Steely Dan UHQR Series

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December 26th, 2022

The Aural Equivalent of Watching The Blue Angels Air Show

Uptempo Pepper and Baker in their prime leave a vapor trail

By: Michael Fremer

Despite the inherent lightness and breeze of "West Coast" jazz, this set recorded Halloween day 1956 is simultaneously cool and blazing hot, with Art Pepper and Chet Baker at their youthful peak navigating a set of intricately written and charted tunes, five of the seven by Jimmy Heath, hence the album's title, plus two by Pepper.If you're of a certain age, some of the uptempo vibe here will remind you of 50s and 60s era television show theme songs... Read More

Comments: 4

December 26th, 2022

Is That Jazz? Lil B’s ‘Afrikantis’

The most fascinating avant-garde jazz album in recent times

By: Malachi Lui

Anyone who predicted this is either a time traveler or is clinically insane (probably both). It’s December 2022, everyone’s “best albums of 2022” lists are out, and Lil B has dropped a jazz album.That’s right: Lil B The Based God, the rapper and motivational speaker who’s perhaps the most detrimentally prolific artist of our time (did anyone actually listen to all eight volumes of his 855 Song Based Freestyle Mixtape?), has made what can loosely be considered a jazz... Read More

Comments: 6

December 24th, 2022

John Zorn Keeps Evolving

The impresario of New York new music's new piano quartet

By: Fred Kaplan

Years (it feels like eons) have passed since John Zorn filled his bill as the Angry Young Man of New York’s Downtown jazz scene. (In a bit of etymology right out of a Terry Southern novel, "Zorn" in German means “anger.”) Nearly a decade ago, on the occasion of his 60th birthday, he was touted in tributes and concerts by such exemplars of Uptown culture as the Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum, the Guggenheim, and Columbia University. Now recognized as... Read More

Comments: 0

December 21st, 2022

Handel's "Messiah"—And The Recording That Changed The Classical Record Industry

’Tis the season, and in the classical music world that means Christmas carols, Nutcrackers, more carols—and Handel’s “Messiah”.

By: Mark Ward

Which is actually quite odd, because Messiah was never intended by its composer as a Christmas piece—quite the opposite in fact. It was originally composed, in 1741, for performance at the most solemn time in the ecclesiastical calendar—Easter. The work tells the entirety of Christ’s story, culminating in His Crucifixion and Resurrection, with a meditation on the meaning of His life and death to Christians. So, this is hardly the stuff of Christmas levity.However, the... Read More

Comments: 8

December 20th, 2022's Christmas Radio Show From 2016 is Here!

Same show, changed "previous endeavor"'s name

By: Michael Fremer

In the mid 2010s I had a two hour radio show on the Fairleigh Dickinson college radio station WFDU. It was fun, it was popular and everything played on it was transferred at 96/24 from vinyl so it sounded really good. The weekly show was done under the name of my previous endeavor. I wasn't paid for it so I've gone in and changed the name to " radio". I think you'll really enjoy the eclectic Christmas music and banter from the... Read More

Comments: 1

December 18th, 2022

Warsaw Audio Video Show 2022—Stadium Venue Coverage

sorry for the delay

By: Michael Fremer

Sorry it's taken so long to edit and post the second video from Warsaw Audio Video Show 2022 held the final few days of October, but based on previous show videos, interest remains strong well after the event. The Warsaw Audio Video Show is now considered Europe's second most important show after Munich, but that's mostly because Munich is more of a business to business show to which consumers are invited, whereas this show is almost exclusively a... Read More

Comments: 0