Steely Dan UHQR Series

November 30th, 2022

Louis Finally Gets His Christmas Album

what a wonderful world

By: Michael Fremer

Louis Armstrong, of all popular well-loved musicians of good cheer, never did release a Christmas album—until this one was recently cobbled together by some smart folks at Verve/UMe. How smart? It's Top 10 across multiple November 26th Billboard charts. This is kind of wild but: it came in at No. 9 on the Top Holiday Albums chart and launches in the top 10 on Jazz Albums (No. 4), Traditional Jazz Albums (No. 4), Top Album Sales (No. 7), Top Current Album Sales... Read More

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November 30th, 2022

Grant Green Has a Spiritual Awakening

as close to "easy listening" as Blue Note gets

By: Michael Fremer

This must have been a "walk in the park" session. As the annotation says, "Surely all the songs played are too familiar to necessitate comment," although like looks, sounds can be deceiving. All of the familiar tunes—including "Just a Closer Walk With Thee","Go Down Moses" and "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" are taken at an unhurried pace and while at first it may sound simple, relaxed and self-evident, pay... Read More

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November 29th, 2022

"A Charlie Brown Christmas" Deluxe Edition

the original stereo tape was "transparent" (as in you could almost see through it)

By: Michael Fremer

This charming, mood enhancing television special soundtrack has for decades been a favorite Christmas album. Lighthearted and breezy, sometimes sentimental and occasionally deep—as when the children's chorus of San Raphael's St. Paul's choir so innocently sings "Hark, The Herald Angels Sing". How the television special came to be and a soundtrack album produced is almost as charming as the end product itself. It's told in the gatefold... Read More

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November 29th, 2022

"Switched On: Bob Moog and the Synthesizer“

Albert Glinsky's Moog bio patches together the life of the inspired creator and his industry-defining brand

By: JoE Silva

Before black turns to picture; before you see anything at all onscreen, the first thing you get to experience when you settle in to watch “Apocalypse Now,” is the sound of a Moog synthesizer mimicking the rhythmic chop of a helicopter blade. As director Francis Ford Coppola recounts in the forward to Albert Glinsky’s weighty tome on the life of electronics pioneer Bob Moog, “The Moog gave us the ability to roll sound effects and music into one.”Switched On: Bob Moog... Read More

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November 28th, 2022

Newvelle Records Co-Founder, Pianist Elan Mehler Steps Out of the Producer's Booth

thoughtful, late night listening

By: Michael Fremer

With eleven previous album releases to his credit as leader, recording with some of the best known names in contemporary jazz, it's not as if Elan Mehler is new to this, but if you didn't know and relied solely on his very personal annotation, you might think otherwise.He dedicates the album—the music—to his late mother who was a religious adventurer and traveler who he describes as "a mystic" whose collection of Sufi Mystical Islamic texts he... Read More

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November 28th, 2022

Rhino Records Co-Founder Harold Bronson Shares A Slice of Record Biz Chicanery With a Heartwarming Resolution

A youTube video stirred the record exec's memory

By: Harold Bronson

In September 1967 I was watching the "Upbeat "TV show and immediately connected with a rock band called the Ohio Express performing a song with an infectious “Louie Louie” rhythm. I bought the “Beg, Borrow and Steal” 45. In preparation for producing for Rhino The Best of the Ohio Express and Other Bubble Gum Smashes (1983), I conferred with Jeff Katz who had co-produced with Jerry Kasenetz hits with the Ohio Express, 1910 Fruit Gum Company, and others.The... Read More

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