Thursday, May 28, 2009

Classic Rock Videos

Rush - Closer To The Heart

Michael Fremer Review

I am very proud to continue our new feature (look for this every Friday), music reviews that are written by the senior contributing editor of Stereophile magazine- Michael Fremer. It has been a pleasure to speak with Michael and learn more about audio sound and equipment. In fact, his new DVD, "It's A Vinyl World, After All" has hit the shelves and is selling out very quickly. This is a must have for anybody who loves vinyl, it is a true masterpiece.

Additionally, make sure to stop by his site, and bookmark it for further exploration. I certainly want to thank Michael for the exclusive rights to reprint his fantastic material.

Miles Davis (reissue)
'Round About Midnight

Columbia/Speakers Corner CL 949 180g mono LP

Produced by: George Avakian
Engineered by: Frank Laico
Mixed by: Frank Laico
Mastered by: Maarten de Boer at UMG Berliner

Review by: Michael Fremer

Miles Davis’s major label debut, recorded with his quintet in the fall of 1955 and late summer of 1956 while he was still under Prestige contract and released early in 1957, was not particularly well-received at the time, though it has grown considerably in stature since then.

Davis, John Coltrane, Red Garland, Paul Chambers and “Philly Joe” Jones has been together as a group for over a year at this time, working both in the studio and in live performance. Miles had played the title track at Newport in 1955, rebounding from what the liner notes call a “health” problem, but which was an addiction to heroin that he kicked in 1953 or 1954.

The version of the gorgeous, bluesy Monk tune that opens and highlights the album both reprises the pensive, post-Bop sound of the earlier Birth of the Cool and was a harbinger of Miles to come. The opening bars, with Coltrane’s warm tenor wrapped around Davis’s jagged muted trumpet set a sublime tone for the tune and the album.

Though the 30th street studio recording is mono, great depth is produced, with Davis up front and the others cleanly layered behind. The second tune, Charlie Parker’s “Ah-Leu-Cha” is more standard uptempo hard-bop and the side closes with a stately version of the cool Cole Porter standard “All of You” that would be equally at home in a supper club as a jazz joint.

Side two opens with a pleasing, smoothly flowing but hardly memorable take on the standard “Bye, Bye Blackbird,” with Coltrane hinting at future harmonic and rhythmic strategies in his long, productive solo. Whatever Rudy Van Gelder’s legend, capturing a clean piano sound wasn’t among his strong suits, especially early on in his long career, so here, Red Garland’s piano, recorded by Frank Laico attains a welcome, woody clarity lacking on most of the Prestige Van Gelder sessions.

Compare Garland’s coherent, non-boxy sound on the suave, jumpy cover of Tadd Dameron’s “Tadd’s Delight” to any of the Prestige recordings.

The album ends with a swinging, unusual rendering of a Swedish folk song “Dear Old Stockholm,” featuring a nimble, driving Paul Chambers bass solo that’s also well recorded, particularly given the year, though otherwise there are hints of overload on a few peaks. Coltrane takes a long squiggly solo and Miles takes the melody back with an uncharacteristically complex muted trumpet solo and conclusion.

The reissue does an excellent job of capturing the original’s warm aura, particularly getting right the spacious echo behind Philly Joe’s brush work on “Bye Bye Blackbird.” The reissue is actually cleaner and more extended than the original and represents more of a clarification of it rather than a revision. Coltrane’s sax doesn’t quite have the body found on the original but you can’t have everything. And you can bet the reissue is quieter than most originals you might find. A nicely done AAA reissue.

SOURCE: Reprinted By Permission

Pick up Michael's DVD's Here:

This Date In Music History-May 28


Gladys Knight (1944)

John Fogerty - Creedence Clearwater Revival (1945)

Larry Gatlin (1948)

Natalie Imbruglia (1968)

Australian singer Kylie Minogue (1968)

Roland Gift - Fine Young Cannibals (1962)

Billy Vera (1944)

Rockabilly star Sonny Burgess (1929)

They Are Missed:

In 1910, T-Bone Walker was born in Linden, Texas (died March 15, 1975). T-Bone was one of the first to plug in his guitar and turn the blues electric. Influenced Albert Collins, BB King, Buddy Guy, Freddy King among others.

Born in 1917- Papa John Creech – violinist with Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna. Died in 1994 (age 76).

Derek Frigo guitarist from 80’s glam band Enuff Z' Nuff, died of a drug overdose in 2004 (age 36).

Born on this day in 1949, Wendy O. Williams – singer with The Plasmatics, died from self-inflicted gunshot wounds on April 6th 1998.

Vaughn Deleath, a jazz crooner generally acknowledged as the first woman to sing on the radio, died in 1943.

Desert Island Discs radio presenter Roy Plomley died in 1985. He devised the BBC Radio series Desert Island Discs in 1941, and went on to present 1,791 editions of the show, which became one of the longest running radio shows in the UK.


In 1958, Buddy Holly's draft notice arrived - but he was refused induction because of his 20/800 eyesight and a stomach ulcer.

Cathy’s Clown (Everly Brothers) began a five week run at #1 in 1960.

Marianne Faithful recorded her hit debut "As Tears Go By" in 1964. The song was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards (Rolling Stones) but the real story was who’s on the record. Jimmy Page played guitar and John Paul Jones was on bass. That would be one-half of the future Led Zeppelin.

The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) was established in 1957. The NARAS is known for organizing the Grammy Awards.

Whitney Houston released her epic album "Whitney" in 1987.

In 1976, the Allman Brothers Band broke up in disgust for the first time after Gregg Allman testified against a road manager accused of drug trafficking.

The Police launched a North American reunion tour in 2007 to celebrate their 30th anniversary. The trek began in Vancouver, B.C.

Bruce Springsteen and former manager Mike Appel settled their differences in 1977. Their legal wrangling kept Springsteen out of the studio for nearly a year. "Darkness On The Edge Of Town” was Springsteen’s next effort.

Heart uncorked one of their best songs and one of the all-time great rockers, “Barracuda” in 1977.

Produced by Phil Spector (as his crowing achievement), Ike & Tina Turner’s epic “River Deep Mountain High” was released in 1966. The song stiffed in the U.S. (though it entered the Top 5 in England) causing Spector to briefly retire from the music business.

Herb Alpert And The Tijuana Brass went to #1 on the US album chart in 1966 with “What Now My Love,” setting a new record with four albums in the US Top Ten. The other three were: “South of the Border,” “Going Places” and “Whipped Cream and Other Delights.”

Hootie & the Blowfish started a four-week run at #1 on the US album charts in 1995 with “Cracked Rear View.” The album went on to sell over 15 million copies.

In 1955, Billboard reports that, based on the success of its various versions, "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" is the most popular song in the U.S. According to the magazine, if sales of all the versions were added up - including interpretations by Fess Parker, Bill Hayes, Tennessee Ernie Ford, and the Voices of Walter Schumann - they would top 18 million copies.

Music News & Notes

Incubus Greatest Hits Collection Release - 'Monuments And Melodies'

Incubus' "Monuments and Melodies" started out as "a contractual obligation," according to guitarist Michael Einziger, who tells that he and his bandmates "weren't really excited at first" about putting together a best-of collection. But they eventually changed their tune.

"It was almost like we were trying to come up with an excuse to go on tour for the summer," Einziger explains, "and we started really thinking about the idea of putting out a greatest hits album and having that as the excuse to accompany the tour we were planning. And then as we started planning it, it became really obvious that greatest hits records are really important to the legacy of any band. I was introduced to most of the groups I grew up listening to -- artists like Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley and the Doors -- through their greatest hits records.

Monuments and Melodies" includes one disc of hits from Incubus' six studio albums as well as two new songs, "Black Heart Inertia" and "Midnight Swim," recorded in Los Angeles during Einziger's last winter break from Harvard University, where he's been "just taking courses for personal enjoyment." The second disc features rarities, including a newly recorded cover of Prince's "Let's Go Crazy." The set is also available on four vinyl LPs, and copies of the album come with a unique code that will allow buyers to access a new section of exclusive music, photos and other material at a special section called The Vault on the web site.


Turbo Fruits celebrate vinyl release

The former members of Be Your Own Pet haven’t done much laying low since the Nashville punk success story called it quits last year.

Singer Jemina Pearl and drummer John Eatherly, now based in New York, have been finishing a new record up north; founding drummer Jamin Orrall and brother Jake continue to record and tour as Jeff the Brotherhood; and guitarist Jonas Stein’s side project-turned-main project Turbo Fruits has a new vinyl offering, courtesy of respected blues/blues-rock label Fat Possum.

The Turbo Fruits celebrate the release of that new Fat Possum 7-inch vinyl release (“Mama’s Mad Cos I Fried My Brain” backed with “Lotta Lotta Ladies,” which take Be Your Own Pet’s punk grit and add some bluesy swerve and an appealing ’50s-pop sensibility)


Destroyer Takes on "Bay of Pigs" on New Release

Dan Bejar's songwriting outfit drops its Bay of Pigs release Aug. 18 from Merge Records. The two-song cut's been tipped as an EP by the label, mostly because of its long running time: Both tunes clock in at more than 20 minutes of music, combined. The EP/single is only being released on vinyl, so sorry modern music fans.

Bay of Pigs' track listing is:

Bay of Pigs


Rapper Jay-Z close to a deal with Sony

Rapper Jay-Z is close to signing a deal that will bring his future recordings to Sony, sources told Billboard.

The deal, which will link Jay-Z's Roc Nation releases with Sony's Epic Records for distribution, "is 95% complete," according to people familiar with the negotiations. A formal announcement is expected in the coming weeks.

Just last week, Jay-Z confirmed his departure from longtime label home Def Jam, where he was once president and CEO. His split from the Universal Music Group-owned label reportedly cost him $5 million, but left him in control of his future master recordings. Jay-Z's eleven solo records (including the live "Unplugged" album) and collaborations with Linkin Park and R. Kelly have sold more than 29 million units according to Nielsen SoundScan.


Rodgers To Write New Material

Now that his stint with Queen has ended, Paul Rodgers is just waiting for the end of his current Bad Company gig to spend the rest of the year relaxing and writing new material for a solo project.

"Frankly, I have a fantastic happy home and I overlook the lake. And I actually want to spend some more time creating the music. Y'know, one of my dreams was always to have a piano -- a room with a piano overlooking the ocean or a lake. Well, I have that and I'd like to spend some time on it if I may, please. So that's what I plan to do this year."


Beyonce Helping Her Fans

Good news in the concert arean as BeyoncĂ© is said to be offering fans a bargain-basement price on some tickets to her summer tour: $20. One thousand 20-buck tickets will go on sale tomorrow, May 29th, to all North American shows on her “I Am … Tour” except for her Vegas gig at the Encore. Well done!