August 21, 2010

Playlist Week of 8-21-10

* J.S. Bach: Motets (Collegium Vocale Gent/Herreweghe) (Harmonia Mundi CD)
* J.S. Bach: Solo & Double Violin Concertos (AAM/Manze/Podger) (Harmonia Mundi SACD)
* J.S. Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Vol.1 (Egarr) (Harmonia Mundi 2CD)†
* J.S. Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Vol.2 (Egarr) (Harmonia Mundi 2CD)†
* Handel: Solo Sonatas, Op.1 (AAM/Egarr) (Harmonia Mundi 2CD)†
* Handel: Trio Sonatas, Op.2 & 5 (AAM/Egarr) (Harmonia Mundi 2CD)†
* Geminiani: Cello Sonatas (ter Linden/Mortensen) (Brilliant Classics CD)†
* Les Basses Reunies: Prokys Hall, Cesky Krumlov, Czechoslovakia 7-12-07 (FM CDR
* Christine Plubeau/Arnaud Pumir: Église Saint Nikolas, La Hulpe, Belgium 3-20-09 (FM CDR)
* Schoenberg: Die Jakobsleiter, etc. (Chor/Orch. Berlin/Nagano) (Harmonia Mundi SACD)
* Revueltas: Night of the Mayas, etc. (var.) (Catalyst CD)
* Miles Davis: Cookin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet (Prestige/DCC CD)
* Miles Davis: Relaxin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet (Prestige/DCC CD)
* John Coltrane: Side Steps (d.2-5) (Prestige 5CD)
* John Coltrane: Ballads (Impulse! CD)
* John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman (Impulse! CD)
* Andrew Hill: The Complete Blue Note Sessions 1963-66 (d.5-6) (Blue Note/Mosaic 10LP)
* Sun Ra: Discipline 27-II (Saturn LP>CDR)
* Sun Ra: The Mystery Board [unknown venue 11-1972] (SBD/boot 2CDR)
* Sun Ra: unknown location, circa. 1972 (AUD CDR)
* Anthony Braxton 12+1tet: 9 Compositions (Iridium) 2006 (d.7) (Firehouse 12 9CD+DVD)
* Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble: The Moment’s Energy (ECM CD)
* Matthew Shipp: Nu Bop (Thirsty Ear CD)
* Matthew Shipp: Equilibrium (Thirsty Ear CD)
* Spring Heel Jack: Songs and Themes (Thirsty Ear CD)
* Weather Report: Heavy Weather (Columbia/Legacy SACD)
* Pat Metheny Group: Still Life (Talking) (Geffen CD)†
* Pat Metheny Group: Letter From Home (Geffen CD)†
* Sonny Sharrock: Ask the Ages (Axiom/Island CD)
* Last Exit: Iron Path (Venture/WEA CD)
* Material: Hallucination Engine (Axiom/Island CD)
* LTJ Bukem: Journey Inwards (Kinetic 2CD)†
* Grateful Dead: Carousel Ballroom, San Francisco, CA 3-30-68 (SBD CDR)
* Grateful Dead: Dick’s Picks, Vol.1 (Lakeland, FL 12-19-73) (GD 2CD)‡
* Grateful Dead: View from the Vault IV (Oakland/Anaheim 7-87) (selections) (GD 4CD)‡
* Chicago: VIII (Columbia LP)
* Chicago: X (Columbia LP)
* Big Star: Third (a/k/a Sister Lovers) (Ardent/4 Men With Beards LP)
* Rickie Lee Jones: Rickie Lee Jones (Warner Bros./Rhino LP)
* Soft Machine: The Soft Machine (ABC/Sundazed LP)
* Soft Machine: Volume Two (ABC/Sundazed LP)
* Yes: Relayer (Atlantic/Friday Music LP)
* Peter Gabriel: [3] (a/k/a "Melt") (Mercury LP)
* Genesis: Three Sides Live (Atlantic 2LP)
* Jim O’Rourke: Eureka (Drag City LP)
* Jim O’Rourke: Half Way to a Three Way (Drag City EP)
* Jim O’Rourke: Insignificance (Drag City LP)
* Jim O’Rourke: The Visitor (Drag City LP)
* Animal Collective: Strawberry Jam (Domino (CD)



I finally replaced the stylus on my Sumiko Oyster cartridge and, let me tell you, this is the cheapest, most effective tweak imaginable! Twenty-five bucks and my turntable sounds thousand percent better. Plus I oiled the bearing and carefully re-leveled the plinth and re-calibrated the tracking force. What a massive improvement! At the moment, I have no complaints at all with LP playback. Of course, as I mentioned last week, the new amp is quite revealing, so garbage in, garbage out, as they say. But when it’s good, it’s very, very good.


Speaking of good sound, you may not know that Chicago X (1975) was mastered by a young Doug Sax and the nearly ubiquitous standard pressing (which I picked up recently for like four bucks) easily sounds as good as any modern thirty-dollar “audiophile” LP I’ve ever heard (after a thorough cleaning, anyway). Of course, this is far from Chicago’s best effort and the hit single, “If You Leave Me Now,” signaled an irreversible turn towards syrupy, maudlin balladry which was a far cry from the jazz/rock/r&b hybrid of their earlier records. Even so, there is no denying that this song is an excellent example of pure pop craftsmanship: Terry Kath’s nimble acoustic guitar combines with the strings and horns (led by James Pankow’s mellow trombone) to provide a rich backdrop for bassist Peter Cetera’s earnest crooning. It really does sound great and it’s no wonder the song was a massive hit. I don’t have Chicago XI, their last album before Kath’s death, but I’ve been looking for a clean copy. I know they’re out there…


Sam said...

I don't know nothin' about "Chicago X"--I stopped after "VII"--but I see you've got some Soft Machine vinyl! How's the sound on that? My old ABC Probe LPs are pretty rough.

Here's my list from last week:

Playlist 2010-08-23

*Anthony Braxton 12tet+2: 2010-06-18 NYC 65th Birthday Celebration (CDR)
*Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: 2010-07-30 Nashville
*Duke Ellington: The Duke Ellington Carnegie Hall Concerts, January, 1943
*Nicole Mitchell String Trio: 2010-06-18 NYC 65th Birthday Celebration (CDR)
*Sun Ra: Continuation (side 2)
*Sun Ra: 1972-11-02/03: "Mystery Board" (CDR)
*Cecil Taylor: Algonquin
*Henry Threadgill & Zooid: 2010-05-14 Rome (CDR) disc 1
*Beastie Boys: Paul's Boutique
*Beatles: With the Beatles (2009 mono remaster)
*Beatles: Mono Masters 2 (2009 mono remaster)
*Bollywood compilation, from soundtracks at "Music From the Third Floor" disc 16
*Circulatory System: Circulatory System
*Elvis Costello: This Year's Model
*Dark Carpet: CDR compilation (2010)
*Deerhoof: Offend Maggie
*Grateful Dead: 1972-10-26 Cincinnati (CDR)
*Grateful Dead: 1972-10-28 Cleveland (CDR)
*Kinks: Something Else by the Kinks
*Kinks: Muswell Hillbillies
*Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks: Real Emotional Trash
*Residents: Meet the Residents
*Rolling Stones: Get Your Ya-Ya's Out!
*Rolling Stones: Very Ancient, Thank You Kindly (American tour 1972 bootleg)
*Squeeze: Frank
*Gary Wilson: You Think You Really Know Me
*Various artists: The King R&B Box Set, disc 4
*Various artists: Tropicalia
*XTC: Black Sea

Reading log 2010-08-23

*Thompson, Jim: The Killer Inside Me (started)
*Vowell, Sarah: Radio On (started)
*Grossman, Lev. The Magicians (started/finished)
*Nabokov, Vladimir. Poems and Problems (reread; finished)
*Cambridge Companion to English Novelists, ed. Adrian Poole (selected essays)
*Larson, Gary. The Complete Far Side (in progress)
*Tanner, Tony. Prefaces to Shakespeare (in progress)
*Theobald, Lewis. Double Falsehood (Arden Shakespeare ed.) (in progress)

Rodger Coleman said...

The new Sundazed reissues of the first two Soft Machine LPs are great! They're not great sounding to begin with, but they did a nice job, supposedly from the original analog masters. I'm really enjoying the records, especially the first one, which is much more psychedelic than the others. I can hear how Wyatt influenced your drumming!