Lovely Recordings

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Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 24, 2016
If there is a thread among these recordings, it is perhaps that I feel they are by unjustly overlooked artists, who deserve to stand with some of the best and most famous. I am partial to jazz, but am really open to any music genres, so I have included some gems that seem to be forgotten but are in fact quite influential on generations of subsequent musicians.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 24, 2015
Yes, I changed the name from "Classic Recordings" to "Lovely Recordings". 'Classic' implied Classical and that's not what Lovely Recordings is meant to be. What it is meant to be is simply recordings that offer a combination of exceptional music and exceptional sound quality. Great music, great sound. Great, no?
Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 23, 2015
I’ve picked some records that are currently the loveliest for me. And I’ve kept it to five because once it hits six it goes to twenty and then up.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 21, 2015
I thought I will give this a go. Hopefully I can share a few albums that your readers will like. I sure love them.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 22, 2016
I enjoy the Lovely Recordings idea and have been tempted to submit in the past, but I wasn't sure I had anything to add to the conversation. Anyway, it occurs to me that we need a heavy metal / hard rock submission. No offense against the others, I love jazz, classical, and other forms, but we need to let our hair down.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 15, 2016
The recordings I am listing have engaged me and gotten me out of repetitive listening that I tend to find myself getting into from time to time. They don’t come from a particular genre, and at least as far I can determine, there is no pattern. At the time I first heard each of these records I was most likely focusing on classical or jazz to the exclusion of much else except for the blues, which tends to be a constant for me. These albums either brought me out of that comfort zone or made me want to explore a new genre. Some of this music was genuinely new to me while others were something I found at a store or saw an article about that caused me to seek them out. I find myself coming back to these and a few others when I am in need of breaking out.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 26, 2015
Lovely recordings can be old or not so old, well-known or not, and by the famous or obscure. Classic to an audiophile may not be the same as classic to a music scholar or to a hipster. Mostly, classic depends on the shared consensus of a certain population. (Doesn’t any definition?) Yeah, there’s more to it, but the purpose of this feature, as far as I'm concerned, is less about linguistics and more about sharing superlative musical recordings whose long-term worthiness can be agreed upon by most who encounter them. How’s that? Rather than defend my choices about what I’ve recognized as classics below, I’ll just say that I like them for the gestalt of their particular lyrical, instrumental, technical, and engineering merits, and predict that most of you will, too. These eight albums are some of my go-tos when I need to scratch a musical itch and don’t want to spend much time searching. May you enjoy and profit from them as much as I do.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 08, 2016
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:
Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 02, 2015
Moderat: II (Monkeytown Records, 2013)
This is a stunning album. I'm not sure whose voice appears, I think it's the Apparat fellow (Sascha Ring), but this is a collaboration that makes 1 + 1 = 3. Or maybe 6.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 14, 2015
Some recordings sound canned, the artifacts of production and the recording process call attention to themselves so it takes more work to listen to them. Some popular recordings are even produced in a way that they sound better in your car than on your home stereo (for an example of production that I think detracts, listen to Hozier's album compared to the live NPR mini concert). The Lovely Recordings I've selected, while not audiophile demos, have both musical content I love and sound quality that helps you get into the music. They all sound more real and let you hear further into the mix, especially with better playback systems. These aren't exactly obscure recordings but I feel they should be better known than they are. Doing this, I developed a new appreciation for those who write about music—it's hard.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 29, 2016
Bowie and Bischoff, OK now you have my attention. About all I know of Jherek Bischoff is his 2012 LP I bought, Composed. But that’s enough to know that his ear for string arranging within the pop idiom is certainly interesting. And rightly or wrongly, the speed with which Strung Out in Heaven: A Bowie String Quartet Tribute has been released tells me this was less about some grandiose tribute stocked with a roomful of Big Name Stars than it was from the efforts of a few appreciative fans who just happen to be capable, professional musicians with the drive to make it happen, now. Bischoff has a little more to say about that here.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 18, 2016
My musical tastes changed drastically on August 12, 1972 while at Madison Square Garden for Jethro Tull: we were sitting way down front, center stage, maybe 15 rows back in great seats salivating for Tull. The opening act was a band I had never heard, nor heard of, ROXY MUSIC. Long story short, a friend looked over at me after they did a short 30 minute show, and said, "Fuck Tull".
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 07, 2015
Well thank you for helping me from a digital nothing to finding so much in the streaming word through Tidal. I'm setting up my first hard drive sourced digital music system thanks primarily to your site and help from others. I've been listening to music primarily on vinyl for most of my 50 years so I thought I would share some of the music that moves me with your readers.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 14, 2016
I would have to say that my listening habits are different from most people because I spend so much time in different locations out in a bush camp or some remote third world country. I do the majority of my listening while on the job with a set of headphones either hooked into a laptop or personal audio device. Therefore I like music that takes my mind off of where I am (I’ve worked in locations ranging from north of the Arctic Circle in Alaska and northern Canada to the deserts of the Great Basin, Mexico and Sudan to the tropical forests of Mexico, Central America and Indonesia) and bears repeated listening because portability is very important as I have to live out of a backpack or suitcase for up to a month at a time.

In minerals exploration, one has to go to where the minerals are, not downtown to the office. Digital files for music was a Godsend for me because I could carry the music I like in something the size of a pair of headphones and a paperback book. These ten albums meet that criteria and I can become absorbed in them time and time again, so it isn’t necessary to carry a bunch of files. The performances are outstanding and either have a good story behind them or tell a good story. These performances also come through on inexpensive equipment, a consideration for me because if I drop a rock on the player or drop it in a swamp I don’t want to feel that bad about losing it.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 09, 2015
When I saw that AudioStream had introduced a new feature named Lovely Recordings, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to introduce some great sounding jazz to folks who may not be big jazz fans but who may enjoy rather mainstream jazz that is both beautifully played and sounds lovely. Some of these artists are well known in jazz in the US, others are not but should be. I have also been fortunate enough to see many of these artists live, which no matter how great the recordings are, live is the best way to experience them. There's nothing like Live!