• Richard Thompson:  Rumor and Sigh

    Richard Thompson: Rumor and Sigh

    Originally released in 1991, Richard Thompson’s sixth solo album arrived during a pivotal period in the English folk-rocker’s catalog. His third collaboration with producer Mitchell Froom (and engineer Tchad Blake), the 14-song collection continued an ...
  • Magic at Mechanics

    Magic at Mechanics

    At 7 p.m. on Labor Day, I was sitting at a table in the empty lobby of the Hilton Garden Inn in Worcester, Massachusetts, waiting to speak with Reference Recordings engineer Keith O. Johnson. Across ...
  • Lucinda Williams: This Sweet Old World

    Lucinda Williams: This Sweet Old World

    Twenty-five years ago, Lucinda Williams recorded Sweet Old World, a much-beleaguered album that was four years in the making as the Americana pioneer bounced around different record labels before its release. The recording was later ...
  • Thelonious Monk: Monk in Tokyo

    Thelonious Monk: Monk in Tokyo

    This fine recording was somewhat overlooked when it first appeared in 1973, and the same fate may await this reissue, given the fact that several other notable Monk-related releases are vying for attention during this ...
  • Catching up with David Murray

    Catching up with David Murray

    In 1979 I attended a club performance by the original lineup of Jack DeJohnette’s Special Edition, a quartet that, along with Peter Warren on bass and DeJohnette on drums, featured two horn players, one who ...
  • The Beach Boys: Pet Sounds

    The Beach Boys: Pet Sounds

    Produced, composed, and arranged by Brian Wilson, Pet Sounds stands as the Beach Boys’ pinnacle. The album is brimming with beautiful ballads, exotic instrumentation, lush five-part harmonies, and an aching sentimentality. Recorded largely with session ...
  • The Christmas Records

    The Christmas Records

    Beginning in 1963, The Beatles sent out a Christmas record every year to members of their fan clubs—or “Beatles people,” as they were called. In all, seven 7-inches appeared, and on December 15 Apple Corps ...
  • Legrand Jazz on Vinyl

    Legrand Jazz on Vinyl

    Legrand Jazz sold well after its release in 1959. Part of its success had to do with brand loyalty, as the leader of the album, who handpicked the musicians for three different recording sessions and ...
  • Soundtracks Series: Vol. 11

    Soundtracks Series: Vol. 11

    1. Bernstein: The Grifters. Varèse Sarabande. Elmer Bernstein—also known as “Bernstein West” to distinguish him from Leonard Bernstein (“Bernstein East”)—wrote any number of great scores for any number of great movies (The Magnificent Seven, Sweet ...

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