Steely Dan UHQR Series

Music Reviews: Jazz

February 4th, 2023

Do Not Judge This Blossom By Its Cover

Vinyl Me Please's reissue of Blossom Dearie's debut has crappy enlarged compact disc cover, but sounds great

By: Joshua Smith

Vinyl Me Please could have had a home run with this beautiful-sounding and essential reissue, but fails miserably with an ugly cover sourced from a late '80s-era compact disc.

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genre Jazz Vocal Jazz format Vinyl

January 30th, 2023

"Hackensack West"'s First Published Recording Fulfills Kevin Gray's Sonic Quest

25 Prospect Avenue re-imagined for the 21st century

By: Michael Fremer

Cohearent Recording, Kevin Gray's new living room studio, which he jokingly calls "Hackensack West" was the venue for this, the first record released on Cohearent Records. The all-analog all-vacuum tube recording chain used to produce sound every RVG fan will swoon from was outlined in a video Gray recently posted on YouTube we've embedded here. So-Cal based jazz saxophonist/educator Kirsten Edkins, who's played in Bill Holman's Big Band,... Read More

genre Jazz format Vinyl

January 24th, 2023

How Best to Hear Patricia Barber's "Clique!"

some Tracking Angle readers might be surprised

By: Michael Fremer

Patricia Barber albums take up a lot of shelf space real estate here. Over the years her many albums have been issued and reissued on vinyl with every reissue sounding better than the previous one, though of course Jim Anderson recorded all of them digitally. Nightclub was recorded to 3348 multi-track and mixed through a Neve analog desk to both digital and analog mix down masters. Anderson said in an email that "....we've always run digital and analogue on... Read More

genre Jazz Vocal Jazz format CD

January 23rd, 2023

Frank Kimbrough's Turning Point

A revealing remix of the jazz pianist-composer's pivotal albums

By: Fred Kaplan

Frank Kimbrough, who died in December 2020 at the age of 64, was one of the great undersung jazz pianists of our time and an only-belatedly-appreciated composer of much talent as well. (Soon after his death, Newvelle Records assembled 67 musicians, in various ensembles, to play 58 of his pieces, many of which had the ring of standards. The resulting download-only album, "Kimbrough," was one of the best jazz albums of 2021.) Now Palmetto Records, his main... Read More

genre Jazz format Vinyl

January 17th, 2023

Marta Sanchez's Spanish American Triumph

The pianist-composer's jazz quintet wonder work

By: Fred Kaplan

The pianist-composer Marta Sanchez has lived and actively worked in New York since moving here from Madrid in 2011; but, despite four albums as a leader and wide respect from fellow artists, she’s not nearly as well-known as she should be.Her latest album, SAAM (Spanish American Art Museum), on Whirlwind Recordings, available as a CD and as three sides of vinyl (2 LPs, one of them blank on one side), is a stellar display of her talents. She leads a standard jazz... Read More

genre Jazz format Vinyl

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