums produced in Phase 4, few have become as iconic as those by legendary arranger Roland Shaw, covering music from numerous Bond and other spy movies and TV shows of the period. In Part 2 of this survey, we dive into each of the albums and find out what makes these records so special, even over 60 years since their original release. (You can read Part 1 here).

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Black Ice F159 Phono Preamplifier

Maryland-based Black Ice Audio manufactures and markets an extensive line of vacuum tube-based audio products. The company had a long association with the late audio genius Jim Fosgate, who passed away in 2022.Rather than list Jim’s accomplishments here, please read his obit, though if you don’t, just know that among his many tech accomplishments Jim invented and licensed to Dolby what became Dolby Pro Logic II. It made him a well-deserved wealthy man, but it didn’t... Read More

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Themes For Secret Agents The Roland Shaw Orchestra

Looking for the perfect musical antidote to all those holiday season tinsel tunes, carols, and Viennese waltzes? Look no further than the secret agent stylings of Roland Shaw and his Orchestra, which exploded in all their technicolor glory on a series of albums for the fabled Decca Phase 4 Stereo label in the 1960s and 1970s. Everyone and their mother at the time was covering the hot, groovy sound of John Barry, Lalo Schifrin, Henry Mancini et al, which had injected jazz pep and cool into the soundtracks of numerous TV shows and movies that followed in the wake of the global success of the James Bond movies. But Roland Shaw stood out as the arranger and conductor who came closest to the quality of the originals, and sometimes even exceeded them. So sit back with your Martini to hand, and cue the Main Titles: it’s Secret Agent Time…..   

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Phineas Newborn Jr. "A World of Piano!"

Phineas Newborn Jr. was one of the greatest jazz pianists, possessing an astonishing technical ability, a deep bluesy swing, and a complete mastery of jazz harmony. Pianist George Wein wrote, “the only pianist who has as great or greater command of the piano is Art Tatum.” Gene Harris, pianist of the Three Sounds, told Downbeat that Newborn was “…the greatest pianist playing today. In every respect, he is tremendous.” Teddy Wilson and Ray Bryant said his technique was... Read More

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Spike Jones in Stereo

Warner Brothers got into the record business in the late '50s releasing a series of super-corny records half-heartedly aimed at the growing "audiophile community". It was a "catch up" effort and too little too late. The label did it without its own recording studio or much of an A&R department and it showed! However, someone there knew good sound—not surprising since WB invented "The Talkies"—movies with sound. A few years later,... Read More

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Album Cover of London KO by Fatoumata Diawara

Wassoulou music is generally performed by women and is a form originating in the cultural area of Wassoulou (incorporating areas of southern Mali, eastern Guinea and northern Côte d’Ivoire). While their names may not be so familiar in Europe and North America, performers such as Oumou Sangaré, Nahawa Doumbia and Fatoumata Diawara are superstars in west Africa. Mali is an especially rich source of incredible musical forms and even more incredible instrumental... Read More

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Do you find the idea of an unknown, songwriting multi-instrumentalist who was at one time a compelling artist yet who never truly found their lane appealing? If you answered in the affirmative, then it won’t require much arm twisting to have you explore ORG Music’s recent reissue of Tommy Court’s self-titled - one and only album - The Happy Dragon Band. The rare 1978 private pressing (only 200 albums were originally issued) has been reissued on vinyl for Record Store... Read More

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Rega Planar 3 50th Anniversary Edition

Win the Rega Planar 3 50th Anniversary Edition recently reviewed on this website! According to importer Sound Organization, this is the last one made available to them, though there may be one or two lurking at dealers. Tracking Angle is giving it away to a lucky reader, one string attached. Read on!Here are the contest rules:1) you must join our mailing list to enter the contest. It's free and easy to do—just click on the Mailing List Signup" rectangle at... Read More

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Onyx Record Press

Note: This is a revised video necessitated because proprietary hardware and software was inadvertently presented. Both have now been either blurred or edited out.At the beginning of December while in Los Angeles to attend the 30th anniversary Los Angeles and Orange County Audiophile Society GALA, where every year I "roast" the Founder's Award winner (this year it was AudioQuest's Bill Low), I received an invitation from a publicist to visit Gil... Read More

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