• Carole King: The Essential Carole King

    Carole King: The Essential Carole King

    The Essential Carole King is not your typical “greatest hits” package. Although this collection contains plenty of hits—King, after all, is fully or partially responsible for a startling number of chart-topping songs—the word “essential” suggests ...
  • Levon Helm: Electric Dirt

    Levon Helm: Electric Dirt

    Editor's note: This review was written in 2009, before Helm's death in April 2012. At age 69, Levon Helm sings like a geezer from another era—say, the Great Depression. Which is another way of saying ...
  • Elvis Costello: This Year's Model

    Elvis Costello: This Year's Model

    Produced by Nick Lowe, and originally released in 1978, This Year’s Model was Elvis Costello’s second album, his first in a string of successes with The Attractions, and the first in which this brilliant pop ...
  • Ella Fitzgerald: Rodgers and Hart Song Book

    Ella Fitzgerald: Rodgers and Hart Song Book

    When Ella Fitzgerald joined Verve Records in 1955, the 38-year-old singer was best known for a single hit (“A-Tisket, A-Tasket”), her bop-inspired scat singing, and a stack of mostly forgettable recordings. Her manager (and Verve-founder) ...
  • Willie Nelson: Red Headed Stranger

    Willie Nelson: Red Headed Stranger

    Now 77, Willie Nelson has been part of America’s cultural consciousness for so long it’s hard to remember that this brilliant, braided, pot-smoking iconoclast spent the beginning of his career penning tunes for others, because ...
  • Dave Brubeck Quartet: Time Further Out

    Dave Brubeck Quartet: Time Further Out

    Two years after the Dave Brubeck Quartet’s ground- and time-signature breaking Time Out (1959), this classic quartet (Brubeck, piano, Paul Desmond, alto sax, Eugene Wright, bass, and Joe Morello, drums) would continue its jazz experiments ...
  • Ellington: Indigos

    Ellington: Indigos

    First released in 1962, Ellington Indigos finds the maestro and his impeccable orchestra in a low-key, nocturnal mood. “Solitude” begins with Ellington’s quietly introspective solo, but when his band jumps in a huge grin will ...
  • Gil Evans: Out of the Cool

    Gil Evans: Out of the Cool

    Goldenote, the Italian audio firm known for its Demidoff integrated amp, Stibbert Black Pearl CD player, and Tuscany Signature cartridge, has launched the DOXY record label dedicated to a pair of ongoing reissue series. The ...
  • Andrew Hill: Point Of Departure

    Andrew Hill: Point Of Departure

    Andrew Hill’s funky yet lyrical piano playing and intricately beautiful compositions seized the attentions of Blue Note’s Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff. The pair recorded material for four LPs before the first, Black Fire, was ...
  • Ella and Duke at The Cote D'Azur

    Ella and Duke at The Cote D'Azur

    In 1966 Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington travelled to Antibes for a four-night stint that was recorded and released as two separate titles: Ella & Duke at The Cote D’Azur, which juxtaposes tunes between them—with ...
  • Exposure 3010S2 Mono Power Amplifier

    Exposure 3010S2 Mono Power Amplifier

    Back in 2008 I wrote very favorably about a CD player and integrated amplifier from Exposure’s 3010S Series. These components fell into the highly competitive mid-$2000 price range, which is reachable by most non-one-percenters and ...

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