Lovely Recordings: Hosted by Chad ('Lestes' here on AS)

Thank you to all those that have contributed to this series. Many have shown me new artists that I was previously unaware of to date so I thought I'd return the favor. In no particular order—a little of everything:

Mike Garson: The Oxnard Sessions, Vol 2 (MG&A, 1992)
In a time when brick and mortar stereo shops could still be found in most towns, my dad and I stopped in one and he bought this album. It has been listened to countless times between us.

Available from Presto Classical Listen on Tidal

Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar | 4AD, 2007)
Of the many concerts I was able to enjoy with my wife, the three we attended of Bon Iver from 2009 to 2011 stand out among the most memorable. Together we saw them shoot from relative unknowns, in the basement of a Unitarian Church in Philadelphia, to a (Indie) success playing for a few thousand. It was prior to our first child’s birth in 2012 and this album encapsulates a special time in our lives (despite its theme of love loss). It is also a good album without my sappy story…

Available from Boomkat Listen on Tidal

Eric Dolphy: Out to Lunch (Blue Note Records, 1964)
This is the album that took jazz from like to love for me. It remains my gold standard.

Available from HDtracks Listen on Tidal

Purity Ring: Another Eternity (4AD, 2015)
There is something about music that teleports one to their personal happy place. Here the digital is divine. Of the many places music takes me, boating on Biscayne Bay in Miami is by far the most pleasing. Cueing up Purity Ring always takes me there despite my more common landlocked existence.

Available from 4AD Listen on Tidal

Roberta Flack: First Take (Atlantic, 1969)
A great example of finding one album within an artist’s library that completely speaks to me. The collection of songs is independently great and collectively beautiful.

Available from Acoustic Sounds Listen on Tidal

Yehudi Menuhin: Beethoven: The Complete Violin Sonatas Vol.II (Deutsche Grammophon, 1999)
Strangely I stumbled on the LP of this album and find it so beautiful that I put it into my Favorites on Tidal. Typically I do the opposite, discover music on Tidal and then buy the LP of anything I listen to consistently.

Available from Qobiz Listen on Tidal

I imagine most of us have stumbled upon this site because we love music and enjoy its reproduction. As my system gains higher fidelity, I have found beauty in more genres of music. Today I am well beyond the music of my youth because audio designers have made components that make all music come alive in my house. I’m excited to be hearing such realistic music, recreated at the keystroke of my computer or swipe of my finger.

Share your Lovely Recordings with us!

BradleyP's picture

Chad--Thank you for sharing these favorites of yours! I'm deeply impressed by what's here. Garson's other recordings on Reference Recordings are favorites, so I'm not sure how I overlooked this one, but I'm really glad you brought it to my attention. Bon Iver is brand new to me, and I'm finding it superlative in every way. What a special album!

Roberta Flack's First Takes is astounding in its depth, performance, and mood. Soul, gospel, straight-ahead jazz, funk, and the tenderest-ever ballads flow effortlessly and organically from one to another. How did they do it? Each track is masterful, but the whole exceeds the sum of its parts. This is what an album is for.

garrettnecessary's picture

I've been playing the Menuhin on Tidal ever since I read your list. Kempf's accompaniment is the best I've ever heard, and Menuhin is so lithe -- he brings out the Mozart in Beethoven. Also I was just thinking that Out to Lunch in addition to being musically one of the greatest jazz albums ever is also one of the best recorded. Tony Williams drums startle me every time with their liveness. Great list!

lestes's picture

Hi Guys,

I'm glad you enjoyed the selection. It is really hard to limit oneself to just a few recordings, but therein lies the key. Each of these are complete albums. Truly artistic statements capturing lightning in a bottle.

You both articulated my feelings for these albums in your comments better than I did. Perhaps you will have a chance to contribute to this segment, I'd greatly appreciate the reciprocation as it is a segment I look forward to each week.


gtandzi's picture

'First Take' is also available as 192/24 at HDTRacks, and in my opinion (I have the LP and CD) well worth it. AS is 'Quiet Fire', the unacknowledged funkified Roberta Flack album, that I also love.