Steely Dan UHQR Series

Music Reviews: Vinyl

January 10th, 2023

A Solo Bass Album From a "Stand Up" Guy

the pandemic wrung the blues from a formerly busy bassist

By: Michael Fremer

Might I interest you in a solo bass album? I hope so. Bassist Rick Rosato has been living in New York City since 2007 and touring worldwide (he's featured on vibraphonist Joel Ross' 2022 double LP The Parable of The Poet and on many other records). Then Covid hit and like many other musicians he found himself without gigs and spending a lot of time at home.For his first album as leader, Rosato decided to go solo, inspired by his home alone pandemic... Read More

genre Blues format Vinyl

January 5th, 2023

Karen Dalton's Time May Be Now

Light in the Attic reissues deluxe double 45rpm edition of cult fave

By: JoE Silva

If you didn’t know anything about Karen Dalton when you dropped the stylus on one of her records, you’d quickly get the sense that her life probably hadn’t been an easy one. Mournful, and sung in a voice that parsed the terrain between Billie Holiday and Janis Joplin, the songs on the 50th Anniversary Edition of the singer’s second and final long player can be a tough listen. But thanks to multiple reissue campaigns, her work has filtered on down through five plus... Read More

January 3rd, 2023

Le Dernier Message De Lester Young (The Last Message Of Lester Young)

Sam Records reissues the last Lester Young album with bonus 10 inch LP

By: Joseph W. Washek

In April 1958, Lester Young moved into the Hotel Alvin, a seedy hotel at the corner of Broadway and Fifty-Second street in New York City, which, because it was cheap, was home to many musicians. Lester owned a house on Long Island in which his wife and two children lived but the Alvin was directly across the street from Birdland, and that was where Lester wanted to be.Lester wasn’t playing at Birdland or any of the other major clubs in Manhattan. His chronic... Read More

genre Jazz format Vinyl

January 2nd, 2023

A Musically Satisfying Mendelssohn Octet in E Flat Major Demo Disc From Chasing the Dragon

lets you compare analog vs. digital, 33 1/3 vs, 45, 1/2 speed to normal, tube vs. transistor mics

By: Michael Fremer

Mendelssohn completed his Octet in E Flat Major when he was 16 years old. Good thing he started composing brilliant pieces while young because he was dead at 38. After completing the piece, dedicated to his violin teacher Eduard Rietz, Mendelssohn gave him the score as a birthday present on October 17, 1825. Rietz copied out all of the parts and it was quickly performed in an informal family gathering. Rietz lived an even shorter life. Tuberculosis got him at age 30.... Read More

December 29th, 2022

Do These Guys Look like They're Counting Down to Ecstasy?

the Dan's second album was recorded " a desultory, haphazard fashion."

By: Michael Fremer

Other than Donald Fagen, the boys hanging in the studio control room in the back jacket photo look either pissed (Denny Dias), mildly bemused and/or disgusted (Walter Becker), or completely stoned and/or exhausted (Jeff "Skunk" Baxter). Drummer Jim Hodder, too far from the camera to read and noticeably isolated physically from the others, would soon exit the band after being pushed out of the drummer seat by Jim Gordon and Jeff Porcaro on the third album... Read More

genre Rock format Vinyl

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

genre Jazz Cool Jazz format Vinyl