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Product Reviews By User

New York Frank Sinatra
New York (2009) 5 stars With DVD; Box Set
CD $49.45 Buy It  Details


5 starsUnreleased Frank, a must for collectors
The first cd is in mediocre sound, but no matter. A reunion with Tommy Dorsey and a RARE performance with Frank's good buddy, Skitch Henderson at the United Nations make this a must buy. The rest are all live recordings in the 70's through the 90's all in excellent sound. Not to mention the DVD concert from 1980. The liner notes are EXCELLENT, filled with rare pictures. A must buy for Frank collectors!
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 11/15/2009 Verified Buyer

Charade/Experiment in Terror Henry Mancini / Original Soundtrack
Charade/Experiment in Terror (2000) 3 stars Soundtracks Collection
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3 starsbargain deal for two LP's
For audiophiles, I recommend the XRCD version of Charade. The sound isn't bad, but comes no where near the audiophile quality of the XRCD. But for the price, you get Experiment in Terror too.
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 9/28/2008 Verified Buyer

Genius of the Electric Guitar Charlie Christian
Genius of the Electric Guitar (2012) 5 stars
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MP3 $29.99 Buy It  Details


5 starsGREAT Music, AWFUL packaging
Firstly, this is the best sounding BG Sextet recordings of Christian you will hear. Absolutely well done remastering, except for the jam session which was terribly worn in the first minute or so. But the one that baffles me is the packaging. Yes, it's nice to have a replica of Christian's amp, but when you reach for the box, the bottom falls out and the disks are held upright with foam! What genius thought this up?? It's the worst packaging I've ever seen in my years of collecting. One can't help but wonder if the foam will crumble with age? But, packing aside, the liner notes are GREAT and the music is jazz at it's best. Must have for Benny or Christian collectors.
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 11/6/2006

Incredible Hulk - The Complete First Season Incredible Hulk - The Complete First Season (1978) 5 stars Standard Screen; Box Set; Soundtrack English
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5 starsFinally, the complete first season
As I watched numerous television shows get complete seasons, I wondered "Why haven't they released The Incredible Hulk"? Well, they finally did. What makes this series so great is that fact that they treated the character with respect, and not make it campy. Yes, it's a science fiction show, but it also is a drama, made for adults with that touch of science fiction to make it appealing to children. The remastering is excellent (except for the opening scene of Life and Death. Some unexplained light jitter, but is perfect after that) and the sound is good. If loved this series, go out and get this set!
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 10/16/2006

Digital Magic Stanley Black
Digital Magic (1979) 5 stars
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5 starsBlack's last GREAT album
This is without question one Stanley Black's greatest albums. Recorded in 1979 with the then new technology, it has only 10 cuts, but it can be argued, that this is the most satisfying Black album ever. With new tunes of the 1970's and one outstanding arrangement of Herb Alpert's Rise, this makes for a winner. In fact, Black's version of Rise is superior. It is an outstanding arrangement for piano and orchestra. Another great cut is Tomorrow from Annie. This is without question the greatest arrangement of this musical tune ever recorded. I dare any other artist to match brilliance of this arrangement. I say that this is Black's last great album because the next year, Mantovani would pass away and Black would take over his orchestra. If you like Stanley Black, then do yourself a favor and purchase this outstanding album. It will please you for years to come. I still have my original LP! It's great to have this album back in circulation again.
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 7/18/2006

Great Conductors of the 20th Century - Hermann Scherchen Hermann Scherchen
Great Conductors of the 20th Century - Hermann Scherchen (2003) 5 stars
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5 starsFine Scherchen collection
As an unabashed admirer of Scherchen, I can whole heartedly reccomend this set to collectors. It has a good cross section of the classics and the moderns. The mono items sound good and the stereo items sound excellent. The justly famous Haydn 100 is included here, but the surprise is the outstanding version of the Brahms 1st Symphony. According to the GREAT liner notes writen by Scherchen's daughter, Herman hardly conducted Brahms. Which is a pity, because this performace of the 1st symphony is outstanding. It can stand with several of the greats. The 4th movement finally is exciting and rapidly paced. Scherchen is inspired through out and makes a memorable recording! A must hear. The sound is good for 1952, so don't worry. Snatch this one up!
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 6/16/2006

Art of Julius Katchen, Vol. 3 Julius Katchen
Art of Julius Katchen, Vol. 3 (2004) 3 stars (Import)
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MP3 $10.89 Buy It  Details


3 starsNear miss on the Brahms concerti
As an lover of both of these concertos, and the pianistic talent of Katchen, add to this, the well known fact that Katchen's favorite composer is Brahms, one would think you can't go wrong with this release. Add Pierre Monteux's great conducting, it's almost a fantasy pairing. Fantasy is sometimes better than the reality, and in this case, the 1st Concerto recording is somewhat of a disappointment. Considering the great recordings out there, and knowing Katchen's great talent, one would think he would be placed with the great versions like Kappell or Curzon. Unfortunately, this is not the case. It's a not a bad performance, but one that doesn't seem to transcend the surface of the work. It merely is average. Better than Rubinstein and Reiner, but not in the exalted class of Curzon. The feeling is almost one of disinterest. Considering how great Katchen's other concerto recordings are, this one falls short of his usual brilliance. The 2nd Concerto of Brahms doesn't fare any bette. Katchen is lacking the boldness, intensity and depth of understanding and feeling of say that of Backhaus, Richter or Bachauer. Again, he misses the mark. It's a satisfactory, but one that isn't going to explore the great emotions or intensity that this work requires. Unless you are a Katchen collector, you can safely skip this release.
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 6/6/2006

Bim! Bam!! Boom!!!/Theme from the "In" Crowd Percy Faith
Bim! Bam!! Boom!!!/Theme from the "In" Crowd (2000) 4 stars
CD $14.19 Buy It  Details


5 starsOne of Percy's best Latin albums
Bim! Bam! Boom! is definitely Faith's best latin album, featuring songs that would soon become classics of the Bossa Nova era. In fact, the tunes recorded here were recorded before the vocal versions became popular such as Estrada Branca and No Blanco Do Jequiba. Both tunes became classics, so it's nice to hear them before lyrics were added. And as a bonus, on the tune Estrada Blanca, Faith takes it at a tempo so completely different from the version that Antonio Carlos Jobim (who composed the song) and Frank Sinatra take on their version, that you may not initially recognize it! Faith's version of Yesterday is beautifully done with strings, far better than his later version on his album, Percy Faith plays the Beatles. The arrangement of Bach's Minute Waltz is given a harpsichord treatment, as a nod to the old master himself! Enjoyable arrangement. Great album!
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 6/5/2006 Verified Buyer

Great Conductors of the 20th Century - Dimitri Mitropoulos Dimitri Mitropoulos
Great Conductors of the 20th Century - Dimitri Mitropoulos (2003) 5 stars
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5 starsGREAT Mahler 6
Given the relatively few good sounding recordings by Dimitri Mitropoulos, collectors must buy this. The Mahler 6th is an OUTSTANDING performance. It was recorded in 1959 and sound excellent. You would almost think it was stereo. The remastering is excellent and the performance is wonderful. Sure the first movement may not be as dark and heavy as Barbirolli, but it is a good performance nonetheless. One of the few Mahler recordings by Mitropoulos that sounds excellent. Get this for this recording alone!
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 5/27/2006 Verified Buyer

Fabulous Dorseys in Hi-Fi Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra
Fabulous Dorseys in Hi-Fi (1997) 5 stars Definitive Album
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5 starsGREAT sonics and great arrangements
This was orinally released after both of the Dorsey brothers had died. It goes to show that even during their last year of recording, they were still making outstanding records. Many of the songs here are new arrangements of their hits from the 40's. These are all instrumentals and sound great. If you want to hear Tommy's great trombone with modern sound, this is the cd for you. There are several outstanding arrangments, such as "Rain", "Moonlight in Vermont", and my favorite "I Should Care". If you enjoy the Dorsey brothers, get this cd. It features many songs you can not get elsewhere.
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA, USA) 5/20/2006

Ferenc Fricsay: A Life In Music Ferenc Fricsay
Ferenc Fricsay: A Life In Music (2003) 5 stars Box Set
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5 starsOutstanding Fricsay collection
Classical collectos need to snatch this one up. Even though the majority of the collection is mono, it matters not. It has top notch remastering and shows Fricsay at his best. Terrific performances of great works! Great booklet and informative notes. A must buy!!
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 2/26/2006 Verified Buyer

Berlin Philharmonic Story Berlin Philharmonic Story (2004) 5 stars
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5 starsExcellent documentary
Great video of the history of the Berlin Philharmonic. Filled with interviews and archival footage, this is a must for classical music lovers.
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 2/19/2006 Verified Buyer

Complete Rhythm Makers Sessions 1937 - 1938, Vol. 3 Artie Shaw
Complete Rhythm Makers Sessions 1937 - 1938, Vol. 3 (2005) 5 stars
CD $26.09 Buy It  Details


5 starsrare and different arrangements!
This the final set of the recordings Shaw made as the Rythym Makers. A few songs here he would later record on RCA and would go one to be top sellers. The two unique cuts on this set is an instrumental version of "Indian Love Call" and the first of three recordings of the classic Shaw composition, "Any Old Time". The remastering is excellent and the liner notes are very informative. A must fot he Shaw collector!
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 1/27/2006

Paris Is For Lovers/Avec Moi A Paris Maurice Larcange
Paris Is For Lovers/Avec Moi A Paris (2005) 4.5 stars
CD $22.75 Buy It  Details


5 starsFrench accordian at it's best, Larcange is great!
If you love French songs with authentic flair and style, Larcange is for you. He has a wonderful tone to his accordian and the songs are virtually all standards! It is a great album with top notch Phase 4 remastering by Michael Dutton. Although the price is high (it is a British import) it is absolutely worth it!
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 1/8/2006 Verified Buyer

Music From Mission: Impossible Lalo Schifrin
Music From Mission: Impossible (1967) 4 stars Definitive Album Soundtrack
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4 starsClassic jazz from Telvision
Great remastering and it sounds great! The classic theme from the show! How can you go wrong?
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 1/1/2006 Verified Buyer

Jazz Accordion Jo Basile & Orchestra
Jazz Accordion (2005) 3 stars (Import)
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3 starsgood selections, great performances, mediocre sound
This is the second cd I have purchased from Jo Basile. After waiting over 20 years for a cd of his to come out, I purchased Bossa Tres & Jo Basile. Then this came out soon after. Like the Bossa Tres album, this one is manufactured in Spain. One only has to listen to both of the cd's to realize they this company does not have access to the original master tapes. The sound is stereo but muffled with no definition. Lack of highs, and no presence. Compare this to the Bossa Tres cd, alsom made in Spain. This time it's mono, but with good highs and clear sound. But, the master tapes are in stereo, so again, it's evident this company did not have the master tapes. So, in this release, with sub standard sound with only 10 selections, one has to wonder if this is an essential Basile album. It's not. The Bossa Tres album if far superior a performance, and Basile's best albums have still not been released on cd. One can only hope that the Audio Fidelity master tapes will be utilized for future issues by a different company.
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 12/25/2005 Verified Buyer

Self Portrait Artie Shaw
Self Portrait (2001) 5 stars Definitive Album Remastered; Boxed Set
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5 starsOutstanding collection from a true jazz great
Artie Shaw, that enigmatic genius of the Big Band Era. The man who married Hollywoods top females from Kathleen Winsor to Lana Turner, Ava Gardner and Evelyn Keyes. Shaw is the LAST of the big band leaders still alive. At age 91 he was invited to do produce something unique in terms of box sets. In an a rare opportunity, he was allowed to select almost 100 of his personal favorite recordings from his entire career, REGARDLESS of label. Shaw has annotated every session in this collection. It is endlessly fascinating to hear him discuss each of his different bands. As with most jazz collectors, when you think Shaw, you think Goodman, since Benny was his main rival. In this collection, Shaw says "Benny was a better PLAYER, I was a better MUSICIAN." This distinction is critical. Goodman was a genius, unquestionably. But Shaw's genius is even greater. Not just in clarinet style, but in thought. I'll even go as far to say as progressive. Shaw was the ONLY bandleader in history to start his band from a string quartet and build the band around it. His selections from his first band will surprise some people, but now given the beauty of history, one can look back and see what he was trying to accomplish. It's true that Shaw hated the business side of music, considered the music buying public morons, and gave up his career because he felt music was changing for the worse, and that he had taken the clarinet as far as it could go. This is supported today by the sheer LACK of clarinet jazz men. Everyone plays saxophone. Before, you had all kinds of clarinet leaders, but the clarinet has gone by the wayside. If you are familiar with Shaw based solely on his hit recordings like Frenesi, Dancing in the Dark, and of course Begin the Beguine, this set is just what you need to cure you of those typical songs and hear what Shaw's genius is all about. The remastering on this album is top notch. Some of the selections in which the source material was rare, and suffers in sound quality is mentioned in the notes. A good example is the tune "So Easy." This was originally issued in 1990 on a Jazz Heritage/Music Masters cd. At the time, it sounded good, but the ravages of time has taken it's toll, but it still sounds good. Now if you are a collector of Shaw's music, you will know that he made a commercial recording of this tune for Decca, which was formally available on the two record set by MCA called The Best of Artie Shaw. That collection has the benefit of excellent studio sound. If you see it in a used record shop, pick it up. Some people will undoubtedly disagree with some of Shaw's selections, but he chose them for a reason. You will be proud to have this collection in your library. This is will probably be Shaw's last release with his actual involvement. Purchase this set and relish the genius that is Artie Shaw. The jazz era's most controversial and enigmatic jazz man.
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 12/10/2005

Khachaturian: Excerpts from Gayane & Spartacus Ansermet / Glazunov / Khachaturian / Osr / Vpo
Khachaturian: Excerpts from Gayane & Spartacus (2000) 5 stars
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MP3 $9.99 Buy It  Details


5 starsOustanding Khachaturian, sublime Glazunov
This is a must buy. I know the old adage that when a work is conducted by the composer, usually another conductor does it better. This is not the case in this one. This is with question the definite versions of Gayne and Spartacus. Khachaturian conducts splendidly and the Vienna Phil plays wonderfully for him. In superb remastering from Decca's golden age, the sound is rich, warm and spacious. I dare any enigineer to record the Vienna Phil today in sound qauality like this! It's just too bad that the Khachaturian selections are so short! You'll be asking for more! Ansermet, another Decca heavyweight turns out a terrific performance of The Seasons. Also captured with top notch engineering. There's no excuse for this one! Rush out and grab this one!
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 10/28/2005

George Szell: Decca & Philips Recordings 1951-1969 George Szell
George Szell: Decca & Philips Recordings 1951-1969 (2005) 4.7 stars Box Set
CD $47.25 Buy It  Details
MP3 $27.99 Buy It  Details


5 starsSzell at his best, outside Cleaveland
Most collectors who know Szell through Cleaveland must buy this. Szell was much more relaxed and not has tense with European orchestras. This set is fille with definitive performances. The Beethoven 5th symphony is much better than his version in Cleavelend. There is also an AWESOME version of the Tchaikovsky 4. Possibly one of the finest versions you'll hear. Recorded magnificantly by Decca, this is one to ravish your ears with. After hearing this version by Szell, you'll throw away your version by Ormandy. There is only two mono recordings, the Dvorak 8 and the Brahms 3. Both of which he remade with Cleaveland. This time it with the Concertgebow and interpretively, it is very close to his remakes in Cleaveland, but overall, I feel that his Cleaveland versions are better. This set also contains what has to be the best Water Music (Harty arrangement) you'll hear. If you've become acustomed to period performances, listen to this and see if you can still listen to the period recordings of it. This a great set with good notes and good photos. This is a must buy!
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 10/22/2005 Verified Buyer

Gieseking Plays Beethoven Beethoven / Gieseking / Kubelik / Rother
Gieseking Plays Beethoven (2004) 5 stars Top Seller
CD $15.89 Buy It  Details


5 starsGREAT Emperor, interesting 1st
The reason to buy this historically important recording is the incredible stereo recording of the Emperor. Made in January 1945, it is the only surviving complete stereo recording made in WWII. It is a performance filled with grandeur and depth. A kind of muscianship that sadly is no longer around. The sonics are surpringly good with a nice wide sound stage. You won't believe that it's 1945! Grab this one and marvel at the pianistic genius taht is Gieseking. The first piano concerto sounds older in comparison, and Gieseking's phrasing in this one sounds rather odd, and the performance is faster than the norm. Intersting recording, but the gem is the 5th. Go out and this one!
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 10/22/2005 Verified Buyer

Bizet-Sarasate: Carmen Fantaisie; Sarasate: Zigeunerweisen: Saint-Saens: Havanaise; etc. Ruggiero Ricci
Bizet-Sarasate: Carmen Fantaisie; Sarasate: Zigeunerweisen: Saint-Saens: Havanaise; etc. (2013) 5 stars Top Seller
CD $34.59 Buy It  Details


5 starsUlitimate audiophile sound and exquisite performance
This may very well be the greatest sounding recording of a violin ever made. I don't even know if I can describe it. As with virtually all the XRCD's from JVC, this is outstanding. Ricci sounds like he's standing in your living room. Pure, natural sound with a nice, spacious sound stage. Brilliant highs and full bass. Not to mention outstanding conducting by Perino Gamba. Granted, the price of this disc is very high, more than double that of an SACD, but it matters not. If you are a true audiophile and lover of great classical music, you must buy this cd. Compare the Saint-Saens work to Heifetz. Granted, his recording is mono, but the sheer difference in tone of Ricci's Strad compared to Heifetz's Guarneri is astonishing. But tone is not the deciding factor, it's the emotion. Ricci's all heart and Heifetz is all technical. Both brilliant, but go with this one. This is the first time on cd and JVC has done it right! Rush out buy this great release!
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 9/8/2005

Hail the Conquering Nero/New Piano in Town Peter Nero
Hail the Conquering Nero/New Piano in Town (2000) 5 stars
CD $15.55 Buy It  Details


5 starsClassic Nero
This cd has finally freed some of my favorite Nero performances. Nero has the best version of Strange Music. The outstanding conducting and arranging by Marty Gold combined with Nero's classical influence make this recording a winner. Body and Soul, with it's infusion of Clair De Lune make for a unique concerto typ resentation. One of the most unique you will hear. Mignight in Moscow, taken at a most rapid pace is exciting and as enjoyable as the original version by Kenny Ball. Rush out and get this one!
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 8/28/2005

Leopold Stokowski Leopold Stokowski
Leopold Stokowski (2003) 5 stars Standard Screen; Soundtrack English
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5 starsStokowski the Great!
Unlike virtually all the other EMI historical videos of the great conductors, this one is in full COLOR with great sound! As if Stoky recorded this yesterday! This is a must buy not just for Stoky fans, but for classical music lovers in general. Hear and See a master at work. Great conducting doesn't get any better than this. This live performance of the Beethoven is better than his Phase 4 studio recording recorded two days later. Amazing what a live performance can do for inspiration! Rush out and buy this!
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 8/20/2005 Verified Buyer

Rhapsodies Leopold Stokowski
Rhapsodies (2005) 5 stars Top Seller SACD Hybrid
CD $11.85 Buy It  Details


5 starsIncredible sonics
This is the fourth time this recording has been on cd. This is without question, the best I've heard. True 3 channel sound. I have not heard the XRCD version so I can not comment on that one. The bass is incredibly full and solid. There is more presence and separation with stunning realism. If you have this already from the previous issue, sell that copy and buy this new SACD remastering. It's worth it! Most listeners are already familiar with the recordings on this cd. The rhapsodies are played with incredible elan and flair that is unmatchable. Rush out and grab this one!
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 8/10/2005 Verified Buyer

Tropical Heart Oscar Castro-Neves
Tropical Heart (1993) 4 stars
CD $29.79 Buy It  Details


4 starsGreat Brazilian jazz
Oscar Castro Neves is known for his arrangements with major jazz musicians, most notably Laurindo Almeida and Sergio Mendes. Here you have a unique opportunity to listen to Neves on his own with his own group. All the selections are his own compositions. All but two tracks are instrumental. Of the two vocal track, the song "If The Dance Is Over" is my favorite. Original lyrics, a smooth arrangement and tremendous sonics make it a winner. As a whole, the album is very satisfying. JVC's usual high quality remastering in their XRCD series is wonderfully spacious with a startling presence. If you enjoy Brazilian jazz, this is a great one.
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 7/19/2005

Tchaikovsy:1812 Overture Chicag / Fritz Reiner
Tchaikovsy:1812 Overture (2008) 5 stars
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5 starsReiner conducts overtures
This cd has excelletn sonics. Typical of the XRCD quality. The 1812 is an excellent performance. However, Reiner cuts a HUGE chunk in the middle, so the whole overture gets done in a little over twelve minutes instead of the usual 15:00. Other than that, the rest of the selections are excellent performances and are complete. This has one the best Carnival overture recordings ever. A performance of stunning precision and liveliness. A great cd for Reiner fans and audiophiles alike.
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 7/19/2005

Decca Recordings 1964 - 1975, Vol. 2 Leopold Stokowski
Decca Recordings 1964 - 1975, Vol. 2 (2005) 5 stars
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MP3 $32.99 Buy It  Details


5 starsPopular selections and Phase 4 sound
I prefer volume 2, over vol.1. This one has three great Beethoven symphonies, Schubert's 8, and plenty of Tchaikovsky favorites. Start with this one first! Great remastering and great Phase 4 sound!
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 7/1/2005 Verified Buyer

Decca Recordings, 1965-1972 Leopold Stokowski
Decca Recordings, 1965-1972 (2003) 5 stars Box Set; Limited Edition
CD $35.79 Buy It  Details
MP3 $27.99 Buy It  Details


5 starsGREAT PERFORMANCE AND SOUND
If collecto Stokowski, most of these will be familiar to you. Updated notes, more accurate recording dates are listed and top notch Phase 4 sound! What more could you ask for. Plus, some works that have not been released here in the U.S.!
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 7/1/2005 Verified Buyer

Dvorak: Violin Concerto; Suk: Fantasia K Ancerl / Czech Phil Orch / Dvorak / Suk
Dvorak: Violin Concerto; Suk: Fantasia (2002) 5 stars
CD $12.25 Buy It  Details


5 starsimpassioned playing
Czech composer, Czech conductor and an almost Czech violinist (he's related to the great composer of the same name) and put it together you have one of the best performances of the Dvorak violin concertos around. Also with Suk's Fantasy as a bonus. The Fantasy is a very enjoyable work that is no longer heard these days. It's too bad, because it is an enjoyable work. The sound quality in the concerto is not as good as in the remaining two works, slightly muffled with not much highs, but good separation. The highs improve in the other two works. Regardless, it's still sounds good and it Suk plays with impassioned inspiration. The tone is excellent and Ancerl leads the Czech Phil with perfection and insight.
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 6/23/2005

Romantic Approach/Sophisticated Approach Stan Kenton
Romantic Approach/Sophisticated Approach (2005) 3.8 stars
CD $13.59 Buy It  Details


3 starsGreat selections, but subpar remastering
I bought this cd to replace my old open reel tape copy of Sophisticated Approach. One expects the cd to sound as good, if not identical to the tape copy. Sadly, this is not the case. Normally British remastering is top notch, but sometimes, if the artist recorded their music at American Capitol, the British counter part of EMI would not have access to the stereo master tape, or in many cases, have a copy of the master tape. So this leaves the question, which tape did the British division of EMI use for this cd? I don't know. All I can tell you is that the highs are muffled and the definition is blured. It doesn't sound bad, but comparing to my open reel tape copy (made in the 1960's!) it doesn't even come close. It's missing the bite of the brass, even the left and right channels are reversed! So, if you have been waiting a long for these albums, you're wait is over. But, if you are an audiophile, you may want to wait to see if American EMI will issue these same albums in the future.
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 5/18/2005 Verified Buyer

Larcange Plays Legrand/Larcange Plays Aznavour Maurice Larcange
Larcange Plays Legrand/Larcange Plays Aznavour (2005) 4.3 stars
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4 starsGreat Larcagne accordian!
This is the first Larcange release by Vocalian. Fortunately, it has the usual great remastering my Michael Dutton. The cd comprises two lp's. The first half is all Legrand, then 2nd half is all Aznavour. Filled with classic Legrand, the arrangements by Roland Shaw, combined with Larcagne superb playing and Decca's fabulous Phase 4 engineering makes this a great cd of music. "What Are You Doing The Rest of Your Life?" is excellent with big band and strings, and Larcagne's accordian taking center stage. There are two Legrand cuts however, that were taken from Larcagne's previous album entitled "Paris for Lovers." That album contained two Legrand tunes and have been added to the other 10 selections. The second half with Aznavour tunes begins with his most famous "Old Fashoined Way." Much more lively and entertaining than the version by Mantovani. Filled with French flavor and fine playing, this is an excellent release!
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 5/7/2005 Verified Buyer

Ring-A-Ding Ding! Frank Sinatra
Ring-A-Ding Ding! (1961) 3.7 stars
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5 starsThe best In The Still of the Night
This is Frank's first album for Reprise. This album has many great selections, a great remake of A Foggy Day, a super smooth You'd Be So Easy To Love, but the highlight here is the Cole Porter classic, In The Still of the Night. This is without a question, the best vocal version of this song ever recorded. It's hard to hear this song sung by anyone else after you here Frank's version. A great album with many satisfying songs.
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 4/23/2005

Artistry of Artie Shaw Artie Shaw
Artistry of Artie Shaw (2004) 4.5 stars
CD $16.59 Buy It  Details
MP3 $9.99 Buy It  Details


5 starsThe classical and rare sides
This is an OUTSTANDING release! Issued right before his death, this cd contains the incredibly rare classical performance made for Columbia records in 1949, including rare Gramercy 5 performances of 1949 and 1953. This is the perfect antidote to all of the same Shaw recordings that get issued over and over. If you are an Artie Shaw collector, this is a must. The remastering is excellent and the liner notes are outstanding. Your appreciation for Shaw's music will increase exponentially with the purchase of this cd.
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 4/23/2005

Calypsos/Baions Edmundo Ros
Calypsos/Baions 3 stars
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1 starsAll vocal tracks, avoid
Those of you who know what a great bandleader Ros is will want to avoid this album. It is all vocals and if you know Ros, you know what a terrible singer he is. I bought this and sold it almost immediately after I heard it. His singing is terrible and tough to listen to. Stick to his instrumental performances, or his recordings with Caterina Valente. He may sing on some of those tracks, but at least it's not the whole album! Avoid this one.
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 4/21/2005

Hall of Fame/Rhapsody in Blue Winifred Atwell
Hall of Fame/Rhapsody in Blue 5 stars
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5 starsThe Queen of the Keyboard
Winifred Atwell, once a common name in the 50 and 60's is now, sadly a distant memory. A pianist from Trinidad, was very popular in Europe. She has a almost honky tonk, bar room sound to her piano, so if you are not familiar with her, this release will be a revelation. Hall of Fame is a unique album in which Winifred pays tribute to all the great jazz and popular pianists that were her contemporaries. It is amazing to hear Atwell's chameleon like powers as she recreates, virtually note for note, not to mention the EXACT style of these pianists. From Carmen Cavallaro, Andre Previn to Fats Waller. A thoroughly enjoyable album! The Gershwin album is outstanding. Atwell and her trio deliver lively, heartfelt performances. My favorite, "Someone to Watch Over Me" is given a beautiful gentle treatment, that is very relaxing, with hints of the verse in the closing bars. Excellent! Rhapsody in Blue in unique in the fact that there is no strings, just Ted Heath's big band, sounding like Glenn Miller no less! If you are not familiar with Winifred Atwell, buy this. You will be glad to know her!
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 4/21/2005

Larcange Plays Legrand/Larcange Plays Aznavour Maurice Larcange
Larcange Plays Legrand/Larcange Plays Aznavour (2005) 4.3 stars
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4 starsLegrand, Larcange and Azenevour
Another great reissue from Dutton labs. Recorded in splendid Phase 4 stereo, this is good cd of solid French music by two French heavyweights. With arrangements by Roland Shaw, top notch remastering by Dutton, and wonderful playing by Larcange, you have a winner. Larcange avoids going overboard with heavy improvisations and sticks to the melody, creating a wonderful romantic mood. Good cd and one every lover of good music should own.
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 4/21/2005 Verified Buyer

Lure of France/The Lure of Paradise Andre Kostelanetz
Lure of France/The Lure of Paradise (2005) 4 stars
CD $14.19 Buy It  Details


3 starsGreat France, So So Hawaii
The first cd is excellent, split between classical French composers and popular composers. The 2nd half is Hawaiian songs and the album is mediocre. Relaxing, but the arrangements are hardly spectacular. I found myself getting bored with it half way through the album. So, if you had the album on lp and need to replace, here's your chance. The cd is worth getting for the French music.
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 4/21/2005 Verified Buyer

Murder on the Orient Express/Never Can Say Goodbye Andre Kostelanetz
Murder on the Orient Express/Never Can Say Goodbye (2005) 4.5 stars
CD $14.19 Buy It  Details


4 starsGreat 2nd half, good first half
The album Never Can Say Goodbye gets 5 stars. It's a terrific album. The title track wonderfully lively with a great pulsating disco beat. At Long Last Love is another great cut, arranged by the great Eddie Sauter. But the cut that merrits purchase of this album is The Theme From Chinatown. This is without question the greatest arrangement of this song ever recorded. In an arrangement by Jack Pleis, Kosty leads the orchestra in what is without question the lushest, most imaginative arragement of this song. It makes Percy Faith's version dull in comparison. The 1st half of this album is not up to the same standard. The Godfather Theme is played much too slowly to be effective, but there is an unreleased version of All the Things You Are which is excellent. But this for Chinatown. This cut alone is worth the price of the cd!
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 4/21/2005 Verified Buyer

Wonderland of Sound: Broadway's Greatest Hits/Plays the Hits from Funny Girl, Finian's Andre Kostelanetz
Wonderland of Sound: Broadway's Greatest Hits/Plays the Hits from Funny Girl, Finian's (2005) 4.7 stars
CD $14.19 Buy It  Details


4 starsFirst half of cd great, 2nd good
The first 12 tracks are outstanding. Recorded during Kostelanetz's prime, the engineering is outstanding, the remastering great, and the arrangements top notch. Even though there is no credit given to the arrangers, it doesn't matter. It's an excellent album. Terrfic versions of My Favorite Things, I Believe In You, and outstanding rendition of If Ever I Would Leave You. The second half is good, but the songs are not nearly in the great class as the first half. But it for the first half of the album and it will be worth it!
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 4/9/2005 Verified Buyer

50 Tracks in One Day With One Hour for Lunch, Of Course Benny Goodman
50 Tracks in One Day With One Hour for Lunch, Of Course (2004) 4 stars
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4 starsAll of the Thesaurus transcriptions!
At last, the other 25 cuts have been released. Collectors will remember that RCA had issued the first 25 cuts on a cd called Good to Go. They were supposed to issue the remaining 25, but the project was aborted. So now, the Europeans have released all of the cuts in one package. The remastering is every bit as good as the US version. Only the liner notes are not as good. Shorter and less insightful, but still good. This collection features many recordings that Goodman never commerically recorded, so this is your only chance to hear these recordings. Great for the Goodman collector.
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 4/1/2005 Verified Buyer

Offenbach: Gaite Parisienne; Rossini-Respighi: La Boutique Fantasque B.S.O. / Fiedler / Offenbach
Offenbach: Gaite Parisienne; Rossini-Respighi: La Boutique Fantasque (2005) 4 stars
CD $8.55 Buy It  Details


5 starsGreat remastering
If you had previously purchased the older regular cd version, get rid of it. This new SACD version has a true to live quality in the sound. Transfered direct from the master tape, the sound is full and spacious. One of Fiedler's best recordings.
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 4/1/2005 Verified Buyer

All-Time Top Tangos/Spain Stanley Black
All-Time Top Tangos/Spain (2004) 5 stars
CD $23.49 Buy It  Details


5 starsBest Tango album ever
This is without question, the greatest album of tangos ever recorded. Werner Muller has one for the same label, but his arrangements sound amateurish compared to Black. With Roland Shaw assisting in some of the arrangements, and Black's smooth conducting, this is the smoothest, most rhythmically satisfying tango album ever. The effective use of two accordians, piano, brass and strings make a perfect combination. Mantovani has a better Jalousie, but over all, Black's album of Tangos is much more satisfying. Pair this up with his Phase 4 album from Spain and you have one of the best Stanley Black cd's around!
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 3/24/2005

Big Ones/Bouncing Brass Ted Heath
Big Ones/Bouncing Brass (2005) 4 stars (Import) Netherlands
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4 starsPosthomus album and one real one
The first album was done after Ted's death. You can't even tell because it uses the same personnel. You may be skeptical of a big band doing rock songs, but it works out great! Try it out! The second half has the band married to strings and it's a great album. A superb arrangement of "They Didn't Believe Me." Top notch remastering to boot!
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 3/22/2005 Verified Buyer

Girls Girls Girls / Plays For Latin Lovers Stanley Black
Girls Girls Girls / Plays For Latin Lovers (2005) 3.5 stars (Import)
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4 starsBlack Latin
Great reissue of two satisfying Black albums. Black's usual small group with Latin Rhythms. "Again" is a nice smooth latin arrangement that works perfectly. The girls album is a series of medleys of girl titled songs. Very enjoyable release.
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 3/22/2005 Verified Buyer

Beethoven: Symphony No 7, Fidelio Overture / Reiner, Et Al Fritz Reiner
Beethoven: Symphony No 7, Fidelio Overture / Reiner, Et Al (2001) 5 stars
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5 starsOne of the greatest 7th's ever
This could possibly be one of the greatest recordings of the 7th ever! Thanks to JVC's remastering, this is without question the best sounding resissue this work has ever enjoyed. If you have not tried the XRCD series, this is a good one to go with. Nice and spacious, with full bass and clean treble. The performance is terrific with the last movement played with super human ability. It will knock your socks off!
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 2/23/2005

Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 Brahms / Cso / Reiner / Rubinstein
Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 (2005) SACD Hybrid
CD $11.39 Buy It  Details


3 starsStandard fare performance, but GREAT remastering
This is one of the oldest recordings in the Living Stereo reissues on SACD. This is the best this performance has ever sounded. Transfered from the original two channel tapes, the sound is incredibly natural and spacious. Rubinstein, known for his Chopin, tackles the Brahms. It's a good performance, but Rubinstein doesn't plunge the intense depths of tragedy the same way that Curzon with Szell does. His performance is good, but doesn't have the searing emotions that Curzon and Kapell (with Mitropolous) give to this work. Reiner adds a few minor re-orchestrations in the score, namely the timpani upon the entrance of the basses in the first two minutes of the 1st movement. Reiner's french horns seem curiously underpowered compared to Szell. All in all, a good performance, but not a great one.
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 2/13/2005 Verified Buyer

Dvorak & Walton Cello Concertos B.S.O. / Dvorak / Munch / Piatigorsky / Walton
Dvorak & Walton Cello Concertos (2005) 3.5 stars SACD Hybrid
CD $11.85 Buy It  Details


2 starsInspired conducting, bored cellist
I bought this based on the Living Stereo legend. This new SACD sounds GREAT. A true 3 channel recording. Unfortunately, the cello sounds so far away, even if you play this in standard stereo mode. I tried increasing the center channel and didn't do any good. To make matters worse, Piatigorsky doesn't even compar to Jaqueline Du Pre in her version with Barenboim or Rostropovich with Guilini. Both are much more inspired cellist than Gregor. Gregor's opening is SO TAME, with no excitement or passion. He sounds like he's bored. This is unfortunate, because Charles Munch does a great job of conducting the BSO. Pass this one up and spend your money on Du Pre or Rostropovich instead.
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 2/13/2005 Verified Buyer

Why Can't I Walk Away/Stay With Me Vic Damone
Why Can't I Walk Away/Stay With Me (2003) 4.3 stars
CD $15.55 Buy It  Details


4 starsGreat music, poor remastering
I've waited several years for Vic's Bossa Nova recordings for RCA to come out. Now that it has, I have mixed feelings. The music is top notch but is sabatoged by poor remastering. The tremble seems to be cranked way up, excessive bass and Vic and a few musicians (like the guitarist on Quiet Nights) sound like they are playing in an echo chamber. Despite the mediocre sound, the album is wholly satisfying. Vic's smooth vocals and Ernie Freeman's good arranging, especially on The Shadow of Your Smile are terrific! On "Someone to Light Up Life" you will notice that Vic doesn't sing the verse, unlike Sinatra who sings it complete. That was surprising, but it works. Get this album despite the poor remastering.
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 12/29/2004

Charade Henry Mancini
Charade (1963) 5 stars (Import)
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5 starsNo Charade here, this is the REAL THING
Given the wonderful XRCD remastering, this soundtrack to the great movie Charade sounds better than ever. Virtually no tape hiss, a full dymanic presence and wide stereo separation, Mancini's sound doesn't get any better than this! Don't settle for the other cd issues, the sound won't even come close!
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 12/24/2004 Verified Buyer

Beethoven: Eroica Symphony / Munch, Bosotn Symphony Boston Symphon / Munch
Beethoven: Eroica Symphony / Munch, Bosotn Symphony (2008) 5 stars
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5 starsGood performance, GREAT remastering
This Eroical, while certainly not in the same class as Bruno Walter or George Szell, is still an excellent reading. Munch does not take the exposition repeat in the third movement. The remastering is the best this performance has ever had. The first movement has a punch and clarity that was sorely lacking in previous cd issues. This is no longer the case. If you owned this on LP, get this version and hear how Munch really sounds.
Submitted by a reviewer (Manteca, CA) 12/24/2004

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