Lovely Recordings Hosted by Mark Dolgonos

I've wanted to share a "Lovely Recordings" post for months, but it wasn't until a recent trip to Sri Lanka that I finally pulled it together. The trip provided the space to revisit my favorite albums from 2017, including older albums that I learned about from blogs like this one and recommendations from friends. Music not only provides a context to our experiences—like, when traveling, zipping from hill country, to jungle, to plateau, to beach, to city—but it enables us to tweak and optimize the moment by selecting the perfect album or track. Like switching out a source, power cable or interconnect, music allows you to fine tune the color and adjust tone. I hope the choices offered up here provide you with ample options, whether for trips to exotic locales or for lazy evenings alone with your audio rig. Bon voyage!

Jlin: Black Origami (Planet, 2017)
I'm pretty sure this album can make you smarter. Despite the mental exhaustion it causes, like studying calculus or physics, I can't stop listening once I put it on. Have played this album all the way through more times than any other in 2017.

Kelly Lee Owens: Kelly Lee Owens (Smalltown Supersound, 2017)
I keep going back to this album. Love the liquid melodies and the compositions, and it seems there's a track for nearly any occasion.

Yazz Ahmed: La Saboteuse (Niam Records, 2017)
Remarkably well-produced by Naim, this jazz album evokes my wife's "Moroccan Love Den" decor phase circa 2013.

King Krule: The OOZ (True Panther Sounds, 2017)
The guy’s voice gives me the heebie jeebies, but I love the laid back vibe that counterbalances the overall creepiness.

Ahmad Jamal: Pittsburgh (Atlantic, 1989)
After I recommended 2017's Marseille, (also by Jamal) my co-worker came back with this older album. Its 70s vibe is more funky, but the production matches the quality on his newest album despite the nearly 20-year recording technology gap.

Fever Ray: Plunge (Rabid Records, 2017)
I love how weird and aggressive this album gets. Parts of it make me really uncomfortable during work commutes on the NY subway but how cute is her accent?!?!

Colter Wall: Colter Wall (Young Mary's Record Co., 2017)
Despite being only 22, this guy is easily one of 2017's best singer/songwriters. It's country, but I believe that statement to be true for all genres -- he's just that good. He also has a voice that makes no sense... It carries a wisdom that belies his age.

Murray Head: Nigel Lived (CBS Records International, 1973)
In the early 70s, Murray Head, the original Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar, found a lost diary in the streets of London. It told the story of an unnamed everyman that tried to make it London. He got a job and then a girl, then lost it all and became a junkie. This concept album recreates his story. It's long been a go-to reference album for audiophiles because of the exceptional and painstaking engineering during the production process.

Jaco Pastorius: Truth, Liberty & Soul (Resonance Records, 2017)
I've really liked this guy ever since reading his biography back at Cornell. This live album -- and especially in super hi-res -- presents his virtuosity in a live concert format that fully captures his mad genius.

Available from HDtracks

Mark lives in Brooklyn, from where he and his wife, Jess, passionately pursue adventurous travel, food, music, yoga, and contemporary art. And, on his own, Mark likes playing with his audio gear and studying tae kwon do.

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lestes's picture

It started with Sturgill Simpson for me, perhaps Colter Wall will continue my country awakening...

Really good recommendations here. Thank you for mixing up the genres. There is a thread of quality through each one...thank you!