Acoustic Sounds

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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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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A Charlie Brown Christmas vinyl record

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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Glinsky’s Moog bio

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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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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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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World Music by Goat, front cover of 10th Anniversary Abbey Road Vinyl Re-Issue

The mythology that has been purposefully built up around Goat is sparse but compelling. An anonymous masked voodoo collective playing psychedelic afrobeat-tinged rock, from a village called Korpilombolo in northern Sweden? It’s a nice yarn, and whether it is true or not seems irrelevant when the potency of the music itself blows away the need for a good origin story. (It turns out they actually are from northern Sweden.) If you have seen Goat perform live, you will... Read More

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The holiday season is here, and finding good gifts for picky vinyl obsessives can be hard. To provide some suggestions and guidance, we’ve compiled the 2022 Tracking Angle Holiday Gift Guide, selecting some records, gear, and accessories that would make suitable gifts. These products are independently selected by our Michael Fremer and Malachi Lui, and are recommended based on our experiences or personal opinions of each item.

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Trackingangle's purchased at retail copy of MoFi's "Thriller" arrived just the other day, but editor Michael Fremer was well-prepared for the review, having served as an expert witness in Quincy Jones's lawsuit against the estate of Michael Jackson. He'd spent a lot of time listening to the trio of Q produced Jackson albums.

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Nagra recently announced the launch of the Nagra Reference MC, its first phono cartridge. Delivery of the first production units is scheduled for December and will be available in both 4 ohm and 6 ohm internal impedance variants outputting respectively, 0.30mV@5cm/S and .45mV@5cm/S.The built in-house cartridge features a ruby cantilever mated to a titanium structure with DLC (diamond like carbon) coating. The Swiss-made stylus is a Gyger S. The double layer coil is... Read More

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We’ve all got that one audiophile or music-loving friend who just can’t get along with classical music. It’s too “serious”, or too “boring”. “There’s too many foreign names and words to remember” or “It’s too elitist”. “There’s no beat…..”Well, this may be the one record to entice that friend to think - and listen - again.How can that be? It definitely doesn’t sound like classical music: there’s drums, synthesizers, guitars and drums. No vocals, it goes on for forty... Read More

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In 1960, Cadence Records created and funded a subsidiary, Candid Records so that Nat Hentoff, a writer and non-musician with no music business experience could do the fun stuff and be an Artists & Repertoire director/ jazz record producer. Hentoff (1925-2017), a jazz fan since his early teenage years, had enthusiasm as well as a love for and a deep knowledge of the music. He was a former jazz DJ, a former editor of Downbeat, a former editor of his own jazz... Read More

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Last year, when I reviewed the Yen Records holiday LP "We Wish You A Merry Christmas", a reader recommended another Japanese Christmas LP, simply titled 'Christmas Songs.' Released in 2010 by Ryuichi Sakamoto’s Commmons label, 'Christmas Songs' is a various artists LP of then-new recordings mostly of Christmas standards by a diverse range of artists, among them all three members of Yellow Magic Orchestra (albeit on separate tracks).... Read More

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For a small third world country, Jamaica has produced an impressively large volume of exceptional music that has had an enormous impact on world consciousness. Bob Marley, in my opinion, is the 20th century's most important musical artist. Many Americans might not be aware of reggae's worldwide popularity since it had to compete over the U.S. airwaves with rock, disco and country music, but in major European countries including Spain, Germany, France and... Read More

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(This review, written by Glenn Hammett, originally appeared in Issue 7, Spring 1996.)Remember the supergroups? Sure you do! In the late 60s, if a musician had a successful backlog of material, or simply looked the part, he could combine his talent with others of similar rock-royalty status. After months of grooming and preparation, they would announce themselves to the world as the next best thing. Shortly thereafter, egos would flare and they’d break up (usually to... Read More

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By the time “Rastaman Vibration” was released in 1976, Bob Marley had already released seven albums, the first four of which had limited distribution outside of Jamaica. “Catch a Fire,” his first for Island, released in 1973 with the famous Zippo lighter flip up jacket, was a big deal in American reggae-loving outposts like Boston, where the 1972 low budget film “The Harder They Come” starring Jimmy Cliff had been a major sensation running throughout the summer of... Read More

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