Acoustic Sounds

MF: And you’re going into the studio in a few weeks?CI: Yup! I hope to record three songs at a time.MF: It seems like there are few young performers willing to accept the responsibility and stick their neck out and be the front man and go for stardom.CI: Yes, I know. Because I kind of see it in the old position of…it used to be a bunch of musicians would go out and play, and there was one guy who was the team ham and he’s elected to go out—if somebody breaks a string,... Read More

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(This feature was originally published as “Black Saint & Soul Note Still On Vinyl!” in Fred Kaplan’s JazzTracks column, Issue 5/6, Winter 1995/96.)It says something about the state of jazz in its own homeland that, for the entire vital decade of the 1980s, America’s most creative jazz musicians were recording for two Italian labels, Black Saint and Soul Note. Both labels were owned by the same man, Giovanni Bonandrini, who set up the business entirely out of love... Read More

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(This review, written by Steve Guttenberg, originally appeared in Issue 5/6, Winter 1995/96.)Is Mose Allison the coolest man alive? Do “cool” people still use that word? Whatever the jargon, Mose Allison defined the whole concept. This groovy 2CD set covers a great deal of ground: the years 1957-1990; 47 tracks from six different labels. This music doesn’t fit easily into any one category—a lot of jazz, plenty of blues, definitely rock, a bit of country—so its appeal... Read More

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(This feature originally appeared in Issue 7, Spring 1996.)When I sat down at last January’s Consumer Electronics Show with veteran RCA producer Jack Pfeiffer, I had no way of knowing that I would be conducting the final interview he would ever give. Pfeiffer suffered a fatal heart attack on Thursday, February 8th at his RCA office where he’d worked in the Red Seal division for the past 47 years. He was 75.Jack Pfeiffer was a pleasant man, soft spoken and easy to talk... Read More

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Jimi Hendrix backstage at the Monterey Pop Festival, June 1967 (© Jim Marshall)

(This feature originally appeared as a cover story in Issue 5/6, Winter 1995/96.)Contrary to prevailing opinion circa 1967, Jimi Hendrix did not arrive from outer space. He was from Seattle, which probably had a greater effect on his music than if he had come from another planet. For those of us old enough to remember hearing Are You Experienced? when it was first issued in America, summer of 1967, Hendrix was some Black English cat who’d taken psychedelia from the... Read More

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(This feature originally appeared in Issue 5/6, Winter 1995/96.)In my interview with Eddie Kramer, I asked many questions regarding the mastering particulars of the first four records. He was unable to provide the answers, referring me instead to John McDermott, author (with Billy Cox and Eddie Kramer) of Jimi Hendrix Sessions and Hendrix: Setting the Record Straight, two indispensable books for any Hendrix fan—and without which this issue’s cover story would have... Read More

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(This review originally appeared in Issue 7, Spring 1996.)The question is, how far are you willing to climb to reach a pure source? Do you want the water as it exits from a fissure in the rocks? Or is a filtered five gallon bottle delivered to your back door good enough for you?Which are you more comfortable with? PJ Harvey? Or Alanis Morissette? Fresh or packaged? What you’ll get here is drawn straight from the pure stream of Will Oldham’s cosmic ether. Oldham is a... Read More

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September 12th, 2022

Welcome To Tracking Angle! A New Site With a Decades Long History

By: Tracking Angle

You’ve arrived at a new website, but one with a rich, more than quarter century-long history of music reviews and feature stories, both in-print and online.The Tracking Angle published its premier issue in January 1995 as a digest-sized, stapled, two-color, sound-conscious music magazine edited by Michael Fremer. It quickly became a full-color, glossy, perfect bound, full-sized magazine featuring an impressive roster of music reviewers and feature writers.16 issues... Read More

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Priced from $99 to $1500, these 5 phono preamplifiers offer fine build quality and sound to match. Equally important: they are from stable companies that will exist when in the future you might need customer support. Of course, there are many others worth noting but we want to avoid a laundry list here. Meanwhile, as in “Miracle on 34th Street”, where Macy’s Santa sent people to Gimbel’s, please visit my “former endeavor” and scroll through the phono preamp reviews.... Read More

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With disbelief I deciphered the writing in the dead wax: A Porky Prime Cut it read, not etched in some old Led Zeppelin or Mountain record from the '70s, but on this circa '98 seven-inch from the Silver Jews, the recording project of late poet and songwriter David Berman. Porky Prime Cut!, I thought to myself, that means George Peckham, the legendary mastering engineer whose work for Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, T. Rex, and others is brain-bendingly... Read More

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Woburn, MA September 2022—U-Turn just announced the new Orbit Theory turntable, which the company describes as its “…next generation turntable, engineered for uncompromising playback."The new turntable includes the “easily adjustable” OA3 Pro tonearm featuring a tapered one-piece molded magnesium armtube fitted with Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge. An upgraded gimbal bearing with both shaft and housing machined from stainless steel allows for what U-Turn says is... Read More

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September 12th, 2022

Nanci Griffith Produces All Star Album Lesser known gem

By: Michael Fremer

"This project is dedicated to the memories of all the other voices no longer traversing our earthbound radio airwaves...we will sing your songs often, with great pride..."

So begin the liner notes to this west Texas-bred folk singer's fifteenth album, and sequel to 1993's highly regarded "OtherVoices/Other Rooms" (Elektra 61464-2), though this new disc betters it with greater diversity of style (solo-duet-chorus), song, and performers as well as sheer beauty of production. 

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