Album Picks

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.

Cantate Domino, by Alón Sagee

Nov 26, 2018

Perfect audiophile Christmas LP. Listen to the track Julsang for the most beautiful choral arrangement I’ve ever heard, highlighted by Marianne Mellnas’s unbelievable solos. On a well configured system, you should be able to see her solidly placed on a stunning 3D soundstage as her voice fills the church. You will probably get a real sense of the size of the space as the subtle queues off the walls are presented. If you’ve ever thought you wouldn’t be caught dead buying an album with a pipe organ as the only instrument… make an exception for this one. Enjoy and happy holidays!

SFjazz Collective, by David Hicks

Nov 26, 2018

My Music pick this month isn’t a single album, but an entire catalog by the SFJAZZ Collective.  My knowledge of Jazz music is far from comprehensive, so I can’t recommend the SFJAZZ Collective’s catalog to you in any way other than to say I like their music.  But for me, that goes a long way due to the pickiness of my preferences for Jazz.  I was unfamiliar with their work until Jana Dagdagan’s visit to my home last month.  Jana’s partner is the group’s bassist Matt Brewer.  And, I’m not promoting the group’s albums on Jana’s behalf as Matt, being new to the group, doesn’t yet appear on any of the groups albums, though we can look forward to hearing him soon as the group releases a new CD at the end of each year’s performances, which happen not only at the SFJazz Center but include an expansive World-wide touring schedule.

Stravinsky, “The Rite of Spring & The Firebird Suite”, by Grant Stoner

Oct 26, 2018

My music pic for this month is Stravinsky “The Rite Of Spring“ and “The Firebird Suite” Leonard Bernstein conducts the London Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic,