• John Mellencamp: No Better Than This

    John Mellencamp: No Better Than This

    The backstory of John Mellencamp’s No Better Than This is compelling: 13 songs written in thirteen consecutive fevered days, T Bone Burnett enlisted as producer, and recording done at three legendary American shrines—the Sun Studio ...
  • Wagner: Parsifal

    Wagner: Parsifal

    Hans Knappertsbusch (1888-1965) had a special affinity for Wagner—a connection to the source. In the early years of the last century, he was an assistant to the composer’s son Siegfried and a pupil of Hans ...
  • Bill Laswell: Means of Deliverance

    Bill Laswell: Means of Deliverance

    Brooding and darkly beautiful, deeply resonant and revealing, Bill Laswell’s solo bass meditations on the fretless acoustic bass guitar are as powerful, yet more intimate, than anything in his large discography. While Laswell fans are ...
  • Sade: Soldier of Love

    Sade: Soldier of Love

    Her first studio recording in a decade— and third comeback—shows Nigerian- British chanteuse Sade Adu still has the stuff. The danceable hip-hop-inflected title track thaws Sade’s ultra-cool, ice- princess image and already has carried this ...
  • Prokofiev, Gabriel: String Quartet No.1

    Prokofiev, Gabriel: String Quartet No.1

    New “classical” compositions on vinyl? Yep, here’s the First String Quartet by Gabriel Prokofiev, London-based grandson of the great Sergei. There’s a polycarbonate release of the complete quartet, but the vinyl incarnation includes only two ...
  • Elvis Presley: Elvis 75

    Elvis Presley: Elvis 75

    The year 2010 marks the occasion of the Hillbilly Cat’s 75th birthday (how hard is it to imagine a 75-year-old Elvis Presley?), and with it comes a proper salute: four CDs (100 songs) of career ...
  • Rachmanioff: Symphonic Dances

    Rachmanioff: Symphonic Dances

    This recording has been an audiophile favorite for decades. Engineer David R. Hancock captured a rather dry but clarifying acoustic in McFarlin Auditorium at Southern Methodist University in May of 1967, and the sonics stop ...
  • Dierks Bentley: Up On The Ridge

    Dierks Bentley: Up On The Ridge

    Dierks Bentley warned that Up On The Ridge would be more bluegrass-inspired than hardcore bluegrass, and he wasn’t just bumpin’ his gums, as Dizzy Dean would say. A gritty, driving, rock ’n’ roll edge informs ...
  • Mose Allison: The Way of the World

    Mose Allison: The Way of the World

    A wily scribe once dubbed Mose “the William Faulkner of jazz,” an allusion to his Deep South literary roots. But though Allison’s a proud son of Mississippi, the comparison isn’t quite accurate. Mose himself feels ...
  • Britten's Orchestra

    Britten's Orchestra

    Wayne Garcia lauded the HDCD iteration of this program in Issue 201 for its musical virtues and its exceptional transparency and realism. Reference Recordings has now released the same program as an SACD—the company’s first. ...
  • Frank Sinatra: New York

    Frank Sinatra: New York

    Frank Sinatra: New York collects previously unreleased live performances in historic NYC locations; the DVD, for example, features an entire Carnegie Hall concert. During the 45-year time span that these recordings encompass Sinatra remained a ...
  • Prokofiev: Violin Concertos

    Prokofiev: Violin Concertos

    Prokofiev’s First Violin Concerto reminds me of a phrase I used to hear in the South: “We’ll treat you so many different ways, you’re bound to like one.” Fireworks, charm, neoclassic pirouettes, good humor, growling ...

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