Me selling vinyl has been compared to the proverbial alcoholic running the pub, shouldn't be allowed. While I will happily leave runnning record shops to others I find high performance vinyl difficult to resist and so why shouldn't I provide some for you as well?
In fact we sold Mobile Fidelity SoundLabs in the 1980s and 90s so there is some history there. The vinyl revival means that several companies are making some wonderful re-releases. MFSL have been joined by Speakers Corner and Analogue Productions among others.
If you take the famous Miles Davis Kind of Blue I have bought many copies over the years including the Nimbus version which had a very quiet vinyl surface. The latest version used the Analogue Production Ultra High Quality Record system bringing stunning quality and a stunning price, £ 185, ouch! Limited to 25000 only copies these will go fast, reserve one now and your name will go just below mine!
Others now in stock include Lou Reed, Nina Simone, Dire Straits, Derek and the Dominoes, Ry Cooder, David Bowie and Billie Holiday, treats for the ears every one!
Another great gig recently, and one with good enough recordings to really push your hifi system
Luka Bloom is Christy Moore's younger brother and he told a great story about spending the last 30 years as the only person doing a cover of his own song. The City of Chicago is a famous song from Christy Moore's Ride On album which you would assume was written by the Moore singing but no, it was written by the younger Barry Moore, now known as Luka Bloom.
Check out two albums, The Acoustic Motorbike and Turf. Diamond mountain is a beautiful song and a cover of LL Cool J's I need Love is just brilliant!
I have been a fan of Martin Stephenson (and the Daintees) for more years than I can remember, so his recent gig at the Black Box was a must.
He didn't disappoint.
All the old favourites and some great new songs had a virtually full house swaying if not all dancing, apart from Dennis and Nicola obviously!
Check out some great music on Tidal/Napster/Spotify and then buy an album
'Boat to Bolivia', 'Salutation Road', and 'Gladsome, Humour, and Blue' are albums to love, and play, and play.
Many of you know that I am a bit of a jazzhead and ask for some recommendations to get into it
Greatest accessible piano player to introduce you to jazz?
Oscar Peterson, buy the album Night Train, you won't regret it
Saw him live many years ago, will never forget it
Really the Greatest pianist?
Impossible to say, but Bill Evans is absolutely staggering, would have loved to hear him play live.
Earl Hines, Art Tatum?
Evans You must believe in Spring is a must
Greatest saxophone player?
These are impossible questions, the answer is probably Charlie Parker but most accessible is probably Ben Webster, buy King of the Tenors
John Coltrane also must be name checked, buy Soultrane, or if you're feeling really brave A Love Supreme
The greatest trumpet player is Miles Davis. No collection is complete without Kind of Blue, the biggest selling Jazz album of all time. the biggest selling means Abba, Spice Girls, One Direction, but Kind of Blue is probably also the greatest jazz album. I also love Sketches of Spain, Birth of the Cool, and more.
The kick to actually write this after promising it many times was getting a new copy of Kind of Blue in 24 bit Studio Master and listening to it on a Linn Klimax system. Wow, still amazing on my millionth listen. That's a great part of music, you can play a piece again and again and always enjoy it and find something new.
I'm not a huge Sinatra fan, although I have most of the Capitol years on vinyl. Ella is hard to beat, try The Incomparable Ella, but I keep coming back to the soul, passion and hurt of Nina Simone and Billie Holiday. Simone's Gold is a brilliant, especially for a compilation, Holiday's Body and Soul is a must, Strange Fruit is the saddest song you'll ever hear
Best starting point?
There a few great compliation albums out there, but dont stop there.
They are simply a beginning, a signpost to buy what you will enjoy even more
Buy The Best of Blue Note, or Jazz on a Summers Day, or Riverside Jazz, Keynote recordings
Out at a great gig last night.
Little known band from Saskatoon, google it, called The Deep Dark Woods. Atmospheric and intriguing with a touch of country, folk and melancholy. Check t out on Spotify/Napster, album called The Place I left behind. McHughs Basement was packed and the small appreciative audience enjoyed it all.
How do you hear about gigs like this? Well the William that recommended Sun Kil Moon also recommended them and I saw that they were playing at the last minute in the Sunday Times What's On guide. Lucky to see it!
* Check out Sun Kil Moon, ethereal mood music that's addictive, thanks William
We all love finding good music, even if it is actually old good music. Music issues in this section are updates on great music that we have been listening to lately, or reminded of.
If you would like some advice or recommendations about choosing music do drop us a line. My number one tip is to get Napster or Spotify on a Linn DS or Sonos. This will allow you to experience lots of music for little cost and sift through what you want to buy to add to your music library, happy listening.
Check out Malcolm Holcombe, excellent, Thanks Brendan,
and then go to Roscoe Holcomb, no relation, Thanks Roger
These are designed to be help and advice without being too technical. If you are looking to improve your music, surround, or cinema system there will be some useful advice here. For individual advice about your system send me an email from the link. Select from the drop down to the right
Geek Alert! handle with care
We are not ashamed to say that we are geeks about our gear, usually so that you don’t have to be.
We also know that some of you are also geeks and love this stuff, so this page is for those of you who want to know more about technical issues. This might be about amplifiers, turntables, speaker design, video switching, or anything that can be truly perplexing.
The solutions can be based on design or technical papers that can help to explain some of the intricacies of hifi designs, although some will just be old fashioned sound advice. Each issue is challenging, and will hopefully make you look at products and technologies in a new light.
Hope you enjoy it