Acoustic Sounds

Music Reviews: Jazz Fusion

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

genre Jazz Jazz Fusion format Vinyl

1977 was a turbulent year for Pink Floyd. With bassist/primary songwriter Roger Waters asserting more of a dictatorship role, the band slowly drifted from being a collaborative unit. The rise of punk rock made Pink Floyd and many of their progressive rock contemporaries to be considered “dinosaurs.” In turn, the murky production value and Orwellian political themes explored on their then-new album, Animals, was their response to the shifting musical climate. The connection between Pink Floyd and their audience was lost during their In The Flesh tour from the same year. Rather than enjoying the band’s spectacle of flying pigs and inflatables, the raucous audiences were more concerned with setting off fireworks and riding hallucinogenic highs. This tension culminated with the infamous final show of the tour at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, where Waters angrily spat at a member of the audience.

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Only covering the sound here and the news is not good for a few reasons. First, the sound is bass-heavy, generally "thick" and unpleasant and the perspective is flat. If you bought the UHQR or have an original pressing and don't want to spend $150, you are all set. The 192/24 Qobuz stream sourced from Bernie Grundman's digital file produced using the same tape he used to cut UHQR lacquers sounds far superior in every way to this vinyl edition. The... Read More

genre Rock Jazz Fusion format Vinyl

When I visited Paul Gold's Salt Mastering recently, I asked him why he named his facility "Salt Mastering" and he replied that mastering should be like using salt to season food: you shouldn't taste the salt, it should be used judiciously, only to bring out the intrinsic flavors of the ingredients.Bernie Grundman's original Aja mastering certainly lived up to that mastering definition, which is why it's considered a great sounding... Read More

genre Rock Jazz Fusion format Vinyl

The tape box pictured in the notes tells the tale in tiny hand written letters: "original master was 1/4". In other words the source for this UHQR reissue was a 1/2" Dolby A copy of the master, which became the 2 track Dolby Master. When you hear the record you won't care about from where it came, you'll just know it's the best sounding Aja you've ever heard and it's not close. For one thing, "Deacon Blues" takes up an... Read More

genre Rock Jazz Fusion format Vinyl

The speculation below re digital is wrong. Patrick Milligan commented on an unboxing video that it’s from tape. I stand corrected and sorry I didn’t see obscure unboxing video. However, I stand by my sound comments. These records don’t sound great compared to previously released versions and the compression is noticeable and unwelcomed. Compared to nothing I’m sure they will sound okay. And glad they are cut from tape.The four albums in this box document an artist on... Read More

genre Folk Jazz Fusion format Vinyl

I saw Miles Davis’ pop-rock band a half dozen times in the 1980s and loved the music each time. The concert-recordings from that period—"Miles Live Around the World" and the relevant discs from the 20-CD "Complete Miles Davis at Montreux", both released posthumously on Warner Brothers—were also wondrous, a departure from his discography (as every new phase of his was from the phase before) but still ranking high. His famous covers of Michael... Read More

genre Jazz Jazz Fusion format CD

“David Bowie in Jazz"'s Aladdin Sane-era cover art might lead you to believe this Bowie tribute record is tied in with or is somehow connected to Bret Morgen’s feature-length "Moonage Daydream" documentary released September, 2022 in IMAX and standard theater formats and currently available for streaming and purchase on Amazon, itunes and other sites.The scant credits, however, indicate that the French Wagram Music label marketed and distributed... Read More

genre Jazz Jazz Fusion format Vinyl

When Steely Dan recorded "Can't Buy a Thrill" it was more of a "pick-up" studio band than a "group". As Donald Fagen recounts in the notes accompanying this new UHQR release sourced from the original master tapes (shown on the notes insert), Fagen and Walter Becker had failed as ABC Dunhill "staff composers" and decided it was time to live the dream leading a real band.The pair called their friend New York guitarist Denny... Read More

genre Rock Jazz Fusion format Vinyl

Formed near the sunny sands of Rio De Janeiro in 1973, Azymuth is a Brazilian funk-jazz trio though they manage to sound like a much larger group, especially when hosting guest players. The band features Jose Roberto Bertrami (unfortunately, deceased in 2019) on an array of keyboards, Alex Malheiros on bass and Ivan Conti on drums. These three musicians initially connected with one another in a previous band called Group Projeto 3 which later became Grupo Seleção. The... Read More