Acoustic Sounds
Ryuichi Sakamoto dead at 71

It was a long time coming, yet shocking nonetheless. Today, it was announced that Japanese innovator Ryuichi Sakamoto passed away on March 28th at age 71. The cause was rectal cancer.

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Comments: 11
The Monkees

Last month, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced its latest group of nominees for induction, a list which includes Willie Nelson, George Michael, the White Stripes, Joy Division, and other worthy candidates. (The Spinners seem to be a controversial choice, but since my first-ever concert was seeing those Motown legends, I'm rooting for those guys.)No one should be surprised that the Monkees were not included in this list of nominees. I'm pretty sure... Read More

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Satchmo Plays King Oliver

On April 5, 1923, one hundred years ago, in Richmond, Indiana, at the studio of Gennett Records, King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band made the first recordings by African American musicians that are indisputably jazz. They are also the first recordings of Louis Armstrong, who, during the next eleven years, would revolutionize jazz and popular music in America and the rest of the world. Mixing African vocal techniques and concepts of improvisation and rhythm with... Read More

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After a failed Netflix deal to put Gorillaz cartoon band members into a full length film, Damon Albarn and illustrator Jamie Hewlett regroup under a slick pop banner to deliver album number eight with the help of mega-producer Greg Kurstin.

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The Zombies Album Cover of "Different Game" Depicting the Band's Disabled Van in the Arizona Desert

Upon reaching a certain age, it’s inevitable to ponder the impending end of the run, to embrace - as Warren Zevon once wryly observed - the importance of enjoying every sandwich. Unfortunately, these thoughts aren’t reserved only for card-carrying members of the octogenarian or nonagenarian membership club. The reality is that this experience of life is something that humans of all ages should appreciate, explore and enjoy. After all, one never knows how long a life... Read More

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I interviewed Peter Frampton via ZOOM about his newest project, a recently announced 3 LP box set (as well as on SACD) to be released by Intervention Records, cut by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering from analog tape. The 3 records can be described as a "donut hole" solo period for the guitarist/singer-songwriter.He'd been in Humble Pie with Steve Marriott, but left to start a solo career. Eventually it paid off hugely with "Comes... Read More

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Album cover for 'Songs Of Surrender' by U2

Almost no one asked for 2014’s spotty, blandly produced 'Songs Of Innocence' to be shoved into their iTunes library, and even fewer asked for a nearly three-hour compendium of mostly acoustic rerecordings from the catalog. Of course, U2’s latest project 'Songs Of Surrender,' conceived by The Edge and billed as a companion to Bono’s aforementioned book, is exactly that.

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This is the first time I've attended the long running (34 years) Montréal Audiofest, which took place March 24th through the 26th. It falls around my birthday so the timing for me isn't ideal. This year I was asked to present a lifetime achievement award to Oracle turntable designer Marcel Riendau and felt it was an honor and a good thing to do, as an Oracle Delphi was my first high performance turntable, I've reviewed two iterations and Mr. Riendau is... Read More

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For anyone more familiar with John Barry’s 50s and 60s discography and his early scores for spy films like the James Bond series or The Ipcress File (1965), encountering his late-career work on films like Dances with Wolves (1990) and Chaplin (1992) can be a bit of surprise. Gone are the stylings of his era-defining London mod classics like “Hit and Miss” and “Beat for Beatniks”, let alone his genre-defining “James Bond Theme” (Barry's arrangement of a melody by... Read More

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Cécile McLorin Salvant has reached the point in her career where she can, apparently, get away with doing whatever she wants. Dreams and Daggers and The Window solidified her status as the preeminent jazz singer of our time. Ghost Song, her debut on Nonesuch Records, cracked open all genres, covering a range enveloping Kurt Weill, Kate Bush, Harold Arlen, a 19th-century folk ballad, and a half-dozen original songs, which matched the album’s standards for wit, swing,... Read More

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After Peter Frampton exited Humble Pie, but before the double live LP "Peter Frampton Comes Alive!" delivered to him super nova pop stardom (an unexpected career explosion that almost destroyed him) he released a series of superbly crafted A&M albums that caught the ears and eyes of rock cognoscenti worldwide, but didn't exactly light a fire on the Billboard Top 100. In the U.K. Humble Pie was signed to Andrew Loog Oldham's Immediate Records.... Read More

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Neil Young The Ducks

Hopefully, one day soon Neil will reveal the reason he's so rapidly releasing so many Bootleg series titles, but for now he's leaving fans guessing. According to the Warner Music publicist there will be "many more" titles this year. These releases are not randomly chosen. Behind each is a unique story. The latest two, out April 14th are The Ducks High Flyin' and Neil Young and the Santa Monica Flyers Somewhere Under the Rainbow.High... Read More

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The best reissues provide fuller context to the material, guiding listeners to (even) more favorably reassess the work without seeming forceful. As more recent installments have generally grown in size and curation quality, the series has become essential for anyone with more than a passing interest in Dylan. The latest set, 'Fragments: The Bootleg Series Vol. 17,' is the definitive collection of session material and tour recordings surrounding 1997's 'Time Out Of Mind.'

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Audio-Technica AT MC2022

It’s no secret that the world’s two largest cartridge manufacturers, Audio-Technica and Ortofon generate most of their cartridge income from inexpensive, mass-produced units, many of which they supply OEM to turntable manufacturers. Yet both lavish time, attention, and financial resources on the far smaller (it would be fair to say “tiny”) top of the market, where ultra-precision hand-built limited-edition models garner more attention than sales from audio... Read More

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Classical music-loving audiophiles can sometimes feel like they've been left out in the cold with regard to all-analogue vinyl reissues. Not so rock and jazz lovers who are well catered to with excellent AAA reissues from Analogue Productions, Impex, Craft, Blue Note et al. Speaker’s Corner used to keep the classical reissues coming, but even their releases have dried up in the last few years - a great shame.However, relief is at hand. As reported by MF and... Read More

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No one knows why this Andrew Hill album recorded October 11th 1968 wasn’t released until 1980 as part of a Michael Cuscuna produced series. “Tone Poet” Joe Harley doesn’t know, nor, he told me, does Cuscuna. Harley posits a few possible reasons, none of which have anything to do with the music here, which in 1968 clearly was release-worthy. The vinyl revival/resurgence whatever you wish to call it has been a boon to artists like the late composer/performer/academic... Read More

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