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kireviewer RSS Feed (Sunnyvale, Ca United States)
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Prelude
Prelude
Offered by Fulfillment Express US
Price: $9.09
50 used & new from $3.68

3.0 out of 5 stars Half amazing; half boring-Deodato needs to shed the orchestrations and feature himself, August 28, 2015
This review is from: Prelude (Audio CD)
Famous for Also Sprach Zarathustra, a Strauss composition that was used in 2001: A Space Odyssey and is usually called 2001.

The sound quality of the CD I have is pretty good. The CD is only 32 minutes long and only has about 19 minutes of good music on it.

DON'T BELIEVE WHAT OTHERS SAY. THERE IS SOME JAZZ FUSION, BUT IT IS MORE LUSH POP MUSIC.
So, this album is split between jazz fusion and lush pop jazz.

Deodato is a very good and interesting piano player and he should feature himself some more instead of relying on strings and horns.

The first track is a very nice Also Sprach Zarathustra.

Then the album goes into two tunes composed by Deodato. They are not very good and I find them very boring. They are lush and over orchestrated. Next, he plays a show tune and it sounds like a show tune. It reminds of music that was played on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Next he plays an acceptable version of Debussy's Prelude to Afternoon of a Faun.

The last track was co-composed by Deodato and the great drummer Billy Cobham. It sounds like Cobham had more to do with the tune than Deodato. It is a very nice piece of jazz fusion.

I got this album when it first came out in 1972. But, it was horrible shape, with lots of pops, crackles and noise. I also remember not liking it very much and didn't play it very often. Then, the movie Being There featured Also Sprach Zarathustra. They edited it down to a fantastic piece of music that highlighted Deodato's piano playing. My interest in this album peaked again because of it, and I told myself to buy the CD version to replace more horrible LP if I ever saw it. Well, I did see the CD, I bought it and now I remember why I didn't play it that much. Good beginning and end but a lot of crap in the middle. But, I will rip the good parts and get rid of the CD.


Celebration Day (Deluxe Edition 2CD, 1 Blu-Ray, 1 DVD (CD sized digipak)
Celebration Day (Deluxe Edition 2CD, 1 Blu-Ray, 1 DVD (CD sized digipak)
Price: $31.68
85 used & new from $11.89

2.0 out of 5 stars CD sounds horrible. Are the DVD and Blu-Ray as bad?, August 16, 2015
I bought just the CD because I really don't spend time watching videos.

The CD sound quality is absolutely horrible. It sounds like it was recorded by a microphone at the back of the auditorium instead off of the soundboard. Are the videos better? Maybe there is a bad translation from 5.1 to stereo?

Musically, I don't think this is that great either. It has that dinosaur band feel to it....playing the audience favorites close to how they sounded on the original albums, instead of opening up and expanding on the sound like the group did in its early days (just like the Pink Floyd reunion tours).

While, I don't think it is great, the music is still pretty good. They group does open up here and there. And some songs have were played like I never heard before.

I saw Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s. I can't remember which year, but it was before Song Remains the Same came out. Back then, the hot bootleg to get was the infamous Blueberry Hill. Since then, a number of live CDs and videos have come out. All are much better than this.

Led Zeppelin formed out of the breakup of the Yardbirds. They were going to continue on as the New Yardbirds but changed to Led Zeppelin. The original members of the Yardbirds went on to form the progressive art-rock band Renaissance (which reformed 2 albums later with a completely different group of people). It was a fun time in Rock.


Mauro Pagani
Mauro Pagani
Price: $35.58
19 used & new from $12.77

4.0 out of 5 stars Not for casual listening., August 15, 2015
This review is from: Mauro Pagani (Audio CD)
Note that you can get this album and Pagani's second album on one disc for very cheap.

Mauro Pagani was in the Italian progressive rock band, PFM. I viewed him as the creative force behind the band's early days as the group's sound changed significantly after he left the band.

The musical credits on this album include three other members of PFM, but this album does not sound anything like PFM.

This album is heavy on the traditional Italian folk music style. Italian folk music is similar to the Spanish folk music Flamenco with the Moroccan and Turkish influences.

I am not a huge fan of this type of music and I didn't really like this album when I just played it in the background. But, when I played it in my car, where I listened more intently, I really began to appreciate it. It can be very complex and intricate. Still, the style of music seems a little harsh to my ear at times.

So, don't get this album expecting PFM. Get this album if you like southern European folk music with Moroccan influences or if you just want to be adventurous.


Mauro Pagani / Sogno 1 Notte D'Estate
Mauro Pagani / Sogno 1 Notte D'Estate
Price: $6.99
16 used & new from $4.48

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Deal! Not for casual listening., August 15, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
If you are reading this, you probably know that Mauro Pagani was from the Italian band Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM). Rightly or wrongly, I considered him the creative force behind PFM. When he left the band, the group had changed from mixing blues, jazz and rock with Italian music. Many of the PFM albums after he left were not very good.

These are Pagani's first two solo albums.

The first album features members of PFM, but doesn't sound anything like PFM.

The first album is heavy on traditional Italian folk music. It is similar to the Spanish folk style of Flamenco with the heavy Moroccan influences. I am not a huge fan of that type of music. I did not like this album when I first played it in the background. But, as I listened to it more carefully I began to really appreciate it. There is some very complex and intricate music.

The second album is more pop and rock oriented.

I probably wouldn't give either album on its 5 stars. But at the low price I bought this for and there are two albums on it, I boosted it up to 5 stars.


Live In Japan
Live In Japan
Price: $16.99
66 used & new from $8.45

2.0 out of 5 stars Poor sound quality ruins a nice album., August 15, 2015
This review is from: Live In Japan (Audio CD)
In the 1970s, Columbia Records would release certain live albums only in Japan. They did this with Blood, Sweat and Tears and Santana (the wonderful Lotus). Those were great albums.

Something went wrong here. The sound quality is poor. There is no dynamic range and the top end is greatly compressed. To me, the sound quality is very unpleasant. It is especially bad if you listen to this on good stereo equipment. The sound quality is at its worse at the beginning of the first CD and does become bearable in some later parts.

The mix is also bad in parts. The guitar is in the background during solos when it should be brought up front. It is hard to distinguish the vocals at times.

I have heard bootlegs and audience recordings that have much better sound than this.

Some say this is better than Live at Carnegie Hall, but that is ridiculous. It is different but not better. There are songs and performances on this that you don't get on Carnegie Hall, which is what makes this enjoyable. But, it is a limited set, under 2 hours. The band does open in some parts and it is wonderful, but it is also constrained by the short concert time.

The performance is sloppy in parts, with the group missing the harmonies on vocals. I usually enjoy looser live recordings than tight, precise studio recordings, but not as much in the case.

My gripes about the performance are minor. It is great to hear some "new" songs live and some of the differences in performance. I would give the music something in the 4 to 5 star range. The sound qualify knocks it down to 2 stars. I don't even like to play it on my home stereo. I will play it in my car occasionally.


Warts & All 6 [Digipak]
Warts & All 6 [Digipak]
Price: $17.93
10 used & new from $14.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Must have pissed of Kansas, August 13, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Warts & All 6 [Digipak] (Audio CD)
The cover shown here isn't the real cover. They blacked it out...maybe because they got flack from Kansas.

This concert was recorded in Kansas. The cover was a parody of the group Kansas's live album Two for the Show.

This is mostly a good set but not great. I don't think it is good as vol. 5 or Dr. Stan vol. 2.

I am not a fan of most of the songs that start off this concert and consider over half of the first CD a waste. I like many moe. songs but Conch was not one of their good studio albums. I'm also not a fan of the drum solo. The percussion/bass duet around the drum solo is pretty good.

There are great parts to this concert and many interesting things that I had not heard before that certainly make this worth getting.

Some live albums, I will keep the whole thing. Others, I will rip and edit out the sections I don't like. For this set, I will edit out about 45 minutes, but still end up with about an hour and half of great music.


Dr. Stan's Prescription, Volume 2
Dr. Stan's Prescription, Volume 2
Price: $16.06
19 used & new from $9.45

5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly Different, August 13, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The first Dr. Stan's was a disaster. This volume 2 is one of the best moe. live albums. I put it right up there with Warts & All vol. 5.

I had been collecting lots of moe. live material and was getting disappointed that it was beginning to sound the same. This one is much different than other albums.

There is a great stretched out bass solo and lots of great percussion solos. The guitar playing is great and there are things I haven't heard them do before.

This is a great lively set from beginning to end. However, the encore is a little disappointing, but that is the way it is with most jam bands. They play all out for a couple of hours and then come back and do a quickie 5 minute song....and usually a noninteresting cover.

The sound quality of this set is mostly good, but there are a few mixing and fading problems here and there.


Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini Broadcast Spreader
Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini Broadcast Spreader
Price: $34.98
35 used & new from $34.17

4.0 out of 5 stars Don't let the name fool you. It can handle pretty big lawns., May 24, 2015
Better than a drop spreader by far.
This thing evenly spreads fertilizer and is quick and easy to use. I did 2000 square feet of lawn in under 10 minutes.

It is small for easy storage. It is designed so that it can spread evenly on hills.

It is best to buy this on line. For some reason, the ones in the stores like Home Depot or Lowes are always dirty and beat up. They always looked used.

There are some downsides to this:

-Some fertilizer gets spread into the inside of the wheels. A good fix would be to turn the wheels around so that the smooth side is facing in.

-The little rotor on the inside is a little elevated. When there is just a little fertilizer left, it is no longer agitated. So you have to tilt the spreader so that the fertilizer goes down the hole.


Scotts 76565 Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader, (Up to 10,000-sq ft)
Scotts 76565 Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader, (Up to 10,000-sq ft)
Price: $57.99
27 used & new from $49.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Get a broadcast spreader instead., May 24, 2015
I bought a Scotts drop spreader because I buy Scotts fertilizers and thought this would be the most accurate way to put the correct amount of fertilizer in the spot where I wanted it. That was a mistake.

First off, the spreader is not calibrated. There is way to calibrate it, but it doesn't work. The settings do not match what it says to use on the Scotts bag. You have to guess and keep adjusting.

It does not distribute evenly. And how much fertilizer you have in the bucket makes a difference in how much fertilizer is deposited.

There is a lock so that you can lock the handle open so you don't have to constantly squeezed the handle. I don't know why this is needed because there is not effort in squeezing the handle. Anyway, this lock can get in the way of the handle so that you can't squeeze it.

finally, the handle on mine broke. There is no way to fix it so you just throw it away.

I got a mini broadcast spreader and am much happier.


You Remixed
You Remixed
15 used & new from $7.97

3.0 out of 5 stars First CD good...second not so good., May 3, 2015
This review is from: You Remixed (Audio CD)
You is my favorite Gong album (along with Shamal). It is also the album that turned me on to the group.

This is a 2 CD set with lots of different remixes by different artists of various songs from You. Most are over 7 minutes long. Some of the remixers are famous, like Moodswings. Each CD is a little over an hour long and the sound quality is pretty good.

I have not been a big fan of most electronic remix albums. Many times, they just consist of a drum beat put in an endless loop. I find them tedious, boring and sometimes very irritating. And you get a lot of that on this 2 CD set.

I really hate the remix from System 7...which is ironic since System 7 is Steve Hillage and Steve Hillage is my hero. It starts good and end goods, but the whole middle is hard to get through. I am just going to edit out the middle of this track.

If you are the kind of person who loves the sound amped up bass sound that certain cars have, you might love this album. I am talking about when a car drives past you with a big bass amplifier that is so loud that it pounds you into pain. There are a couple of tracks on this CD that have that sound.

There are some really good tracks on this CD. It starts out great with a mix from Moodswings. Tracks 2 and 3 on the first CD are not that great, but then the rest of CD 1 is pretty good. CD 2 is mostly endless tape loops. Some of the tracks are unrecognizable from the original (not that that is a bad thing). There are only two tracks I can sit through on CD2.

I think this could edited down to one very nice CD. In some cases, big sections of certain tracks would need to be removed.

One of my biggest disappointments was when I went to go see Steve Hillage as the opening act of a triple bill. I had heard he cancelled at the last minute. A band came out playing very hard, but spacy guitar. I though, oh...maybe he is here after all. But, it turned out to be Journey back before they went pop. Boy, were they good.


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