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Waxahatchee, Oscar Peterson Trio, John Coltrane, Count Basie, Vinyl Record Reviews

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Waxahatchee – Cerulean Salt

Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt
Tracks:
1. “Hollow Bedroom”
2. “Dixie Cups and Jars”
3. “Lips and Limbs”
4 “Blue Pt. II”
5. “Brother Bryan”
6. “Coast to Coast”
7. “Tangled Envisioning”
8. “Misery Over Dispute”
9. “Lively”
10. “Waiting”
11. “Swan Dive”
12. “Peace and Quiet”
13. “You’re Damaged”

If you’re not familiar with the group Waxahatchee, they are an indie folk music project, formed in 2011 by Katie Crutchfield. The band is named after Waxahatchee Creek, in Alabama. American Weekend was Katie Crutchfield’s debut album with Waxahatchee. It was a modest recording of 11 acoustic songs written and recordedin just a week, while snowed in at her parents’ home in rural Alabama near the creek from which the project takes its name.

Cerulean Salt is Crutchfield’s new album was number 36 on Rolling Stone’s list of 50 best albums of 2013. Like American Weekend, it begins with just a guitar and a voice, though this album sounds more professional in terms of the recording, despite still having been recorded at home (this time in the Philadelphia house she shares with her sister and band members). It is a very intimate and personal sound, but I found it very engaging. She has a way of singing a song that is so casually that you are almost surprised at how powerful it is.

The vinyl is fairly quiet, but the sound varies a good bit from track to track. I really enjoyed the album, especially the raw sound Crutchfield performs with.

Oscar Peterson Trio – West Side Story

Oscar Peterson Trio - West Side Story
Limited Edition 200 Gram, 45rpm 2LP Set!
Only the 1st 1,000 Copies are Numbered!

Mastered by George Marino at Sterling Sound & Cut from the Absolute Original Analog Master Tapes, Pressed at Quality Record Pressings!

• Limited Edition
• Only the 1st 1,000 Copies are Numbered!
• Mastered by George Marino at Sterling Sound!
• Cut from the Absolute Original Analog Master Tapes!
• 200 Gram, 45rpm 2LP
• Pressed at Quality Record Pressings
Musicians:
Oscar Peterson, piano
Ray Brown, bass
Ed Thigpen, drums
Toots Thielemans, harmonica

Side One:
1. Something’s Coming
2. Somewhere
3. Jet Song
Side Two:
1. Tonight
2. Maria
3. I Feel Pretty
4. Reprise

I confess, I really like West Side Story and the copy I had of this one was in pretty bad shape. So, I jumped at the chance to own a 45rpm version of this Oscar Peterson, West Side Story. In 1962, pianist Oscar Peterson put his signature on the already popular score earning him a Grammy nomination.

This reissue was everything I had hoped for; great music, a great performance, good sound, and a pretty quite surface. I can’t really add anything to how great Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, Ed Thigpen, and Toots Thielemans play. There is a reason that everyone of the four are legendary. Neither is there much I can add to how great Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story is. So, I will simply say that if you like the music of West Side Story and you like jazz than this is the reissue you’ve been waiting on. It is surely the one I was waiting for.

John Coltrane – With The Red Garland Trio

John Coltrane - With The Red Garland Trio
Mastered by Kevin Gray From Original Mono Tapes

Musicians:
John Coltrane, tenor saxophone
Red Garland, piano
Paul Chambers, bass
Art Taylor, drums

Selections:
1. Traneing In
2. Slow Dance
3. Bass Blues
4. You Leave Me Breathless
5. Soft Lights and Sweet Music

For me Jazz doesn’t get much better than this! Garland’s piano playing is engaging, Chambers bass is quick and tuneful, Art Taylor’s drums sound very natural. In fact if it was only this superb trio the album would be a winner, but of course it’s not just the trio, there is also that wonderful saxophone played by the Trane himself. It’s full of bite and tone. It sounds like he is right there in the room with you.

This LP was recorded in 1958 for Prestige Records. It falls right between Blue Train and Soultrane. It was recorded for Prestige Records in the studio of Rudy Van Gelder in Hackensack, New Jersey.

My copy was dead quiet and the sound was simply outstanding. I much prefer the mono recordings of the late 50s to most of the stereo recordings of that time. This is a mono recording that I doubt you will even think about being mono, just being great music and an incredible performance.

Count Basie – Live at the Sands: before Frank

Count Basie - Live at the Sands: before Frank
Recorded January 26-29 & February 1, 1966 in the Copa Room, Sands Hotel, Las Vegas

• Production & Mastering by Mobile Fidelity SoundLab
• Plated and Pressed on 180 gram High Definition Vinyl
• Special Static Free – Dust Free Inner Sleeve
• Heavy Duty Protective Packaging
• Mastered from the Original Master Tapes
• Pressed at RTI
• Mastered by Krieg Wunderlich

Musicians:
Count Basie, piano
Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, tenor saxophone
Eric Dixon, saxophone, flute
“Sonny” Payne, drums
Al Grey, trombone

Selections:
LP 1 – Side 1:
1. Introduction
2. Splanky
3. I Can’t Stop Loving You
4. I Needs to Be Bee’d With
5. Flight of the Foo Birds
LP 1 – Side 2:
1. Satin Doll
2. Makin’ Whoopee!
3. Corner Pocket
LP 2 – Side 3:
1. One O’Clock Jump
2. Go Away Little Girl
3. Whirly Bird
LP 2 – Side 4:
1. Blues for Ilene
2. This Could Be the Start of Something Big
3. Jumpin’ at the Woodside

If you didn’t know, there was a special week in 1966 when Count Basie and Frank Sinatra had an interesting arrangement at the Sands in Las Vegas: Count Basie and his big band warmed up the already enthusiastic crowd for Sinatra. It’s good for us that the best of Basie’s introductory performances from that week have been preserved so that we can enjoy them today.

This Album serves as an excellent introduction to Basie. It has many of the band’s best-known tunes, including “Splanky,” “Corner Pocket,” Makin’ Whoopee,” “Jumpin’ at the Woodside,” “Take the A Train,” and a special version of Basie’s signature song, “One O’Clock Jump.” Add to that a few soulful ballads, not exactly a well-rounded collection.

I have not found all of the latest MoFis to be the best sounding, have the quietest vinyl, or even always be flat; but with this LP all of the above were exceptional. The recording has a great full sound and that something very special that good live recordings have. Very Highly Recommended!

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