Vinyl Spotlight: Horace Silver, Song for My Father (Blue Note 4185)

March 21, 2017 /

Song for My Father is not only an essential part of the classic jazz canon, it is also a very accessible album. The minimalist structure of “Calcutta Cutie” and “Que Pasa” should cause just about anyone’s ears to perk up and listen, and my ears did just that the first time I heard this album many years ago. It makes sense that this… More→

Vinyl Spotlight: Andrew Hill, Black Fire (Blue Note 4151)

March 14, 2017 /

First and foremost, I think this is one of the greatest album covers of all time. I love the juxtaposition of the bold strips of various hues of red with the cartoony black-and-white illustration of fire beneath. Reid Miles’ cover design speaks volumes and yet again complements the music incredibly well. More→

Spotify Playlists: Rudy Van Gelder Studios

March 3, 2017 /

Rudy Van Gelder is one of the most recognized audio engineers to have ever lived. He has recorded hundreds of the most celebrated jazz albums the world has ever heard. His recordings are so characteristic, “the Van Gelder sound” has become a catchphrase known to jazz fans the world over. … More→

Vinyl Spotlight: Herbie Hancock, Empyrean Isles (Blue Note 4175)

February 28, 2017 /

This is one of my favorite Herbie Hancock albums. It has a soft, gentle vibe that I return to time and time again when I want to listen to something quiet. The quartet with trumpet seems like the perfect minimal arrangement for this album, and even though I’m not the biggest Freddie Hubbard fan, I find that he fits in with the rest of the group… More→

Spotify Playlists: Moods

February 24, 2017 /

On numerous occasions, listening to a general jazz playlist covers too broad a range of emotions. In these instances I want a playlist that captures the mood perfectly. Over the years I have made several playlists of this sort for my own personal use and now I’m sharing them with … More→

New Lee Morgan Documentary to Screen in NYC This March

February 22, 2017 /

Lee Morgan was a profound talent that the world was sad to lose when he was tragically shot and killed at the age of 33 by his common-law wife, Helen Morgan. In the new documentary “I Called Him Morgan”, Swedish filmmaker Kasper Collin elects to tell the tale of the … More→

Vinyl Spotlight: Cliff Jordan (Blue Note 1565)

February 21, 2017 /

Truth be told, these United Artists mono pressings from the early to mid ’70s are hit and miss, having heard more than one that suffered from significant non-fill problems. But this particular copy made it through that inconsistent manufacturing process unscathed. United Artists pressings also seem to have a gentler top end than a lot of… More→

Mono Vinyl Playback on a Modern Stereo Audio System

February 17, 2017 /

Since its introduction in the 1950s, the stereo audio format has become an inseparable part of listening to recorded music. This two-channel standard has been implemented on such a universal scale, the terms “stereo” and “audio system” are virtually interchangeable today in everyday language. The original theory of sound recording … More→

Vinyl Spotlight: The Cats (New Jazz 8217)

February 14, 2017 /

When I lived in Albany, New York, the East Greenbush library had a killer selection of classic jazz CDs, and the 1989 Original Jazz Classics reissue of this album was one of them. Flipping through the racks, this album piqued my interest… More→