Welcome to Tracking Angle

September 15th, 2022

The Lush Glory of Charles Lloyd

The West Coast Coltrane's new balladeering trio

By: Fred Kaplan

Charles Lloyd is a force of nature. At 84, he’s not only active but very nearly at the top of his game, blowing blues, ballads, and up-tempo rousers—holding whole notes and raining sheets of sound—with grace, verve, and beauty. He has also been a superb gatherer of talent over the decades. His breakthrough album as a leader, Dream Weaver, featured Keith Jarrett, Cecil McBee, and Jack DeJohnette, in 1966, before any of them were known. In the past decade, unlike some elder masters...Read More

September 15th, 2022

The Latest (and Last) "Kind of Blue"

The best-ever pressing of the best jazz album

By: Fred Kaplan

(Revised Sept 17, 2022)

Yes, yes, I know what you’re thinking: “What’s this now, another audiophile reissue of Kind of fu*king Blue?!” But here’s the thing: not only is this new one—pressed by Acoustic Sounds at 45rpm across two slabs of 200-gram UHQR Clarity vinyl—the best of the bunch; there almost certainly won’t be a better one for the foreseeable future.

Not much need be...Read More

September 13th, 2022

We Caught A Rising Star—Chris Isaak

Interview Originally Appeared 1987 In The Absolute Sound

By: Michael Fremer

Back in 1987, I interviewed the young up and coming and not particularly well-known Warner Brothers recording artist Chris Isaak. Thanks to a reasonably successful recording career, an effective and consistent live show, and an unusual “reality”-type comedy series on Showtime, Isaak divides his celebrity between being a respected recording artist, and a campy “celebrity,” known in some quarters simply for being known. 

With his swept-back ‘50’s hair and Eddie Cochrane-like...Read More

September 13th, 2022

We Caught A Rising Young Star—Chris Isaak Part 2

This interview originally appeared 1987 in The Absolute Sound

By: Michael Fremer

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...Read More

September 13th, 2022

A Beginner’s Guide To Black Saint & Soul Note

From the archives: Fred Kaplan explores the Italian labels Black Saint and Soul Note, which released America's most forward-thinking jazz of the 80s

By: Fred Kaplan

(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