Lovely Recordings Hosted by John R. Miller (Part 2)

We all have our favorite recordings. These are the ones we play for friends or want listen to energize ourselves because when we first heard them, they floored us (and still do!).

Tchaikovsky: Symphony #4, Leningrad Philharmonic, Mravinsky (Deutsche Grammophon, 1995)
The brass are gorgeous, the tempo of the finale is demonic with perfect articulation by all string sections. Every other version pales in comparison.

Available from Pro Studio Masters

Bruce Springsteen: Born to Run (Columbia, 1975)
My wife and I were concert ushers in college—imagine being paid to see every concert for over two years! I had never heard of Springsteen who was touring to promote this album. He started at 8 sharp and played until after midnight without a break. I bought the album the next day. "Thunder Road" was immediately one of my favorite songs and has remained so ever since.

Available from HDtracks

Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here (Harvest/Columbia, 1975)
We are not supposed to list the obvious but there is a reason this is on everybody’s list; this is classical music in rock form. I played this for a friend of my sons, and he went out afterwards and bought a "real" stereo system. It obviously moved him as well.

Available from Tidal

Gene Ammons and Sonny Sitt: Boss Tenors (Verve, 1961)
“There Is No Greater Love” opens the set. The contrasting tones of the two tenors and the interplay during this uptempo ballad keeps this in my top 10 and a solid recommendation for people who are just starting to listen to jazz.

Available from Tidal

Marshall Tucker Band (Capricorn, 1973)
My freshman year roommate was from Spartanburg and was friends with the band so I just had to buy this the first day it was released. Country rock with a flute? Wow.

Available from Tidal

La Strada: New Home (Ernest Jenning Record Co., 2010)
This great group has now disbanded. Unique orchestration including strings, accordion, and horns, and first rate recording quality make this album stand out. The musicians are also first rate.

Available from Tidal

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers: Moanin’ (Blue Note Records, 1958)
Benny Golson and Lee Morgan excel on the title piece by a first rate writer, Bobby Timmons.

Available from HDtracks

Shelly Manne: Shelly Manne and his Men at the Blackhawk (Contemporary, 1960)
There are five volumes, and they are all good but volume three is my favorite. "Whisper Not” stands out among a set of recordings that are the epitome of small club jazz sets. These should be on all jazz listeners’ lists.

Available from Qobuz

Stravinski: Rite of Spring (London/Decca/Polygram Records, 1990)
I have no favorite (but recommend the Dutoit). This was quite a change from somebody who up until he heard this thought that classical music ended with the 19th century Russians and Germans.

Available from Tidal

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons, The Academy of Ancient Music (L'Oiseau Lyre, 1984)
The orchestra was 10 years old when this was recorded. From here I expanded to original instrument versions of my favorite classical and baroque pieces.

Available from Presto Classical

Leo Kottke: 6- And 12-String Guitar (Takoma Records, 1969)
Leo was at the top of his game. I have seen him many times in concert. This recording captures his wit and sense of humor like no other Leo album.

Available from Tidal

About myself: My music room shares space with my home office. I do not want to scare you with a picture.

I have tried to simplify my Equipment:

  • Rogue Audio Tube integrated
  • AR ES1 1983 model: New Merrill motor, springs, Graham 2.2 arm
  • Von Schwieckert VR 4 jr speakers
  • Arcam CD
  • Musical Fidelity DAC
  • Mac Book Pro
  • Amarra studio SQ+ & Amarra for Tidal for streaming
  • All cabling + speaker wires are by Straight Wire (yes - interconnects do make a huge difference!)

Share your Lovely Recordings with us!

Dibbs's picture

Saw them with the Outlaws!
The Kottke is STILL my favorite of his

harry thind's picture

First Jazz Album I ever purchased. Like.

foxhall's picture

The Tchaikovsky truly is phenomenal.