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Thread: Gary's Eclectic Taste in Music

  1. #11
    WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)/Member Sponsor [Technical Expert] garylkoh's Avatar
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    Ta Dum Tah Dah

    When I was a kid, I loved the Pink Panther cartoons - and often imitated his strange gait and hummed the signature theme under my breath. Hence, the theme song by Henry Mancini was a tune that has stuck in my head for as long as I can remember.

    When Record Store Day 2014 rolled around on April 16th it was also Henry Mancini's 90th birthday, and also the 50th Anniversary of the Pink Panther OST. I had to get a copy and queued up for it. Pressed on pink vinyl, it sounds fabulous - quiet backgrounds and very dynamic. Whomever did the mastering did a great job.

    You can get clean, original 1st press Shaded Dogs for less than $10 - but hey, I needed the one on pink vinyl. I am so glad I did because the pink vinyl sounded far better than the original pressings. It is a rare re-issue for me.

    After RSD, because the one I queued up for sounded so good, I tried to get a back-up copy just in case someone walks away with my copy (#134) at a show. Unfortunately, the un-numbered versions sounded far worse than the numbered version. I got a copy in the 2,000's and that was also pretty ordinary. So, I am still on the look-out for low-numbered copies.

    Hopefully, this doesn't get too many people competing with me for them.

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    The trick is to find the ones with the gold number on the back, and the Record Store Day sticker. The ones with the 50th Anniversary Edition without "Record Store Day" are the ordinary run-of-the-mill pressings (but they are still on pink vinyl).
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  2. #12
    WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)/Member Sponsor [Technical Expert] garylkoh's Avatar
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    Creative Juices: Black Light Syndrome

    It's not progressive rock (I don't think) but if you are a fan of progressive rock - Roger Waters, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Frank Zappa, this album to me is a must-have. I find extremely difficult to classify and extremely enjoyable. It's a double LP and I will play all 4 sides - not always in the same order - almost everytime I draw it out. Is it Prog? Metal? Jazz? Trance? Rock?

    The album was started as a business project by drummer Terry Bozzio to help him make some money over winter. Bozzio was already a Superstar. He toured with Frank Zappa and recorded on many of his most famous albums; played for the band UK; made a video with Jeff Beck and Mick Jagger; and founded the band Missing Persons. Yet, as a drum instructor, his typical seminars running through spring and fall, and he often ran out of money in Winter.

    His wife suggested collaborating with guitarist Steve Stevens (Billy Idol/Michael Jackson/Atomic Playboys), and they first met at a solo drum performance Bozzio did for the Drum Workshop at the House of Blues. They now needed a bassist, and while making a dream list, they put Tony Levin at the top of the list. They didn't think that Levin would join them being busy touring with King Crimson and Peter Gabriel - but he was not only very interested, he squeezed 4 days out of his busy schedule to work together.

    So, this album was the result of 4 days in a studio with 3 guys who had never played together before - created by the "grace of the archetypes of our collective unconscious. The tracks came by either mapping out a few signposts or with very little discussion, and then allowing the muses to take control, and the tracks were recorded 'live'. No track took more than one or two takes." - so says the album notes.

    When you listen to this album, just close your eyes and let the music take you away. Bozzio Levin Stevens: Black Light Syndrome

    Get the gorgeous the vinyl in red with black splay. Or get the vinyl in blue with black splay. Or get both.

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    __________________________
    Gary L Koh, CEO and Chief Designer,
    Genesis Advanced Technologies

  3. #13
    WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)/Member Sponsor [Technical Expert] garylkoh's Avatar
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    Jazz by a R&B Legend: The Bright Mississippi

    Allen Toussaint was born in New Orleans, the Birthplace of Jazz, but is better known as a rhythm & blues, rock and soul musician. He wrote a roll of hits and many of his songs got covered by others - Robert Plant, The Rolling Stones, Aaron Neville and Boz Scaggs among others. In the 1970s Glen Campbell took one of his songs to the Number One position on the Pop, Country AND Adult Contemporary charts. In 1998, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2011.

    However, this album is a Jazz album - with jazz standards from Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Django Reinhart, Billy Strayhorn and Jelly Roll Morton. Allen was accompanied by jazz stars such as clarinetist Don Byron, pianist Brad Mehldau, and saxophonist Joshua Redman.

    The Bright Mississippi had its genesis during a studio session with music producer Joe Henry - Toussaint was amusing himself between takes by blowing freely through a song by Fats Waller. Henry said, "I was stunned. It was a revelation to hear this music interpreted through Allen's very unique point of view. The song, inherently rhythmic as a composition, was transfigured by a left hand schooled in New Orleans, and by the melodic sensibility of a most particular kind of songwriter."

    Recorded in the famous Power Station (now Avatar) Studios, it has a wonderful live, fresh sound. As noted by Toussaint, "This isn’t the kind of assembly line music where somebody put the wheels on here and somebody put the top on there. Everything got done at the same time, so everybody fed on each other, their personality and tonality."

    A truly wonderful album - I thought that the CD was great, but I am glad that I took the time to hunt down the vinyl. It is one of those rare albums that distribute the music across four sides at 33 1/3 rpm instead of cramming everything into two. As a result, the pressing and production does justice to the fabulous music and musicianship. However, there is one little mistake - on the vinyl, the labels for side C and side D are on the wrong side!!

    Get it on CD. The vinyl is as elusive as the yeti. I have been trying to find a spare copy at a reasonable price - unfortunately the scalpers on Amazon and eBay want as much as $1,300 for a new copy, and $800 for a used one. They used to be easily available for less than $50. I'm not sure what happened over the past couple of years.

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    __________________________
    Gary L Koh, CEO and Chief Designer,
    Genesis Advanced Technologies

  4. #14
    WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)/Member Sponsor [Technical Expert] garylkoh's Avatar
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    How Long Has This Been Going On?

    .... is an album that Sarah Vaughan recorded late in life - when she was 54 years old. By then, her voice had matured into a throaty richness. She was discovered 36 years earlier - winning an amateur contest singing at the Apollo Theater in NYC when she was 18. Her prize was $10 and a week's engagement at the theater. That engagement resulted in her opening for Ella Fitzgerald, being discovered by Earl Hines.

    Over 30 years later, she fell out of favor and lost her manager in the early '70s. After a 3 year hiatus, Vaughan signed with Norman Granz and Pablo Records in 1977 - which resulted in another one of my ATF vocal jazz records. At this time, Granz managed many of the great jazz artists. The line-up on this album was stellar - besides Vaughan, we had Oscar Peterson on piano, Ray Brown on bass, Joe Pass on guitar, and Louie Bellson on drums.

    What I love about this album is that it is not an album with Sarah Vaughan plus accompanying instrumentalists. It is a jazz performance where each and every musician contributed equally and played off one another. On this album, Vaughan's voice is played as an instrument - much more so than Ella Fitzgerald's on another of my favorite vocal jazz albums. Listen to side 2 track 2 - My Old Flame - just Sarah and Joe Pass on guitar and it's almost operatic and hypnotic.

    On CD, the JVC XRCD is quite amazingly good and one of my recommendations for excellent digital. The original 1978 LP release on Pablo is also still quite easily found. As far as I know, the LP has not been re-issued.

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  5. #15
    WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)/Member Sponsor [Technical Expert] garylkoh's Avatar
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    Send in the Stars

    In the last album I posted, Sarah Vaughan was one member of a jazz quintet. While she got top billing, it was a band performance - with each artist getting equal emphasis.

    On this album though - Sarah Vaughan is the star. And with no less than the Count Basie Orchestra plus her usual trio of George Gaffney on piano, Andy Simpkins on bass and Harold Jones on drums and augmented by the fabulous Freddie Green on guitar, 'Send in the Clowns' is just the wrong title. No clowns in this lineup!!

    It should have in 'Send in the Stars' - with Sarah Vaughan as the Sun.

    Recorded in 1981, just 3 years after HLHTBGO, Sarah is in exceptional voice, and on this album her rhythm is flawless - keeping up with the inventiveness of the Count Basie Orchestra is never easy. As the foundation to her singing, the Count Basie Orchestra is rock solid. What does come across on this album is that Vaughan as an interpreter of songs is playful and soulful, girlish and humorous, and inventive and unpredictable. It goes to prove that the nicknames given to her are both entirely appropriate - she is 'The Divine One' as well as 'Sassy'.

    The big band provides the perfect fabric of sound and swing for the magnificent voice of Sarah Vaughan. Engineered by Dennis Sands, the sound is also magnificent - not an easy feat considering that besides Sassy and her four-man rhythm section, there were 5 trumpets, 4 trombones and 5 saxophones!

    An album I treasure, and play over and over again. Come to think of it, I'd better grab another copy before you buy them all!! Like HLHTBGO, there is an extremely rare Japanese JVC XRCD2 re-issue and this is the digital version to get.

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    Gary L Koh, CEO and Chief Designer,
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  6. #16
    WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)/Member Sponsor [Technical Expert] garylkoh's Avatar
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    Music for Political Fundraising

    The 'little orchestra' Pink Martini was originally founded to - of all things!! - provide beautiful music for political fundraisers for causes such as civil rights, affordable housing, the environment, libraries, public broadcasting, education and parks. Their first song, Sympathique was nominated for “Song of the Year” at France’s Victoires de la Musique Awards, and to this day remains a mantra (“Je ne veux pas travailler” or “I don’t want to work”) for striking French workers.

    Usually featuring 10 to 12 musicians and led by bandleader Thomas Lauderdale and singer China Forbes, Pink Martini performs multi-lingual and multi-cultural music worldwide. They spend much of their time around the world, and are better known in Europe than they are in their native USA (they home just South of the Genesis factory - in Portland, Oregon).

    Their first album (pictured here) was released independently in 1997 without a major music label behind them. It quickly gained international traction (including in Singapore where I first discovered them). The album had an international flavor and frankly, when I heard it I had no idea that they were an American band. It garnered nominations for “Song of the Year” and “Best New Artist” in France’s Victoires de la Musique Awards. They followed-up with three other albums - Hang on Little Tomato, Hey Eugene, and Splendor in the Grass.

    In 2010, they released Joy to the World! - a festive, multi-denominational holiday album featuring songs from around the globe which was carried in Starbucks stores throughout the US during the 2010 and 2011 holiday seasons. This brought them wider notice, but I still don't hear them played often at shows. IMHO, all their albums are exceptionally well-crafted.

    Support an independent musician, please buy the vinyl directly from the band at http://store.pinkmartini.com/collections/vinyl

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    Genesis Advanced Technologies

  7. #17
    Addicted to Best! audioarcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garylkoh View Post
    Allen Toussaint was born in New Orleans, the Birthplace of Jazz, but is better known as a rhythm & blues, rock and soul musician. He wrote a roll of hits and many of his songs got covered by others - Robert Plant, The Rolling Stones, Aaron Neville and Boz Scaggs among others. In the 1970s Glen Campbell took one of his songs to the Number One position on the Pop, Country AND Adult Contemporary charts. In 1998, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2011.

    However, this album is a Jazz album - with jazz standards from Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Django Reinhart, Billy Strayhorn and Jelly Roll Morton. Allen was accompanied by jazz stars such as clarinetist Don Byron, pianist Brad Mehldau, and saxophonist Joshua Redman.

    The Bright Mississippi had its genesis during a studio session with music producer Joe Henry - Toussaint was amusing himself between takes by blowing freely through a song by Fats Waller. Henry said, "I was stunned. It was a revelation to hear this music interpreted through Allen's very unique point of view. The song, inherently rhythmic as a composition, was transfigured by a left hand schooled in New Orleans, and by the melodic sensibility of a most particular kind of songwriter."

    Recorded in the famous Power Station (now Avatar) Studios, it has a wonderful live, fresh sound. As noted by Toussaint, "This isn’t the kind of assembly line music where somebody put the wheels on here and somebody put the top on there. Everything got done at the same time, so everybody fed on each other, their personality and tonality."

    A truly wonderful album - I thought that the CD was great, but I am glad that I took the time to hunt down the vinyl. It is one of those rare albums that distribute the music across four sides at 33 1/3 rpm instead of cramming everything into two. As a result, the pressing and production does justice to the fabulous music and musicianship. However, there is one little mistake - on the vinyl, the labels for side C and side D are on the wrong side!!

    Get it on CD. The vinyl is as elusive as the yeti. I have been trying to find a spare copy at a reasonable price - unfortunately the scalpers on Amazon and eBay want as much as $1,300 for a new copy, and $800 for a used one. They used to be easily available for less than $50. I'm not sure what happened over the past couple of years.

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    This is a good one Gary. Glad I picked it up on LP right after you brought it in to the club a year or two ago. Guess they have all sold out.

  8. #18
    WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)/Member Sponsor [Technical Expert] garylkoh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by audioarcher View Post
    This is a good one Gary. Glad I picked it up on LP right after you brought it in to the club a year or two ago. Guess they have all sold out.
    I guess I demo'ed it a few times too often.

    Get the CD - it's great.
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    Genesis Advanced Technologies

  9. #19
    Member Sponsor [WBF Founding Member] Johnny Vinyl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garylkoh View Post
    It's not progressive rock (I don't think) but if you are a fan of progressive rock - Roger Waters, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Frank Zappa, this album to me is a must-have. I find extremely difficult to classify and extremely enjoyable. It's a double LP and I will play all 4 sides - not always in the same order - almost everytime I draw it out. Is it Prog? Metal? Jazz? Trance? Rock?

    The album was started as a business project by drummer Terry Bozzio to help him make some money over winter. Bozzio was already a Superstar. He toured with Frank Zappa and recorded on many of his most famous albums; played for the band UK; made a video with Jeff Beck and Mick Jagger; and founded the band Missing Persons. Yet, as a drum instructor, his typical seminars running through spring and fall, and he often ran out of money in Winter.

    His wife suggested collaborating with guitarist Steve Stevens (Billy Idol/Michael Jackson/Atomic Playboys), and they first met at a solo drum performance Bozzio did for the Drum Workshop at the House of Blues. They now needed a bassist, and while making a dream list, they put Tony Levin at the top of the list. They didn't think that Levin would join them being busy touring with King Crimson and Peter Gabriel - but he was not only very interested, he squeezed 4 days out of his busy schedule to work together.

    So, this album was the result of 4 days in a studio with 3 guys who had never played together before - created by the "grace of the archetypes of our collective unconscious. The tracks came by either mapping out a few signposts or with very little discussion, and then allowing the muses to take control, and the tracks were recorded 'live'. No track took more than one or two takes." - so says the album notes.

    When you listen to this album, just close your eyes and let the music take you away. Bozzio Levin Stevens: Black Light Syndrome

    Get the gorgeous the vinyl in red with black splay. Or get the vinyl in blue with black splay. Or get both.

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    I really enjoy this album. Like you said Gary, it's difficult to pin down as it has some touches of blues, prog, metal, etc., but it works well together, strange as that may seem.
    I love the smell of vinyl in the morning!
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  10. #20
    Addicted to Best! audioarcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garylkoh View Post
    I guess I demo'ed it a few times too often.

    Get the CD - it's great.
    I will. I have a few other titles on the Nonesuch label. All of them have good sound whether they are LP or CD.

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