Lovely Recordings

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Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 26, 2017  |  1 comments
Greetings from the antipodes, NZ more precisely. I’ve been thinking about this for a while and finally managed to make myself do it.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 19, 2017  |  3 comments
It’s 1996, well before iPods, smartphones and easy Internet access. My employer is sending me from New York City to Sydney, Australia for a 1-year work assignment. My wife and two little kids are coming too. We can bring whatever fits into allowable checked luggage and carry-ons, plus a small “barrel” of other personal items (mostly toys & clothes) that will follow by cargo ship a few months later. We’ll be living in a very small apartment, so most of our possessions will be staying behind (or being sold at garage sale, in the case of my vinyl collection) including everything from our pets to our musical instruments, the hi-fi system and most of my recorded music library. We have two months to get organized. I designate a small cardboard box for CDs to bring along. The ones I choose to fit in that box will have to do me for a year, and I’ll be playing them on a boom-box to be purchased once we arrive. Not the happiest thought for an audiophile, but to be honest there are more pressing things to think about.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 05, 2017  |  2 comments
Long time reader, infrequent commenter. Enjoy!
Michael Lavorgna  |  May 29, 2017  |  2 comments
The enjoyment of music is such a personal thing, but we love to share that joy with friends. And in reading many of the Lovely Recordings entries one thing that seems to be missing is demo material for my friends. My own personal listening is greatly varied; but many of the buddies I have are not into jazz or Classical, so a lot of the wonderful suggestions in other entries are lovely but if I’m trying to expand the HiRes empire they’re not helpful weapons in conquering my friends. [Note: Of course each could be used as a whole album or individual tracks if pressed for time.]
Michael Lavorgna  |  May 15, 2017  |  3 comments
Posting on Lovely Music was such fun that I’ve come back for more. I’ve recently armed myself with Roon and a Tidal account, which have made exploring new music a daily event. Equipped with offline Tidal selections and a Dragonfly Red dangling from the iPhone, the morning subway ride is almost bearable.
Michael Lavorgna  |  May 08, 2017  |  8 comments
Working out in the bush (as we say in Canada) or in the field (as we say in the United States), I’ve found that I’ve spent quite a bit of time in a variety of landscapes, usually alone or perhaps with one other person. Many people believe that working alone out in the bush may not be a good thing, but I’ve found that it gives one time and space to think and notice the world around you without any background noise or distractions. I don’t think that being alone is necessarily a bad thing. So, here is some music that I think reflects the solitude of being out in the bush.
Michael Lavorgna  |  May 01, 2017  |  5 comments
Last year, in one of those midlife plot twists, I was forced to give up running. I turned to music, live and recorded, to replace that sense of a truer, endorphin-tinged world that running had given me. In the past year I’ve been obsessively seeing live shows as well as fussing with my home loudspeaker placement. I have inhabited that chasm dividing live performance from recordings. Here’s some music I fell in love with live over the past year, and how I fell for it all over again on record in a different way.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 24, 2017  |  0 comments
I have very eclectic listening tastes, in fact I think it’s wonderful to put my iTunes on shuffle and see what comes up. Some of the transitions work very well, some are downright hilarious and others are jarring which works too because it jerks my attention to what is playing.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 17, 2017  |  6 comments
I’ve been reading (and looking forward to) Lovely Recordings since the column first appeared. All of you have introduced me to fabulous things that I likely would have never heard otherwise. I am in debt to you, and I hope I might pay back at least a little with the list below. All of this music is available on Tidal.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 10, 2017  |  6 comments
Let me start by saying that I absolutely love Bandcamp. The convenience and sheer variety of music available is mind boggling. All of the Lovely Music choices featured here are from Bandcamp. 99% of the time the music posted on Bandcamp lets you stream complete albums, so you get to hear exactly what you're buying. You are able to select the format that you are downloading in. I download in FLAC and in general the sound is excellent and often is in 24 bit. Having a 3 Terabyte USB hard drive has allowed for a lot of downloading and experimenting with music that is free to download or "Name Your Price" from Bandcamp. Another bonus is that you can click on fans or supporters of the artist and see their music libraries to get ideas of similar music and genres.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 03, 2017  |  2 comments
I’m a jazz pianist, and consequently spend more of my available music time practicing and rehearsing than just listening. However, I do love to listen to creative improvisers, whether live or recorded. To me, there’s nothing more exciting and inspiring than musicians improvising together to create something unexpected and beautiful. I’m not particularly excited by recordings assembled piece by piece in a studio or computer…I want the sounds of humans playing instruments together in real time.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 27, 2017  |  4 comments
The process of exploring music is, for me, inextricably related to the passage of time. Like many, I cant help but relate what was occurring in various stages of my life to the music I was listening to at the time. So, I decided to do my bit here from that viewpoint. Some records here are very high profile, chestnuts even, some not so much. Most importantly, all trigger indelible memories.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 14, 2017  |  First Published: Mar 13, 2017  |  5 comments
Thank you for considering my list for your website.

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