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Horace Silver Quintet – Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Elvis Presley – Stereo ’57 – Vinyl Reviews

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Horace Silver Quintet – Song For My Father

Horace Silver Quintet - Song For My Father
Label: Music Matter(Blue Note)
180 HQ Vinyl (2LPs)
45 RPM

Tracks:
1. Song for My Father
2. The Natives Are Restless Tonight
3. Calcutta Cutie
4. Que Pasa
5. The Kicker
6. Lonely Woman

Musicians:
Tracks: 1-2, 4-5:
Carmell Jones, trumpet
Joe Henderson, tenor sax
Horace Silver, piano
Teddy Smith, bass
Roger Humphries, drums
Tracks 3, 6:
Blue Mitchell, trumpet
Junior Cook, tenor sax
Horace Silver, piano
Gene Taylor, bass
Roy Brooks, drums

We just celebrated Father’s Day and I saw this incredible LP and realized I had never recommended you give it a listen. The sound is good, but maybe not quite as good as most of the 45 RPM, Music Matter Blue Note reissues. The sound is plenty good enough and it’s the music that makes this LP worth its price.

I love bop and this has to be one of Blue Note’s best hard bop recordings. I love every Horace Silver LP I have and this may be the best. His playing is fascinating of this recording. He brings the listener rhythms and modes from around the world. There is the Bossa Nova sounds on the title cut “Song for My Father.” Then there is an Eastern-flavor on “Calcutta Cutie,” a really fun tropical sound on “Que Pasa?”

These are great musicians playing inspired music. Don’t miss this music. Maybe it could be a belated Father’s Day present to yourself.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Americana

Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Americana
Label: Reprise
180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl
Double LP, 3 Sides of Music, Etching on Side D
Recorded on a Universal Audio Tube Console to Studer 2″ Eight-Track Analog Tape!
Vinyl Mastering by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering, Hollywood, CA
Special ‘Crazy Horse’ Etching featured on Side D!

Tracks:
LP1 – Side 1:
1. Oh Susannah
2. Clementine
3. Tom Dula
LP1 – Side 2:
1. Gallows Pole
2. Get A Job
3. Travel On
4. High Flyin’ Bird
LP2 – Side 3:
1. Jesus’ Chariot
2. This Land Is Your Land
3. Wayfarin’ Stranger
4. God Save The Queen

As I was sitting here writing the review of the Horace Silver LP; I was listening to “Americana.” Released in June of 2012 this has become one of my favorite LPs of all time. Like a few other of my favorite LPs it didn’t make that big an impression the first time I played it. Still, something in the back of my head said play it again. I did and I keep playing it. When John DeVore visited I played it for him and he said this was the best Neil Young album he had heard. He wasn’t talking about the sound quality but the music.

Americana was the thirty-third studio album by Neil Young and his first collaboration with Crazy Horse since 2003. I hope he doesn’t wait nine years to do it again. It is a collection of old folk songs like we sang in the car on road trips when I was a kid. We just never thought of singing them with the raw power and emotion that we hear them here. I promise you have never heard Clementine or This Land is Your Land like this before.

This is one fun, raw, powerful performance. At the end of nearly every sound I want to stand up and clap. By the way for what it’s worth the recording is great too. It is alive, with a huge soundstage, and the vinyl on my copy was dead quite.

Elvis Presley – Stereo ’57 (Essential Elvis Volume 2)

Elvis Presley - Stereo '57 (Essential Elvis Volume 2)
45rpm 200g Vinyl LP
Pressed at Quality Record Pressings
Mastered At Sterling Sound

Tracks: LP1 – Side 1:
1. I Beg Of You (Take 1)
2. Is It So Strange (Take 1)
3. Have I Told You Lately That I Love (Take 2)
4. It Is No Secret (What God Can Do) (Takes 1,2,3)
LP1 – Side 2:
1. Blueberry Hill (Take 2)
2. Mean Woman Blues (Take 14)
3. There’ll Be Peace In The Valley (Takes 2,3)
4. Have I Told You Lately I Love You (Take 6)
LP2 – Side 3:
1. Blueberry Hill (Take 7)
2. That’s When Your Heartaches Begin (Takes 4,5,6)
3. Is It So Strange (Takes 7,11)
LP2 – Side 4:
1. I Beg Of You (Takes 6,8)
2. Peace In The Valley (Take 7)
3. Have I Told You Lately That I Love You (Takes 12,13)
4. I Beg Of You (Take 12)

There has been a lot of buzz about this LP, and lots of rooms at audio shows playing it. The buzz tells the story of how the tapes were nearly lost to history, and how the 2-track masters were saved by chance. The story goes that from the moment Elvis began working with a new song, sound engineer Thorne Norgar would have the 15 ips mono tape machine rolling simultaneously with a 2-track protection copy. The recorders were kept on until Elvis was satisfied with the take.
A couple of years before stereo LPs in mid-1958, major record companies were experimenting with binaural recording. So by the grace of the new Ampex 2-track tape recorder we now have glimpses of a young Elvis working his creative genius.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think this recording is interesting; I’ll admit there is a purity to the recording of the voices; but there are lots and lots of Elvis LPs I would rather sit down and listen to. I should make the point that if I had a preamp like the ones of sixties that had a knob called “Stereo blend” on it, I would enjoy this LP more, though there are songs I would really enjoy if they were mono instead of Elvis’s voice being way on one side of the room and everything else on the other side.

If you want an interesting glimpse into Elvis recording sessions this LP does this, but if I want to listen to Elvis I have several Elvis LPs I choose to listen to.

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