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Everything posted by JohnnyB

  1. About a month ago I had a couple of strokes, ironically, while I was driving to the hospital to get a defibrillator implanted in my chest. I'm trying to work my way out of the stroke damage with some therapy exercises while listening to music which should help exercise my brain and re-establish my neuropaths. So Monday I put on a couple of albums to provide a soundtrack to some eye/hand coordination exercises. The first was the 2014 mono remix/remaster of Revolver by the Beatles. I think Revolver introduced the masses to psychdelic elements in pop music. Here's the full album.
  2. I used to be a stereo guy all the way, but reading Geoff Emerick's book Here, There, and Everywhere, changed all that for me when he mentioned that he and the rest of the crew spent 5 hours on the stereo mix of Sgt. Pepper's and 5 days mixing the mono version. It also hit home when I read that EMI designed and made their own tape machines, which is why a)they sounded so good, and b)they were slow to upgrade them to multi-channel machines, essential for getting an honest, good-sounding stereo mix.
  3. I gave a spin of the Beatles' first album, "Please Please Me" recorded at Abbey Road and pressed by EMI/Parlophone in 1963. In the USA at the time, this isn't how we heard their albums. Capitol (a division of EMI) had the distribution rights in the USA and they created their own versions with a shortened assortment of tracks culled from the British albums and singles. Then they transferred them into fake stereo, panning the instruments to one channel and the vocals to the other. The mono pressings are so much richer and immediate-sounding. You really "hear The Beatles as never before." I
  4. When I first got back into vinyl in 2007, a co-worker of my wife gave me a storage box full of LPs that had been sitting and (apparently) catching dusk. There were a lot of albums I was aware of, and apparently we had some similar tastes because he had some obscure jazz albums that I had. One that piqued my interest was 1964's "Jazz Impressions of A Boy Named Charlie Brown." by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. I always liked Guaraldi, even before he did the soundtracks for the Peanuts primetime specials, such as the Top 40 hit, "Cast Your Fate to the Wind." That may have been my introduction to jazz a
  5. I have a clutch of 33-1/3 RPM LPs that are in mono, including the 2014 EMI/Parlophone reissue/remaster of the real Beatles LPs in mono, plus a nice smattering of 1950s-'60s vintage LPs rescued from thrift shops. I also have a pretty nice monophonic phono cartridge, which really focuses the essence of the music and drops the noise floor to near zero. Last night I swapped out my stereo cartridge for the mono one and dialed in the proper tracking force, rake angle, and anti-skate settings to bring out the best in it. Then I started spinning some of those luscious-sounding mono LPs, starting with
  6. Yesterday on Facebook somebody posted a link to a video about drummer Steve Gadd and how his chops and creativity influenced certain aspects of pop music. I started thinking about some jazz albums I had that included Steve Gadd before Steeley Dan pressed him into service for '"Aja." There he was on the mid-'70s George Benson CTI album, "Bad Benson" The opening cut of Paul Desmond's "Take Five" was a good showcase for both Benson and Gadd, so here it is: Benson was playing a Guild Starfire semihollow thinline for this. It was before his Ibanez days. After that I got a hanker
  7. Pat Metheny & Jaco Pastorius +Bob Moses, drums Bright Size Life There are several renditions on YouTube, but none of the original studio session album pictured here. It's a classic in the Smithsonian. You can get it on digital download, CD, or original LP. Sorry I don't have it here--hghly recommended conversation in improvised instrumental music.
  8. This is an iconic 3-LP set where the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band hosted a passel of Blugrass & Country legends. On this cut we have Black Mountain Rag led by Doc Watson flat-pickin' his guitar, Vassar Clements on fiddle, and Earl Scruggs on 5-string banjo.
  9. Wow! I just checked my LP collection and I have that Joe Pass album! I never got around to playing it. Right now I'm listening to the Getz/Gilberto "Girl From Ipanema" album, but Joe Pass is next! Also, I think The Beatles "Magical Mystery Tour" is better than many of us realize. It's captivating from start to finish and wi'll be up in the rotation soon.
  10. Well, thanks to you pointing that out, I dug out Emmylou Harris's Roses in the Snow. Gonna spin that later today. And you're right about the backup crew; it's stunning: Ricky Skaggs, Tony Rice, The Whites on backup vocals (nothing compares to relatives for unified harmony), Albert Lee, Brian Ahern, Jerry Douglas on Dobro (the best I have ever heard), John Ware, Willie Nelson on gut-string guitar, Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, and Johnny Cash on various vocal harmonies. Here is one of my favorite cuts from this album, with vocal harmonies by The Whites:
  11. If you wanted to fill the bars in SoCal in the '70s, the quickest path was covering Eagles/Ronstadt/Jackson Browne. It's the world we lived in and the path we chose 43 years ago. I had fun. I"ll never repent.
  12. I figured I was missing something, but I had to ask. I was in an Eagles/Jackson Brown/Ronstadt cover band in SoCal in the mid-'70s.
  13. Are you mixing up Emmylou and Linda Ronstadt? Henley, Frey, Meisner, and Leadon (who formed The Eagles) were in Ronstadt's backup band for her first tour. Read the Wiki entry for Emmylou and you won't find any mention of any of the Eagles.
  14. My turntable is a Technics direct drive turntable. I've gotten a few of KABUSA's accessories including the earlier version of the record clamp and a screw-on machined aluminum damper trough that settles tonearm excursions and resonances. He makes thoughtfully designed add-ons for a good price.
  15. In the summer of 1965 (after I'd had two years of drum lessons at elementary school and have gotten an entry-level drum set for Christmas, my youngest sister (18 years older than me) sent me a Gene Krupa album as a present for finishing elementary school and getting ready to start junior high in the fall. It opened with a number called "Drummin' Man, with a lead vocal by featured vocalist Anita O'Day, followed by a hot trumpet solo by featured trumpeter Roy Eldridge, aka "Little Jazz." As an 11-year-old with only two years of drum lessons, I was dumfounded by Krupa's control, especially h
  16. I was pretty sure that The Cowsills were the inspiration for The Partridge Family TV show, but I didn't know about this little detail: The studio suits wasted no time making a show based on the Cowsills. "Hair" charted in 1969 and the TV show premiered in 1970.
  17. The Jean-Luc Ponty YouTube inspired me to retrieve a live cut in San Francisco by the "grandfather of jazz violin," Stephane Grappelli. He was around 77 when he played this, as he was also on my "Live in San Francisco" album:
  18. I remember California Jam well. I didn't go to it, but I was living in the LA area and knew about it. Best of all, local TV filmed it all and broadcast the musical acts. I saw all those great acts. I had just read about Carl Palmer in a Buddy Rich interview and I was able to see how he played (very impressive!) I saw Keith Emerson do that levitating grand piano with the in-air somersaults, knowing I had seen Steve Allen do the same thing 15 years earlier on "I've Got a Secret." I saw The Eagles, with Don Henley pounding out a really good beat while they all harmonized the melody and chorus of
  19. I first acquired this recording as a CD around 1996 when I was auditioning some speakers. It's Canadian vocalist extraordinaire putting her take on a large clutch of Tom Waits songs. It's a particularly fortuitous combination. A week ago I was in the house solo, cleaning up the kitchen. I thought I'd play this. I was delighted to rediscover that I had a state-of-the-art remaster/repress dual LP album pressed on 200g (.44 lb) vinyl. Her performances, the engineering, and the remastering are breathtaking, especially through my Magnepan panel speakers. ... and Tom Waits
  20. Either way, Phat Cats mounted in a hand-carved spruce archtop are a synergistic combination (IMO).
  21. IMO, custom-ordering Phat Cats in lieu of Seths was a good move.
  22. A couple of tracks from a CD, Ray Sings, Basie Swings, that I've been playing when I'm driving. According to the Wikipedia entry for this recording: Quincy Jones did the arranging and conducting. Probably no one knew Basie's tempos and orchestrations like Quincy. He had joined Basie's band in mid-tour when he was 15! Drummer Butch Miles was Basie's drummer for several years, and also makes this album worth a listen.
  23. In the aftermath of a crippling snowstorm this past February, I bought a used Jeep Grand Cherokee. Later I noticed that it had a CD slot in the radio panel, so I gathered up a couple handfuls of big band CDs from the house and started playing them when I'm running errands in the Jeep. Today I was having a lot of fun with Buddy Rich's "Big Swing Face," a live album of new charts generated for his newly formed band in 1966, a scant 53 years ago (but then, so is Revolver). One of my favorite cuts (and it's legendary among BR fans) is this rendition of Cole Porter's "Love for Sale." Pay
  24. I don't have the mono pressing of RAM, but I have the September 2014 mono reissues of the Beatles EMI/Parlophone albums. They are quite a revelation and have spoiled me compared to the stereo Capitol pressings we're all used to. The Mono remasters are richer, fuller, and have a powerful "in-the-room" presence. The cartridge stylus doesn't have to work as hard to extract the music as a stereo cartridge would.
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