Acoustic Sounds

Music Reviews: Vinyl

Aaron Diehl & the Knights’ Zodiac Suite may be the most important album of the year, but because “important” is such a wearying word, implying obligation and cryptic boredom, I should quickly add that it’s also an album of joy, swing, and surprise.It is the first complete, professional recording of Mary Lou Williams’ orchestral-jazz composition of that title, and therein lies a story.Williams, who died in 1981 at the age of 71, was a pianist and composer who... Read More

genre Jazz Big Band format Vinyl

There will be some Tracking Angle readers for whom Aphex Twin needs no introduction; and others will prefer not just an introduction, but a lengthy and detailed explanation. Explaining Aphex Twin is a very difficult notion. Genres are not sufficient to define his music, but electronic production is central to his modus operandi. If you enjoy the kind of splattering, gritty breakbeat riot represented by “Come To Daddy”, then you will know him well already. If you have... Read More

genre Electronic Electronic format Vinyl

It could be a violent musical shock for a young jazz enthusiast in the early 1960s to discover 1957's "brilliant corners" after being introduced to Thelonious Monk on one of his later Columbia albums like 1963's "Criss-Cross". I speak from personal experience.I'd bought Criss-Cross when it was first released. It was my first Monk album. I knew nothing about Monk but I liked his name. I thought it and Monk were pretty wild. The record... Read More

genre Jazz format Vinyl

The late British jazz saxophonist Lol Coxhill famously referred to this record as "Tubercular Balls"—and that's before he knew that his first name was short for "laughing out loud". For many reasons this album was and remains a phenomenon. Nineteen year old Mike Oldfield had already been in and out of many bands. He'd been a folkie with his sister Sally in a group called Sallyangie, the 'angie' part taken from the Bert Jansch... Read More

Monk's Music by the Thelonious Monk Septet was recorded in 1957, simultaneously in mono and stereo. A new mono reissue showcases the importance of microphone placement and recording methodology.

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genre Jazz format Vinyl

Being a fan of Japanese Sludge/Doom/Stoner/Drone/Psych/Pop-Metal power trio Boris can be exhausting, especially if you’re a record collector. Since forming in 1992 these industry veterans have racked up 29 full-length studio albums alone, not even including their dozen or so collaborative albums and countless extended plays. Having casually heard this band mentioned by friends who were enthusiasts of punk and metal over the years, sometime in 2012 or 2013 I found... Read More

Charles Mingus’ format as a deeply spiritual, playfully inventive and stylistically uninhibited composer, bassist and bandleader is very much in evidence on Changes: The Complete 1970s Atlantic Recordings, an 8 LP (or 7 CD) box set of his late-era recordings for the label. 


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genre Jazz format Vinyl

Bluegrass is enjoying one of its cyclical surges of artistry and audience, with Molly Tuttle in the vanguard. She and Billy Strings have become the first ascendant acoustic guitar stars in years, while carving out band identities as distinct and transformative as Alison Krauss and Union Station in the 90s or J.D. Crowe and the New South in the 70s. She’s won numerous bluegrass awards and a Grammy before age 30. In a golden time, Tuttle is a golden girl from the Golden State with her second album in 16 months, aptly titled City of Gold

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genre Country Bluegrass format Vinyl

Located at 3138 Fillmore Street, The Matrix was the hub of the “San Francisco sound” in the late 1960s. The pizza parlor turned nightclubs was spearheaded by the members of Jefferson Airplane in 1965, who became the default house band. Whether it was Big Brother and the Holding Company, Steve Miller Band, or Quicksilver Messenger Service, spectators that attended shows at the Matrix witnessed Bay Area bands in a loose environment that was a far cry from Bill Graham’s grandiose Fillmore West.

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genre Rock Psychedelic Rock format Vinyl

As listeners and reissue labels contextualize new age music in the broader history of ambient music, probably the biggest resurgence has been that of Laraaji, the zither master who’s worked with Brian Eno, Haruomi Hosono, and Bill Laswell, and who also leads laughter meditation workshops. Now, Numero Group presents Segue To Infinity, a recently released 4LP box set encompassing his first LP, 1978’s Celestial Vibration, and three discs of recently discovered recordings from the same time.

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(There are two reviews of this record published simultaneously, one by Michael Fremer and one by Malachi Lui, the two working independently, for a young and an "I was around then" perspective).Chris Frantz writes in the updated booklet packaged with this new double LP set of the difficulties involved in mounting the complicated, unique, never before (or since) seen stage show that the late Jonathan Demme so well captured in the film "Stop Making... Read More

genre Rock Art Rock Post-Punk format Vinyl

Immortalized in Jonathan Demme’s 1984 film Stop Making Sense, Talking Heads’ 1983 tour was the theatrical rock tour that ended all theatrical rock tours before it and raised the standard for those following. Choreographed but natural, theatrical but not outlandish, designed but also not, the newly reissued Stop Making Sense still resonates in its societal commentary and continuing influence.

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"Jazz Samba" wasn't the first Bossa Nova record released in The United States, and it wasn't called one, but it was, and upon its release in 1962 it broke open the Brazilian music floodgate. Within months of its release there was Bossa Nova everything. This record was also the first in a popular series of Creed Taylor produced Verve releases featuring on their covers Olga Albizu's abstract art. It was a winning formula.Recorded in a single day... Read More

genre Jazz format Vinyl

(This review originally appeared in The Tracking Angle Magazine Issue 7, Spring 1996.)Bryan Ferry covering Gogi Grant’s dramatic “The Wayward Wind” has always been one of my musical dreams, but Neil Young does a more than adequate version to open this long neglected mid-80s Young country album. While he doesn’t bring the kind of “camp” to the tune Ferry could, he’s got the spirit right, with cascading strings (17 count ‘em pieces), Waylon Jennings on guitar, and Bela... Read More

genre Country Americana format Vinyl CD