• Miles Davis Quintet: Miles Smiles

    Miles Davis Quintet: Miles Smiles

    “Who’s kidding who? . . . Miles smiles?” So queried Anthony Tuttle in the original 1967 liner notes to Miles Smiles, but the sophomore outing from Davis’s second prodigious quintet configuration is anything but a ...
  • Marvin Gaye: What’s Going On

    Marvin Gaye: What’s Going On

    Kudos to Mobile Fidelity for this extraordinary release of Marvin Gaye’s 1971 masterpiece, What’s Going On. A major artistic step, this brilliant psychedelic-soul song-cycle’s themes of social and economic injustice, the horrors of war, displaced ...
  • Jeff Tweedy: WARM

    Jeff Tweedy: WARM

    It’s hard not to feel a little conflicted about aging in tandem with a musical hero. But Wilco founder Jeff Tweedy, now nearly a rock elder statesperson, aims to soothe his longtime listeners into bittersweet ...
  • Bob James Trio: Espresso

    Bob James Trio: Espresso

    For many, pianist Bob James will be remembered for his evocative theme song to the sitcom Taxi. But his musical chops are far weightier. A gifted player from childhood, he was mentored by Quincy Jones, ...
  • Eric Bibb: Global Griot

    Eric Bibb: Global Griot

    Exploring the themes of unity, inclusiveness, and social justice from a spiritual perspective, Eric Bibb delivers a double-disc masterpiece in Global Griot, an album ideally suited to the temper of progressive times, or “challenging times,” ...
  • Early Digital Recordings Didn’t All Suck

    Early Digital Recordings Didn’t All Suck

    Utter the words “early digital” and most audiophiles, even younger ones, will know exactly what you’re talking about. The term references sound lacking body and warmth, the fatiguing deficiency of dimensionality and tonal complexity that ...
  • David Chesky’s La Farranucci

    David Chesky’s La Farranucci

    David Chesky’s comic opera, La Farranucci, was performed on March 15th and 16th at the Brooklyn Music School Playhouse and I had the good fortune to be there. Actually, all of us in the auditorium ...
  • Keith Jarrett: La Fenice

    Keith Jarrett: La Fenice

    How many Keith Jarrett solo piano concert albums you need depends on the magnitude of your fascination with Jarrett’s Taoist-like ability to go with the flow. Since the landmark mid-70s Solo Concerts: Bremen/Lausanne and The ...
  • Vivaldi in Venice

    Vivaldi in Venice

    Let me say it up front, Vivaldi in Venice is one of the most gorgeous sounding and exquisitely played LPs I’ve heard in quite some time. Adding yet another fine title to its impressive young ...

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