Acoustic Sounds

In his annotation for this 1969 Milestone release, Down Beat writer Alan Heineman makes a good case for why back then (and perhaps even now), the late Joe Henderson, whose sound, both sweet and gruff is instantly recognizable, was an underrated tenor saxophonist. No matter the reasons then, today he's far better appreciated as a leader and sideman on Blue Note albums (leader on five including Inner Urge, sideman on more than two dozen including Larry Young's... Read More

Comments: 1
DS Audio Master 3 cartridge/equalizer

DS Audio importer Musical Surroundings today announced the debut at next week's Florida Audio Exp of the new "Master 3" set featuring the new Master 3 optical cartridge ($9500) featuring a Microridge stylus bonded to a unique square-section diamond cantilever. The new $18,000 Master 3 equalizer is a 50+ pound single box version of the Grand Master EQ featuring both single-ended RCA and balanced XLR outputs.The new Master 3 cartridge features Independent... Read More

Comments: 12
AVM Ovation PH 8.3 Phono Preamplifier

AVM’s Ovation PH 8.3 vacuum tube-based phono preamplifier is among the most versatile, useful, and well-conceived phono preamps I’ve yet encountered. How’s that for an opening paragraph? As with all models in the Ovation 8 series, the PH 8.3’s output stage uses a matched pair of AVM’s 803T tube, which is a 12AX7, modified per AVM’s specifications, that helps produce, according to the company, “an unmistakably charming tube sound”. BTW "AVM" stands for Audio... Read More

Comments: 7

Transitioning from the ‘70s to the ‘80s wasn’t easy for Ozzy Osbourne. The Birmingham-born vocalist found himself without a band when the members of Black Sabbath ousted him due to his heightened substance issues. Stuck in a drug-and-booze haze for three months at a Los Angeles hotel, salvation came in the form of his manager and future wife, Sharon Arden, who encouraged Osbourne to pursue a solo career. The impact of his first two solo albums, Blizzard of Ozz and... Read More

Comments: 10
Coltrane "Ballads" UHQR

This surprise announcement found this morning in the Tracking Angle inbox. Mastered by Ryan K. Smith from the original tape at Sterling Sound. Includes a 12" x 12" 12-page booklet featuring liner notes by Ashley Kahn and recording session images by Jim Marshall.Happy Valentine's Day. Pre-order here. Read More

Comments: 5
Sonny Rollins "a night at the Village Vanguard"—the complete masters

February 7th—Blue Note Records today announced a March 29 release of Sonny Rollins A Night at the Village Vanguard: The Complete Masters, a special Tone Poet Vinyl Edition of the legendary saxophonist’s tour-de-force live trio album. The expanded 3-LP set, which can be pre-ordered now on the Blue Note Store, marks the first time Rollins’ complete recorded performances at the Village Vanguard on November 3, 1957 will be made available in a single vinyl package. The... Read More

Comments: 5
Kenny Durham "Matador"

The story behind this "forgotten" release and re-release is interesting, but not nearly as interesting as the music, which is a refreshing turn in a world of "undiscovered gems" that often turn out to be undiscovered for good reasons and not gems at all. Downbeat critic Ira Gitler gave Matador a well-deserved very positive review when it was first released in 1963 (Dorham was also for a time late in his life a Downbeat critic). Two things... Read More

Comments: 9
Air Force 10 Tonearm

TechDAS showed a prototype of its new air bearing pivoted tonearm at Munich High End 2023. It's now a finished product that will have its North American launch at The Audio Salon in Santa Monica this Friday, and Saturday February 9th and 10th.In addition to the TechDAS team, Supersense's Florian "Doc" Caps will be there, most likely to play some of his lacquer releases, Wilson Audio's Peter McGrath will be there as well to extoll the virtues... Read More

Comments: 12

In a recently published New York Times piece titled "The Worst Masterpiece: 'Rhapsody In Blue at 100" the pianist/composer Ethan Iverson pilloried the popular Gershwin piece as "naïve and corny"—and those were among the nicer things he wrote about it. The online comments are worth reading but one published letter is wroth quoting here: "By calling the work 'the best cheesecake,' Mr. Iverson aligns himself with a long line of... Read More

Comments: 5
Chris Bellman Interview

Mastering engineer Chris Bellman has an impressive catalog of records he's mastered over the decades working at Bernie Grundman Mastering in Hollywood California. Bellman regularly cuts records for Neil Young among many other recording greats. Bellman talks about cutting Tom Petty's "Wildflowers" from analog tape for the first time and discusses with me general cutting issues such as sibilants and how he deals with them. The two discuss the great... Read More

Comments: 8

Mark Knopfler's new album One Deep River— his tenth solo effort— is set for April 12th release on his own British Grove label, via Blue Note/EMI. It features a dozen new songs.Produced by Knopfler and his longstanding collaborator Guy Fletcher the album was recorded in London at his state-of-the-art British Grove Studios and will be available on CD, double gatefold vinyl, cassette and a special limited-edition box set that will include the album on both vinyl and... Read More

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In 1953, a music-loving Cambridge University engineering student named Finch James Shepherds-Pye had an idea. He was fascinated by the reproduction of recorded music on discs and had started thinking seriously about the subject. This led to (the eventually knighted) Sir Shepherds-Pye's doctoral thesis on the tonearm and the geometry required to place a cartridge stylus at the most accurate point on a record. He came up with the concept of mirroring the cutter... Read More

Comments: 4
Hot Buttered Soul "Small Batch" Release

Oft sampled by soul and r&b music fans who couldn't get enough of Hayes's version of "Walk on By" and “Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic”when first issued in 1969 and decades later by hip-hop samplers who have (so far) used snippets more than a hundred times, Hot Buttered Soul has stood musical test of time and now gets the "Small Batch" "One-Step" audiophile treatment.From the press release:"As with all albums in the... Read More

Comments: 1

With the box set nearly sold out, Intervention decided to offer the three Frampton albums individually at $40.00 each. The Frampton@50 Series 180G reissues are 100% Analog Mastered by Chris Bellman and sound sensational. The flat, heroically quiet 180g vinyl is pressed at boutique press Gotta Groove Records in Cleveland, Ohio.The album art was meticulously restored by IR's Tom Vadakan, and the jackets are "Old Style" tip-ons, beautiful produced on heavy... Read More

Comments: 2
A Prayer For Andrew

Andrew Hill was one of the most remarkable jazz pianist-composers, a rare true original. His music is ripe with strange intervals, dissonant harmonies, and off-centered rhythms, yet the resulting sounds are riveting, often gorgeous. Imagine the lush tonal colors of Gil Evans, combined with the fierce cadences of Mingus and the jagged precision of Monk, and you get some idea of his music’s odd pleasures. Hill led a dozen recording sessions for Blue Note in the... Read More

Comments: 12
Los Lobos

(This Interview originally appeared in Volume 3 #1, issue 11, Spring 1997 of The Tracking Angle magazine).The goodies were stacked on a big table in the corner of the stars' dressing room: an industrial size sack of M&M Peanuts, big bags of Herr's tortilla and potato chips, a jar of Pace brand Thick and Chunky Salsa, fresh fruit, a ten pack of Kellogg's cereals, a plate of muffins, a cheese, tomato and deli platter, jars of Hellman's mayonnaise... Read More

Comments: 2