Album Picks

Nina Simone – “Little Girl Blue”, by Larry Deniston

Feb 26, 2019

My pick this month is Nina Simone’s Little Girl Blue, Jazz Images 37010.  Originally issued by Bethlehem Records in late 1957, there are many,

Enoch Light and the Light Brigade – “Dimension 3”, by Grant Stoner

Feb 25, 2019

My music pic for the month is Dimension 3 by Enoch Light and the Light Brigade, Command Records, 1964, vinyl.  This LP features, and I quote, “An Astonishing New Achievement in Stereo Recording, The Incredible Miracle of “3-Speaker Presence”,”.  As audiophiles we are used to such things, but maybe back in ’64?  The music is pure cocktail, lounge.  It has Instrumental renditions of standards such as “All I do is Dream of You”, “Love and Marriage” and “It’s only a Paper Moon”.  Featuring lots of bongos, percussion, organs and brass, some nice jazz guitar etc., the performance is quite tight and pleasing.

But does the sound live up to the hype?  Well, Yes!  It’s really a masterful recording.  Every instrument has a punchy percussive quality rarely heard.  Excellent stereo spread and front to back imaging make it a great test record.  It goes really well with martinis as well.  Actually, all the albums on the “Command” label are like this.  All fantastic.  Leslie and I each have a growing collection of them.  Available at estate sales and thrift stores everywhere!

Also notable labels in the same genre with nearly as excellent sound include Stereo Fidelity records, and the “Phase 4 Stereo” series from London Records.  Cheers!

Gillian Welch – Soul Journey, by Alon Sagee

Feb 21, 2019

March music pick is Gillian Welch–– Soul Journey

This long time favorite folk album is a quintessential tour de force of Americana (I know,

Max Richter, “From Sleep”, by Kevin Olson

Jan 31, 2019

The nights are still long. This is a perfect time to listen to the CD or vinyl album From Sleep by Max Richter. From Sleep is about 60 minutes of music from the composers recording of Sleep which is 8 hours in length.

Ray LaMontagne – “God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise”, by Alón Sagee

Jan 28, 2019

Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs: God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise

This, LaMontage’s fourth studio album, has the distinction of being entirely self produced.

Warpaint – “The Fool”, by Larry Deniston

Jan 28, 2019

My music pick is Warpaint’s The Fool, RTRADLP580 produced by Rough Trade Records in 2010.  It’s always fun to be introduced to some new music,

Count Basie –– Basie Jam, by Alón Sagee

Dec 27, 2018

Count Basie –– Basie Jam

This is one of my favorite jazz albums of all time. The first track on side one of this really well-recorded LP is what converted me… before this,

Pink Floyd – “The Piper at the Gate of Dawn”, by Grant Stoner

Dec 27, 2018

My album pic for this month is Pink Floyd, The Piper at the Gate of Dawn, EMI remaster 2-cd set (mono and stereo) 2007. 

Carl Orff – Carmina Burana by Kevin Olson

Dec 22, 2018

Carl Orff – Carmina Burana
A Scenic Cantata

Robert Shaw conducts the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus

I am choosing an old favorite for this month. A very dramatic cantata composed by Carl Orff in 1935-1936.  My experience with cantatas prior to hearing this were all church related. This piece is based on 24 poems from the 11th -13th centuries. This is a secular work and if you read translations of the poems you will see that.

Julie London Sings the Standards, by Grant Stoner

Nov 26, 2018

My album pic for this month is “Julie London Sings the Standards” 2001 EMI Records CD. I started listening to female jazz vocalists more in the mid 90’s. My first love was Sarah Vaughn, followed by Ella and Billie. Then one day a few years ago, I was working out at the health club, listening to “Jazz Vocalists” playlist on Pandora (I know, an odd choice for lifting weights, but then I’m different). Then suddenly I heard this song “Sway” (unfortunately not on this compilation) with a woman singing I didn’t’ recognize. I thought, who on earth is this sultry seductress? The one and only Julie London. I since sought out everything I could find by her and she’s became one of my very favorites. She has a sensuality like no other. This compilation sounds quite good. All songs were recorded from the late 50’s to late 60’s. While some tracks have the vocals with some reverb sending the vocals to the back of the soundstage, some like “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” and “Love Letters”, have the vocals so up front you would swear Julie was in your room singing to you. A really great CD performance and sound wise, highly recommended.