Acoustic Sounds
Clearaudio Master Jubilee turntable

The Master Jubilee, a limited-edition turntable celebrating Clearaudio’s 45th anniversary, builds upon the success of the Reference Jubilee turntable. The complete package includes the new Unity 10” tonearm, Professional Power 24v linear power supply, Statement clamp, and Outer Limit peripheral ring clamp.Doubling down on the Panzerholz plinth, the Master Jubilee features a larger POM platter/ stainless steel flywheel on the CMB magnetically levitated ceramic platter... Read More

Comments: 4
Charles Lloyd The Sky Will Still Be There Tomorrow

Charles Lloyd is a wonder: 85 years old, still near the top of his game, his tone on tenor sax and flute clear and strong, not at all averse to risk-taking—in fact, keen to leap into new routes and approaches. Rather than hiring bandmates well suited to merely comping behind his solos, as some old masters do, Lloyd recruits the best musicians he can, to ensure a flow of adventure in the interplay. This has been true ever since his first major album as a leader, Dream... Read More

Comments: 8
The Cure

If you were even mildly curious, there’s a fair chance you caved and gave yourself a preview of The Cure’s last swing across North America once the YouTube clips started to appear. Those of us who did, got an advance listen to “Alone” - the epic, and gloriously mopey opener that should be included on their long-promised (and last?) studio album. But if the tour felt like something of a stop gap move because of the record’s delay, then what can be said now about Paris,... Read More

Comments: 4

Seattle was the epicenter of the grunge movement. Just as the genre peaked in the early 1990s with bands like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Alice In Chains dominating the scene, a band from a state further south would shake up the roost. Hailing from San Diego and originally named Mighty Joe Young, Stone Temple Pilots encapsulated the spirit of 1970s hard rock with hints of the relative alternative rock scene. The buzz from their 1990 demo and massive following... Read More

Comments: 8
Rhino High Fidelity Ole

According to Ashley Kahn's outstanding annotation for this Rhino High Fidelity release, a few days before stepping into Phil Ramone's A&R studios to record Olé—his final session for Atlantic Records— John Coltrane had been at RVG's in Englewood Cliffs, NJ recording his first Africa/Brass session for Impulse! Kahn writes that the relatively new A&R was handling "overflow" for Atlantic, which is fortunate. It meant that Olé would be both... Read More

Comments: 15
Record Store Day 2024

This year's RSD offerings are among the best ever, especially in the jazz category. This is by no means "complete" coverage of what's available. For instance, there's a four LP Sonny Rollins set Freedom Weaver: The 1959 European Tour Recordings from Resonance that looks really interesting but that one didn't show up. The Record Store Day website has a full listing of what's going to be available. (Following posting this story the... Read More

Comments: 8

My old friend Ken Kessler What's App'd me sounding more excited than I've heard him in years! The veteran U.K. based audio and watch journalist told me a U.K. label Roller Coaster Records had just released a CD reissue of The "Chirping" Crickets that used similar tech to what Giles Martin used to remix Beatles albums in improved stereo, but Ken said for some reason it worked much better on this old Crickets album that was recorded and released... Read More

Comments: 6

April is Jazz Appreciation month so Rhino High Fidelity dispenses with the "one jazz one rock" formula and releases two jazz titles. Miles' Tutu and Coltrane's Olé. Copies in-house, reviews will shortly post. Read More

Comments: 9

Ella backed by a small jazz combo was an unusual musical setting for Ella in the studio, which makes this album recorded and released in 1961 a catalog standout. Pianist Lou Levy leads the quartet that also features guitarist Herb Ellis, bassist Joe Mondragon and on drums Stan Levey. Clap Hands...is also highly regarded for its excellent sonics, recorded somewhere in Los Angeles. Since producer and Verve founder Norman Granz was also Ella's long time manager and... Read More

Comments: 4
Miles Davis 1958

Last year, when record club Vinyl Me, Please announced their 11LP box set of Miles Davis’ electric period studio albums, I almost immediately preordered it. For hardcore fans, it seemed (and turned out to be) essential: a lavish box set of the albums from In A Silent Way through Get Up With It, cut by Ryan Smith and Joe Nino-Hernes from flat tape copies of the original masters and packaged in laminated tip-on jackets, it’s the perfect document of Miles’ most... Read More

Comments: 23

Had it not been for Paul McCartney’s drug bust, all four Beatles might have been together in the studio for the first time since the group broke up, recording engineer Bill Schnee recounts in this interview, referring to his time recording Ringo the Beatles drummer’s third solo album and first rocker following albums of standards (Sentimental Journey) and C&W (Beaucoups of Blues).If you’re familiar with Ringo you know it’s a spectacularly large, generous sounding... Read More

Comments: 3
The Alternate Blues

When Norman Granz organized and produced in 1980 The Trumpet Summit Meets The Oscar Peterson Big 4 (Pablo 2312-114), Peterson was fifty five years old, Ray Brown was fifty two, Bobby Durham was forty three, Joe Pass was fifty one, Dizzy Gillespie was the "elder statesman" at sixty three and Freddie Hubbard was the youngster at forty two. By today's age standards none of them were "old", but jazz at that point—at least the kind of jazz these... Read More

Comments: 9
New Order 'Substance' album cover

The past few decades have brought an array of New Order compilation albums, yet 1987’s Substance, the original New Order singles compilation, still reigns supreme. In a time when “greatest hits” releases are mostly obsolete, there are several reasons for this. One is that New Order were (are?) primarily a singles band who released their best work as five- to eight-minute 12” singles. Older fans’ nostalgia for Substance is also a factor, but most importantly, Substance... Read More

Comments: 58

The organizers of the Southwest Audio Fest in Dallas must have felt like Hannibal Smith, who used to say, "I love it when a plan comes together." Gary Gill and Lou Hinkley took a chance by selecting as the show venue the upscale Hilton Anatole and it definitely paid off. Upon entering the lobby, I quickly sensed I was in for a memorable show experience. The hotel's sheer size and impressive facilities could rival a Las Vegas resort. In addition to the... Read More

Comments: 2

Maria Schneider is the preeminent big-band composer and leader of our time. She’s been at it for a little over 30 years, recorded nine albums in that span, and this, her 10th, Decades—a lavishly packaged, limited-edition three-LP boxed set, on the Artist Share label—is a celebration, a sort of best-of anthology tracing her evolution. It also marks the first time any of her work has been pressed on vinyl, in this case 180-gram vinyl, the lacquers cut by Chris Bellman... Read More

Comments: 7

Schiit's Skoll phono preamp is a wonder of miniaturization and efficient product design, that much is certain. The photo makes it appear larger than it really is, which is approximately 9"x6"x1.5". Now, that's compact and perhaps not unusual in itself but consider that it features both single-ended and balanced XLR inputs and output connectors. There's even a multi-pin jack for the special wall-wart that provided the chassis both 24VAC... Read More

Comments: 32