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    by Published on 01-20-2017 11:46 AM
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    2. The Music In Me
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    This might be a short one today, because it’s all about a story I heard once, and it’s a short one at that. But I never use three words when I can get away with ten, so sit down and we’ll begin with a visit to the Bay Area. I was up there for Thanksgiving, and I had my usual lunch with Bob, my lawyer, guide and friend for over forty years. I can’t say enough about Bob, but it’s not about him, so let’s get to the tour.

    I hadn’t been in Bob’s home for a long time, and he was showing me around when we got to his den, and the first thing I saw was this big old stand-up record player, and I was stopped cold. He said it was from 1913, and he picked up the lid to show me the 78 rpm disc on the turntable. It was one of my favorite boogie woogie pianists, Albert Ammons, and the song was “Early Morning Blues.” Then he flipped it over and I flipped out: it was Sidney Bechet playing “Viper Mad.”

    A Sidney Bechet record! Dude played clarinet and soprano saxophone, and he was so excellent! Bechet (pronounced Bih-SHAY) was born in New Orleans in 1897 to a musical middle-class creole family, and, self-taught, achieved notice at six playing in his brother’s band; by his teens he was the only player in New Orleans who could share the bandstand with Louis Armstrong without embarrassing himself. Bechet was one of the founders of jazz, but not many know about him, and although everyone recognizes Louis Armstrong as being among the first jazz artists to put their craft on wax, Bechet beat him to the studio by several months. That may seem insignificant now, but at the time it was quite important.

    While playing in London, Bechet discovered the straight soprano saxophone, and quickly developed a style quite unlike his warm, reedy clarinet tone. His saxophone sound has been described as "emotional", "reckless", and "large," using a very broad vibrato, common to some New Orleans clarinetists at the time. Bechet was known for his forceful delivery, well-constructed improvisations, and that distinctive, wide vibrato. ...
    by Published on 01-16-2017 12:37 PM
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    2. Editorial
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    Note: This post has very little to do with audio and less to do with computer audio. If you're only looking for such information please skip this post. If you want to read an interesting story and find out about a good music related book, continue on. Much more information about MQA, after my lengthy discussion with Bob Stuart in Las Vegas, is forthcoming in another article.


    CES 2017 started with a bang. Thursday morning Tidal dropped 30,000 MQA tracks and everyone could decode the tracks in software, starting immediately. Music lovers everywhere were listening to old albums again for the first time. Some loved it, ...
    by Published on 12-19-2016 10:24 AM
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    2. The Music In Me
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    No startling revelations today, no mysteries unraveled, just a forgotten teen idol who was an unrecognized pioneer, and a lot of links. Ricky Nelson pioneered country rock before anyone else was doing it, and it was his rebellion. We know: child actors have a habit of growing up screwy. There must be a list somewhere… Here’s a story of how it turned out well. Until the end, that is.

    Eric Hilliard Nelson’s father was a mid-level bandleader and his mother was the singer in the band. Ozzie Nelson was born and raised in New Jersey and that’s where all four Nelsons lived. There was Ozzie, Harriet, David, born in 1937, and Eric, born in 1941, and known as Ricky. Ozzie, Harriet and David moved to Hollywood to star in a TV series starring Red Skelton while Ricky, shy and introspective, stayed behind with Grandma. When Skelton was drafted in 1944, his producer created a radio sitcom for Ozzie and Harriet. The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet debuted on Sunday, October 8, 1944, to favorable reviews, and Ozzie became head writer for the show and based the episodes on the love/hate exploits of his sons. The Nelson boys were first played on the radio by professional child actors until twelve-year-old Dave and eight-year-old Ricky joined the show on February 20, 1949, in an episode called “Invitation to Dinner.” (If you click on that, you’ll see that episode re-created for the TV series.) ...
    by Published on 12-12-2016 01:48 PM
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    2. Editorial
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    It's nearly time to close out 2016 as it's probably 2017 in Australia by now and the Summer 2017 editions of magazines are about to hit the shelves. First, we must give credit where credit is due. Throughout the year, manufacturers, software developers, engineers, distributors, and dealers all put in countless hours to bring us the products that improve our musical lives. Most of these products were in development long before we got our hands on them in 2016. While it's easy to complain about one aspect of a product not meeting our needs or expectations, we should all keep in mind that product development isn't easy. People in this industry have put their careers on the line to bring products to market. Others have put their entire companies on the line to develop new products that they just knew the market would embrace.

    Needless to say, we have the easy part. Sit back in a comfortable chair with remote in hand, listen to great music, and repeat. Evaluating products and reducing years of others' hard work into a few paragraphs can't do these products justice. I encourage everyone to get out to the nearest dealer, or online dealer for those in many areas, and listen to everything this wonderful hobby has to offer. Here at CA we only review a very limited number of components each year. There are many other fine products discussed in the forum that likely deserve much more attention than we can provide. That said, we pick and choose carefully and only review products that meet strict criteria. Of those products, the following are the best of 2016.

    P.S. We don't hand out participation trophies or awards just for producing a product. There are no classes of products here, or even runners-up. Only the best. ...
    by Published on 11-18-2016 10:01 AM
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    2. The Music In Me
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    In August of 1967, my friend Billy came back from London with two albums, which he gave to me, and almost fifty years later, I am still impacted by those albums.


    It seems that during my junior high and high school years, among my friends’ parents I was thought of as something of a bad influence. Yes, I earned some of that… but some of it wasn’t my fault! Then, continuing the tradition after high school, which for me was 1964, my room became something of a hippie redoubt where the nascent neighborhood stoners convened. My parents were away for weeks at a time, which would be when all that convening occurred. I had the cool pad with the stereo set up… just so, and thanks to the absence of parents, we played it loud. I’d moved into a large, finished attic, painted the walls electric blue, used two piled-up mattresses for my bed on one side of the room, and two more for a couch on the other side, both covered similarly. Then I went to one of the “GOING OUT OF BUSINESS!” places in Times Square and got a 9 X 12 oriental rug for $79.99 and used British flags for curtains. Let’s call it proto-hippie décor. ...
    by Published on 11-15-2016 10:06 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Bits & Bytes


    Just a real short post today. If you haven't heard about the new PBS series called Soundbreaking, you must check it out. Here are some paragraphs from PBS about the series. In addition, I've embedded the first video into this post. I hope members of the CA Community from locations that don't receive PBS can watch this series. It's very cool.

    Note: If you're a supporting member of PBS, you can actually watch the other episodes before they air.

    "The eight-part series explores the art of music recording, and offers a behind-the-scenes look at the birth of brand new sounds. Featuring more than 160 original interviews with some of the most celebrated recording artists of all time, Soundbreaking explores the nexus of cutting-edge technology and human artistry that has created the soundtrack of our lives."

    Episode 1: Soundbreaking begins where a recording does — at the intersection of inspiration and execution. Profiling some of the most accomplished and revered producers in the recording industry, “The Recording Artist” offers a study in contrasting styles and approaches.
    ...

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