Lovely Recordings Hosted by Paul Judice

What a delight this feature of Audiostream has been. It’s great to see that audiophiles listen to something other than Kinda Blue and Diana Krall. I’ve been looking for the next great musical thing for as long as I can remember. Along the way there were memorable moments of discovering Roxy Music as a teen, seeing Steve Reich premier Tehillim in the Rothko Chapel and watching journeymen players get lost in a sound at the Lennox Lounge in Harlem.

I have an eleven year-old daughter who has begun her own search into music. It’s an incredible feeling to share music that’s meaningful to you with your children. When it clicks—when they respond in the way that you did years ago—there’s nothing better.

Clogs: The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton (Brassland, 2010)
I forget how I discovered the Clogs, but once I heard them I was sold. They are a classical ensemble that twists and stretches the definition of classical music. Among the band members is Bryce Dessner, whose day job is lead guitarist for The National.

I took the family to see them perform at Merkin Hall and sat 15 feet from the stage in an already intimate space. My daughter was 8 and it was her first grownup concert. When Rachel Elliot strutted across the stage playing a bassoon like a rock electric guitar, time stopped.

I’ve listed their last album here, but all five albums are equally great. Consider this a teaser.

Available from Bandcamp

Bryce Dessner: Music for Wood and Strings performed by So Percussion (Brassland, 2015)
Bryce Dessner is a busy man. Aside from Clogs and The National, he’s always involved in other projects. Here’s a fascinating piece that he composed for dulcimer-like instruments that he had built to his specifications. I’ve included a link to a video that explains the technical and creative process.

Available from Bandcamp

The Wild Reeds: Blind and Brave (The Wild Reeds, 2014)
Tiny Desk Concert on NPR is a great place to find new music and upcoming artists. That’s where I saw the The Wild Reeds perform songs from their album The Blind and the Brave. Their gorgeous harmonies and beautiful arrangements had me fumbling to buy the download.

Available from Bandcamp

Sam Lee & Friends: The Fade in Time (The Nest Collective, 2015)
I also discovered Sam Lee and Friends on Tiny Desk. Sam is a Mercury Award winner who brings English folk songs to life with inventive arrangements. Check out his Tiny Desk concert and you might understand why The Fade in Time was on constant play in my home until my family called an intervention.

Available from Tidal

Delicate Steve: Wondervisions (Luaka Bop, 2011)
Delicate Steve’s Wondervisions is an infectious psychedelic guitar album. I don’t know much about Delicate Steve, but he’s one of the few artists on David Byrne’s Luaka Bop label who isn’t in the world music category.

Available from Bandcamp

Colin Stetson And Sarah Neufeld: Never Were the Way She Was (Constellation Records, 2015)
Colin Stevenson plays sax. He’s worked with The National, Tom Waits, Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, TV on the Radio and everyone else. His solo work is hard to put into a category. He combines emotionally rich compositions with his unique circular breathing technique to create a physically engaging sound. He frequently plays some sort of bass sax (what is this thing?!) the size of a Frigidaire that makes for a staggering display.

I suggest starting with Never Were the Way She Was and continue through it all.

Available from Constellation Records

Rachel's: Music for Egon Schiele (Quarterstick Records, 1996)
If you enjoy modern classical, you may already be familiar with Rachel’s. Rachel Grimes, the composer and pianist for Rachel’s, recently performed at Merkin Hall on the twentieth anniversary of their gorgeous collection Music for Egon Schiele. She was accompanied by a piano ensemble of twenty-somethings going by the name Longleash, who must have been in preschool around the time the piece was first released. Seeing the two generations perform together was a special experience and sitting next to my eleven year-old – lost in the sonic beauty of the performance – was a memorable moment.

It’s interesting to note that Longleash took its name from a secret CIA program that promoted modern American art during the cold war. It sounds like a joke, but it’s true. Google it.

Available from Tidal

Michael Gordon: Timber (Cantaloupe Music, 2011)
I stumbled across this mesmerizing video performance of Michael Gordon’s Timber being performed in a lumber shop and had to have the music.

Available from Bang On Can

Dictaphone: Poems From A Rooftop (Sonic Pieces, 2012)
Dictaphone, as described on the Boomkat site, has a lavish cinematic sound. I’ll buy that, but the rest of the description sounds like a bad Google translation from German into French and then into English. Enjoy.

Available from Boomkat

may amp and my kid at MOMA on a fun piece they allowed viewers to “ride”

I’m not a gear fetishist (this isn’t entirely true) but, I appreciate the difference that good hi-fi makes in the listening experience. For the record, I have an EL84 Luxman integrated tube amp (SQ-N100) that I’ve enjoyed for the last eight or so years without looking back. I‘ve tried a number of DAC solutions and then finally noticed that all the reviewers I read own a Halide HD DAC. Adding an iFi power supply and Gemini USB seemed to move everything up a notch. An Oppo 95 does CD duty, but all LP’s and the turntable have been moved out of NYC. Computer audio makes very good sense in claustrophobic Manhattan.

A pair of Sonics Anima monitor speakers on 28” stands completes the system. There’s a small REL subwoofer in the mix that I sometimes love and other times question.

Share your Lovely Recordings with us!

2_channel_ears's picture

I know none of these. Will keep me busy for awhile.

jrhud's picture

Nice list, I too look forward to exploring, and sharing with my 13 year old daughter.

lestes's picture

Really enjoyed your list...if the well gets dry, please submit another. This has been a great night of new music...shame I have to take care of a 2 and 4 year old in 7 hours or I'd keep it going. Cheers!