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Asylum recommendations are more reliable than Penguin, Gramophone, etc., guides

75.39.16.143

Posted on December 29, 2016 at 14:19:17
Jay Buridan
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Thanks, Inmates!

 

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    ...
Well. . . think about it. . . , posted on December 29, 2016 at 16:10:23
Chris from Lafayette
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Asylum posters are not beholden to the industry in a way that might induce corruption (e.g., good reviews in exchange for ad revenue). I'm not saying that anything like that has necessarily happened with the likes of Gramophone, Fanfare, etc. But OTOH, I wouldn't be entirely surprised if something like that did come to light too.

In addition, we all wear our biases on our respective sleeves here (at least I know I do - LOL!), so it's easier to tell what you're getting with AA posts in comparison to Gramophone reviewers who like to maintain their pretense of objectivity. Not to mention the well-known chauvinism of the Brits, known and loved the world over - it's part of their charm! ;-)

(And not to mention examples of reviews like those of disgraced Gramophone critic Bryce Morrison during the Joyce Hatto scandal. Morrison, scandalously, continues to write for that rag, even after being caught describing the same set of performances in completely different ways, depending on whether or not he thought these performances were by Joyce Hatto - in which case they were described in rapturous terms which he scrupulously withheld from the actual originator of the performances, Ingrid Haebler.)

 

I'm very sad to have to say this, Chris, but ..., posted on December 29, 2016 at 16:19:20
rbolaw
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I have to agree with that. All of it.

 

Biases?, posted on December 29, 2016 at 16:43:45
Ivan303
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Nobody here has BIASES, do they?






 

A wonderful start to the New Year!, posted on December 29, 2016 at 17:01:32
Chris from Lafayette
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(Your being on the right side of things, I mean.) ;-)

 

We wears 'em on our sleeve! [nt] ;-), posted on December 29, 2016 at 17:02:49
Chris from Lafayette
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My shelves hold countless mediocre performances, posted on December 30, 2016 at 14:35:32
Jay Buridan
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That attest to the veracity of your words. I learned the hard (and expensive) way that the music guides are not to be trusted. Fortunately, I never fell for HIP accounts of 18-19th century music, although I do like some HIP performances, e.g., John Eliot Gardiner's 1980s Bach edition and his Haydn masses (YMMV.)

I wish I had the time and energy to sell my mediocre CDs on eBay. It would take a lifetime, though.

 

Look 'ere, sunshine, posted on December 30, 2016 at 15:28:40
My name is Fred
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Us Brits are not chauvinistic. We are right.
Now do I 'ave to come round and give you a quick slap round yer lug'oles?







 

Maybe -- BUT ....., posted on December 30, 2016 at 15:33:21
Amphissa
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The biases here are not due to advertising revenues or general ass-hatness. HOWEVER, there are biases here nonetheless.

There us a bias towards hi-rez streaming and downloads.
There is a bias towards recordings by pretty women.
There is a bias towards warhorse composers and much-recorded repertoire.
There is a bias towards re-issues (esp., remastered re-issues in hi-rez)

Are these necessarily *bad* biases? Well, no, not really. As long as one is *aware* of the biases (as Chris pointed out), one can take that into consideration. The problem with most of the reviewing publications is that you know they are industry mouthpieces, but you don't know how much label revenue influences specific reviews.

Still, when the glowing reviews of pretty girls with major label contracts show up in the glossy publications and then turn up here, how does one balance out the biases to make purchasing decisions? And if one simply goes along with the recommendations here without being familiar with other recordings of the same repertoire by other current musicians, is one really able to discern whether the recordings are really all that exemplary?

Okay, most people do not want to buy 10 recordings of the same works. And the real issue is not whether there were biases at play or not. The most important issue, for most lurkers and maybe semi-active posters, is "Is this recording one I'll be happy with?" In other words, not absolutes and ultimates, but "satisficing."

In most cases, I'd say that the recordings recommended on AA are good enough.

Personally, I'd like to see more discussion of less-famous composers who turned out some very fine works that have been lost in the tsunami of new recordings of warhorses.

And although I've voiced some criticisms of modernists, I would actually prefer to see more discussion of modern/contemporary composers. Because just as with Romantic era music, some is worthwhile and some is drek.

And that is enough of my opinion on that topic.


"Life without music is a mistake" (Nietzsche)

 

Oh no, Amphissa!, posted on December 30, 2016 at 15:42:07
rbolaw
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Somebody slipped some truth, insightfulness and rationality serum into your strawberry soda!
My very best wishes to you and yours for a happy new year. Even if some of it ends up wasted on listening to contemporary music.

 

As I say, it's all part of your charm! [nt] ;-), posted on December 30, 2016 at 16:31:01
Chris from Lafayette
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"Personally, I'd like to see more discussion of less-famous composers", posted on December 30, 2016 at 16:34:03
Chris from Lafayette
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So why don't you post more about this?

 

Time is an issue for me [nt], posted on December 30, 2016 at 16:40:32
Amphissa
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.

"Life without music is a mistake" (Nietzsche)

 

BTW, one other thing: only ONE babe musician recording in my recommendation list this year [nt], posted on December 30, 2016 at 16:41:06
Chris from Lafayette
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hahaha -- Happy New Year to you! [nt], posted on December 30, 2016 at 16:41:37
Amphissa
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.

"Life without music is a mistake" (Nietzsche)

 

Ahh ... but many many posts (with pictures) throughout the year [nt], posted on December 30, 2016 at 16:42:42
Amphissa
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.

"Life without music is a mistake" (Nietzsche)

 

RE: Maybe -- BUT ....., posted on December 30, 2016 at 23:24:38
ahendler
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"There us a bias towards hi-rez streaming and downloads.
There is a bias towards recordings by pretty women.
There is a bias towards warhorse composers and much-recorded repertoire.
There is a bias towards re-issues (esp., remastered re-issues in hi-rez)"
Good points. I do want to point out my views
I do no downloads
A lot of my current streaming is from the Naxos Music Library that streams at 320kbps
Since Tidal and Naxos I have tried to discover music that is not familiar to me
I absolutely hate the whole Babe thing that I find is very disrespectful towards women. Chris knows my views on this
I am sometimes guilty of the remastering game but only when reviews indicate the remastering is something really special
My last recommendation was of an old warhorse (MAhler 9th) but it was a recording I was not aware existed ( Bernstein with the Israel Phiharmonic) or the Bychkov Mahler 3rd which it seems I am about the only person who has heard this landmark performance.
I will continue to try to post new things I come across which is not easy since I have been listening for 70 years
Even with the biases I still hope that inmates will post what they discover and like
Another bias I don't care fore is recommending only music available in surround sound. I still think that the majority of audiophiles don't have surround sound systems.
Alan

 

Downloads and Surround, posted on December 31, 2016 at 00:21:45
Chris from Lafayette
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For the most part, the downloads are the very same titles that are available on CD and/or SACD. I've found very few titles that are ONLY available as downloads. As I've pointed out however, sometimes the downloads allow one access to a hi-rez version of an album which is not available in hi-rez otherwise. I'd say that, in most cases, it's probably fair to extrapolate what's said about a hi-rez incarnation of a particular recording to a CD-rez incarnation (at least in the classical world).

As for surround sound, it's an important aspect of a recording to me, but, as far as the audio side of things is concerned, it's usually the case that if an album is available in surround, it's also available in 2-channel. The extrapolation of the sonic qualities of the recording might be a bit harder to make and to depend on in going from surround to 2-channel, but I do think it's a general indicator in most instances.

Also, I don't know if you had seen my previous reference to it (buried inside one of the other threads), but I finally DO have the Bychkov Mahler 3rd now. (I got it earlier this year.) I enjoyed it a lot - thanks for recommending it!

 

They weren't all entirely laudatory though - BTW, do the pictures offend you? [nt] ;-), posted on December 31, 2016 at 00:23:28
Chris from Lafayette
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Agree, but as I found out if you ask about new(er) music you'll get replies., posted on December 31, 2016 at 09:27:17
Rick W
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Endless raps about the 5,000th recording of Beethoven bores hell outta me. But when I posted to bemoan this and ask for recs of 20th/21st cent. music I did get some helpful replies and suggestions. I bought some of those recs and was introduced to some music I might have never known about.

I think Chris is right. Its better to post about new and/or less well known older music yourself. IME your post will generate responses from at least a few people who frequent this joint.

 

Amen., posted on December 31, 2016 at 10:02:59
rbolaw
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So check out that Max Reger clarinet CD I mentioned. Alan is a great guy and very busy with Orpheus, touring, teaching, etc., but recently gave a recital locally that I was able to attend. I think I pointed you to a wild contemporary concerto he did a while back, but this is pure neo-Brahmsian Romantic.

 

Except I hate Mozart and think Miles Davis is overrated.....(nt), posted on December 31, 2016 at 10:12:00
andy evans
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.

 

American Record Guide is ..., posted on December 31, 2016 at 12:14:41
classfolkphile
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a far more objective, informative, and accurate review guide for classical music. And they review lots of little known and contemporary material.

The discussions here are very enjoyable. Thanks all!

 

No - but neither do they inspire me to buy [nt], posted on December 31, 2016 at 13:50:39
Amphissa
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.

"Life without music is a mistake" (Nietzsche)

 

That was not my point, posted on December 31, 2016 at 14:08:25
Amphissa
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My point was that hi-rez streaming seems to be a primary criterion for selecting recordings to recommend, rather than the music/performance. In other words, if a recording is hi-rez (esp streaming), it is more likely to be recommended (or even mentioned) than recordings that are available only as ordinary red book CD or low-rez. Which means that good music/performances that are not available in hi-rez (esp streaming) get overlooked.

Same deal with the pretty girls. If one goes back through the recommendations, one sees lots of recordings by pretty girls recommended (or sometimes not). Whereas there are far fewer recordings by guys recommended (or not mentioned). Are pretty girls better musicians than guys? Well, they are certainly more popular here.

As I said in my OP, the biases here are not critical issues for me, because we know what the biases are and can take them into consideration. It is the biases of industry reviewing sources that are much more suspect, because their biases are often not as apparent.

"Life without music is a mistake" (Nietzsche)

 

Yes, and Fanfare as well .... [nt], posted on December 31, 2016 at 14:12:15
Amphissa
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"Life without music is a mistake" (Nietzsche)

 

"Are pretty girls better musicians than guys?" - Red herring alert!, posted on December 31, 2016 at 15:12:19
Chris from Lafayette
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ONE of my twelve or thirteen faves for 2016 was by a babe musician.

Regarding hi-rez streaming vs. "music/performance", I'm not among those who feel that a recording has to be ancient in order for the music and performance to excel. Yes, I'm drawn to multi-channel, hi-rez albums these days (personal preference, so what?). At the same time, I'll point out that a couple of my choices for 2016 are reissues of recordings from the late 50's (Paray/Saint-Saens) / early 60's (William Steinberg/Schubert).

It's too bad you (or others who may feel strongly about it) don't have the time to post about these excellent older recordings that are not available in hi-rez. In many (but certainly not all) cases, I'm familiar with these older recordings too. In fact, I'd guess that I'm more familiar with these older recordings than folks who complain about too much hi-rez on this forum are familiar with more modern recordings. Whatever.

 

They're not there to inspire you to buy necessarily, posted on December 31, 2016 at 15:18:49
Chris from Lafayette
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I generally try to include pics of the album and/or the artist when I post about a given recording - just for info/interest in case someone DOES become interested. I think Ivan303 does the same thing.

 

RE: Yes, and Fanfare as well .... [nt], posted on December 31, 2016 at 15:28:55
classfolkphile
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I never found Fanfare to be at all accurate as to either performance or sound quality in their reviews. With more than an occasional suspicion of advertising influence. ARG has very little advertising and mostly - if not all - from very small labels. Fanfare may be different now: I haven't picked it up in years.

 

Why I ditched Fanfare., posted on December 31, 2016 at 17:59:26
Travis
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Snarky reviews.


"If people don't want to come, nothing will stop them" - Sol Hurok

 

Guilty as charged!, posted on December 31, 2016 at 18:06:36
Ivan303
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And here to remind Chris that...

They were all 'babes' once upon a time!





 

What's this? Someone else thinks Miles Davis is overrated???, posted on December 31, 2016 at 20:25:39
Mike K
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I thought I was the only one on this board who thinks this way! We must
be careful, lest we incur the wrath of the vast number of MD lovers who
inhabit this board!

I know little of Mozart, however.

 

I trust the opinions of certain individuals here, posted on December 31, 2016 at 20:28:31
Mike K
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in matters of popular music (thank you Kavakidd).

Another excellent source of reasonably unbiased reviews of popular music
is allmusic.com

 

RE: BTW, one other thing: only ONE babe musician recording in my recommendation list this year [nt], posted on December 31, 2016 at 20:41:11
jazz1
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I do not mind "babes" cd covers, after all it was their own choices, not the possible buyers, seing Khatia or Yuja perform in sexy clothes surely does not detract of their performances.
They was even more nudity on paintings a few hundreds years back.
To me there is nothing wrong with anything that please the eyes
HNY to all.

 

Thank, posted on December 31, 2016 at 23:33:03
kavakidd
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YOU!
"Man is the only animal that blushes - or needs to" Mark Twain

 

RE: What's this? Someone else thinks Miles Davis is overrated???, posted on December 31, 2016 at 23:33:55
kavakidd
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You're not
"Man is the only animal that blushes - or needs to" Mark Twain

 

Not over rated but-, posted on January 1, 2017 at 08:54:36
Ross
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History would view him differently if Clifford Brown had lived.

MD's genius was in creating new ways of expressing jazz. He was not an innovative trumpet player.

I am a fan of his creative output and legacy.

 

"Whereas there are far fewer recordings by guys recommended", posted on January 1, 2017 at 11:01:59
Analog Scott
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Do you have hard numbers to back that up?

 

RE: Yes, and Fanfare as well .... [nt], posted on January 1, 2017 at 13:45:05
Amphissa
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Well, I admit I dropped ALL reviewing rags some years ago, including ARG and Fanfare and every other magazine subscription, when I was preparing for a move. Wifey and I never re-subscribed to anything and are just as happy not having issues of magazines piling up.

However, at the time I dropped everything, I thought Fanfare was at least independent of ad corruption. If it no longer is, I'm sorry to hear that.


"Life without music is a mistake" (Nietzsche)

 

RE: What's this? Someone else thinks Miles Davis is overrated???, posted on January 1, 2017 at 14:13:54
Tweaker456
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Yes, Be VERY careful. You're walking a tight rope and it's only Jan 1. Miles lives. T456
"Freedom is irrelevant. Self-determination is irrelevant. You must comply." The Borg

 

RE: Not over rated but-, posted on January 1, 2017 at 14:16:13
Tweaker456
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KOB wasn't innovative?
"Freedom is irrelevant. Self-determination is irrelevant. You must comply." The Borg

 

Well..., posted on January 1, 2017 at 15:58:00
vinyl survivor
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Miles definitely changed musical direction as time progressed. While I enjoy his music, he certainly was not a great trumpet player. Many well known trumpet players could play circles around him.

 

RE: Well..., posted on January 1, 2017 at 16:29:37
Tweaker456
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He was a great musician. For depth of feeling he is unsurpassed, and that's what counts the most, IMHO , at least in his best stuff. Since it's New Years day I'll keep it light, but remember, tomorrow's another day. Miles Lives. T456
"Freedom is irrelevant. Self-determination is irrelevant. You must comply." The Borg

 

Its not worth the effort, and futile anyway. nt, posted on January 1, 2017 at 17:21:51
Rick W
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nt

 

Late to the party here, but is there anything left to be said about music available on CD and Lp? , posted on January 2, 2017 at 08:26:28
jdaniel@jps.net
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So much ink has already been spilled concerning titles issued in the mono and stereo analog and early digital era, by people far more insightful and eloquent than most in here. Especially me.

What can one say that can't read elsewhere? Or since it's you offering input, : ), what can *you* say that other's might have missed? Go for it! Balance the conversation.

With regard to one's bias towards hi-res? What does that mean? That one is restricting himself? Recordings from 1925 to present are available in hi-res.

 

Yep... plus, who really cares?..., posted on January 2, 2017 at 12:12:07
musetap
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MD's music is what it is, his trumpet playing is what it is, his vision is what it is.

And the great part?

It's all well documented for as long as anything will be well documented and the... controversy?...
will last equally as long.

And that IS a period.

"Once this was all Black Plasma and Imagination"-Michael McClure




 

In which case you should probably study up on some Mozart..., posted on January 2, 2017 at 12:13:49
musetap
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while easing off Miles Davis.

It's tedious at best.



"Once this was all Black Plasma and Imagination"-Michael McClure





 

But Clifford Brown DIDN'T live..., posted on January 2, 2017 at 12:22:42
musetap
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so why even bother?

History would view Clifford Brown differently if Buddy Bolden had been recorded or lived longer.

But he didn't.


"Once this was all Black Plasma and Imagination"-Michael McClure




 

No he didn't, unfortunately, posted on January 2, 2017 at 18:46:33
Mike K
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I am a fan of jazz trumpet and trumpeters, and Brownie is the best I
have heard. Better than Louis, Roy, Clark, Miles (by a long ways),
Dizzy, Ruby, Hackett, Bix, Hargrove, and Wynton. And others. He's
not as good, in terms of sheer technical virtuosity, as some of the good
classical trumpeters, but he's close.

 

Lots to be said because there is SO MUCH OF IT..., posted on January 2, 2017 at 19:19:30
Ivan303
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Enter BACH in the search window of QOBUZ and you get a listing of 223,000 tracks, 18,396 albums and 88,000 artists.

OK, some a duplicates, but still...

There is a LOT out there, nobody can hear it all, even though I'm giving it my best effort. ;-)





 

No ... and there WAS no Birth of the Cool... N/T, posted on January 2, 2017 at 20:46:07
musetap
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aa
"Once this was all Black Plasma and Imagination"-Michael McClure




 

"He was not an innovative trumpet player"..., posted on January 2, 2017 at 20:58:31
musetap
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Yeah, LOADS of trumpet players where using a wah wah pedal before MD plugged in.


"Once this was all Black Plasma and Imagination"-Michael McClure




 

You left Lester Bowie off that list... N/T, posted on January 2, 2017 at 21:00:03
musetap
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aa
"Once this was all Black Plasma and Imagination"-Michael McClure




 

RE: Yes, and Fanfare as well .... [nt], posted on January 3, 2017 at 15:56:38
Travis
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How do you keep up with news of the latest releases, or, do you?


"If people don't want to come, nothing will stop them" - Sol Hurok

 

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