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kireviewer RSS Feed (Sunnyvale, Ca United States)

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Price: $9.99
34 used & new from $5.31

3.0 out of 5 stars Love the musicians....don't love the album., April 16, 2015
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This review is from: Spaces (Audio CD)
All-star band before they became stars.

This comes from 1969 and is about 38 minutes long. The sound is rough and harsh. The sound quality reminds me more of jazz albums recorded in the fifties than the late 1960s.

This album is mostly duets between John McLaughlin and Larry Coryell. Chic Corea is only on track and has little input. Miroslav Vitous and Billy Cobham are on three of the tracks.

The music is mostly bursts of really fast, staccato guitar picking. For concentrated listening, I just don't get it. I don't think it is a album you can listen to with headphones. I think it is a little better as background music. Some people talk about Coryell and McLaughlin playing off of each other, but I really don't hear it.

This is by far my least favorite of the early 8 Coryell albums. It is unlike anything he has done. It is unlike anything any of this musicians has done, with the exception of McLaughlin. He has a few things that are sort of like this but not exactly. A couple of his early solo albums have bits and pieces that sound like this. Also, some of his later Indian music is kind of like this....featuring bursts of really fast playing.

This is really not jazz fusion. It is not really discordant jazz either. It is more like West Coast jazz...(like Brubeck) but is just a bunch of quick, fast guitar solos put together.

On the Night - Live
On the Night - Live
Price: $10.76
58 used & new from $2.94

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I Am Knocking It Down a Star or Two for the Poor Sound Quality, April 11, 2015
This review is from: On the Night - Live (Audio CD)
When I saw this CD in Europe, it came in dual disc jewel case. There was an empty slot to get the EP which included some extra songs, which you could get somehow after you bought the main CD.

There is also a DVD of this which does have more songs on it.

The sound quality of this concert is poor. This is really surprising since Brothers In Arms set the new standard for CD sound quality and showed what could be done with this new media.

At times, the audience is mixed in way too loud and it really distracts from enjoying the music. There are intricate/beautiful openings to some of the songs that are just drowned out.

The audience noise isn't the only problem. The mix is bad in parts and the vocals sometimes can't be heard. The pedal steel guitar is sometimes way too far back in the mix. The sound is flat, muddied and there is little dynamic range.

The CD starts out great with a wonderful, fun version of Calling Elvis.

The CD goes downhill from there with Walk of Life. I never really like this song; to me it sounded like a commercial jingle. And guess what, it is now being used as a jingle for some prescription drug.

The worst part of this concert is the saxophone playing. Chris White has got to be the worst saxophonist in rock (I am keeping a list of worst rock musicians: harmonic: John Popper of Blues Traveler. violin: Boyd Tinsley of Dave Matthews Band). The playing is limp soft rock and really takes away from the blues/rock sound of Dire Straits.

The real star of the show is Paul Franklin on pedal steel guitar. He really steels the spotlight and even outshines Knopfler a lot of the time.

So why only two stars:

-1 star for the sax
-1 star for not being the full concert
-1 star for sound quality

Past Orbits of Dust:Live 1969-70
Past Orbits of Dust:Live 1969-70
Price: $15.93
25 used & new from $8.54

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the studio album (except for the poor sound quality), March 30, 2015
Normally, I would knock off one star for the sound quality....but I like this so much that I will put up with it.

This is over 70 minutes long and comes from different concerts from 1969 and 1970.

The sound quality is not great, but it is very listenable. Some live albums have really bad sound quality that will give you headache. This isn't one of them. It all sounds like it was recorded and mixed on the fly at the concerts. The mix of the instruments is not right most of the time.The vocals sound far off in spots. The dynamic range on the instruments is off and there is little high end. The sound quality is variable, depending upon which show the song came from. But, it is better than say Black Sabbath's Past Lives or most of the Marshal Tucker live albums.

I really like the performances. They are lively and fun and there is quite a bit of jamming. I really love the distorted bass at the end of Bullet. I always felt that the first album was a little bit too stiff and too artsy/classical. There are a couple of songs here that I never heard before and they are very good (one of them is called "untitled....")

The tour comes right after Renaissance was formed and while their first album was released. Renaissance came out of the Yardbirds, which was a revolving door for guitarists, including Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton. Their last guitarist was Jimmy Page. Relf and McCarthy left and Page evolved the band into Led Zepplin (the Yardbirds used to play Dazed and Confused). Relf and McCarthy formed Renaissance and recorded 2 albums. The second was called Illusion. The band broke up for awhile and Relf went on to Armageddon (great album) but died when electrocuted playing his guitar. On the album Illusion, Mike Dunford appeared on one song. We went on to create a whole new Renaissance band. The old Renaissance band got back together, minus Keith Relf, and called themselves Illusion and recorded a few more albums. Sometimes they called themselves Renaissance Illusion.

Price: $11.73
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4.0 out of 5 stars First Kirwin-less album. As always some good songs by McVie and Welsh., March 26, 2015
This review is from: Penguin (Audio CD)
In 1972, for the Future Games tour, Fleetwood Mac toured with Long John Baldry and Savoy Brown (I saw the show in the gym of a Catholic High School). After the tour was over, Fleetwood Mac took the singer from Savoy Brown (Dave Walker) and the guitarist from Long John Baldry (Bob Weston) to replace Danny Kirwin who had been kicked out of the group and recorded this album. After this album, Walker left and they recorded the great Mystery to Me. Then Weston had an affair with Fleetwood's wife and the whole band broke apart. The ex-manager of the group then hired some musicians to go out on tour as Fleetwood Mac. There was a lawsuit, the real Fleeetwood Mac got back together (minus Weston) and went tour and then recorded one more album with Welch. Welch started playing hard rock and killed himself a few years ago. Fleetwood Mac filled Welch's place with Buckingham Nicks and the rest is history.

To me, this is between a three and four star album. I like it better than Bare Trees, but I don't think it is as good as Heroes Are Hard to Find. My favorite album is Future Games (which is totally different from anything the band has ever done) and Mystery to Me. I like the early blues albums and the Buckingham Nicks stuff and almost everything they did, except maybe Time (how could an album with Dave Mason be so uninspiring?).

This album has some very nice songs from Welch and McVie. I don't think any one of them ranks up with the best these two have done, but they are still pretty nice.

The addition of Walker is pretty much a waste. Was he added to get the band back closer to its blues roots? He does take the lead on the blues classic Roadrunner. It is a fair version of the song. He also has one song he wrote that is not very good (Derelict).

Weston has a very nice 2 minute instrumental at the end of the album.

I have an original CD release. The sound quality is not great, similar to most CDs release in the 1980s (which why there are vinyl snobs). I have not seen any indications that this CD has ever been remastered.

The album is under 38 minutes long. It has about 27 minutes worth of very good songs/music. That, along with the sound quality probably makes this a 3 star CD.

I See You
I See You
Price: $13.99
43 used & new from $10.25

4.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat different sound than previous albums., March 26, 2015
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This review is from: I See You (Audio CD)
This album was released in 2014 and is about 65 minutes long. The sound quality is very good.

This is an all new band, except for Daevid Allen and some contributions from Gilli Smith. You got the typical Gong line up of lead guitar, keyboards, sax, bass, drums and space whisper, but with mostly new folks.

Much of the music was written by the new members of the group. The album still has that Gong sound, but is also quite a bit different from other albums. To me, it has more of a traditional rock beat than any of the previous albums. I almost gave this 5 stars, but I don't think it is quite as great as the best of Gong, like You. Of later albums, I think that Shapeshifter is also much better than this one. Shapeshifter is another album that diverged somewhat from the classic Gong sound.

If you are a Gong fan you won't be disappointed. Maybe it deserves 5 stars, especially with the music rating inflation on Amazon. But, not everything can be 5 stars.

Note that Gilli Smith is listed as a guest. 15 years ago she looked like someone's great grandmother. But, she still has the whisper.

Live At The Bicentennial [2 CD]
Live At The Bicentennial [2 CD]
Price: $12.99
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great new stuff/tired old stuff; sounds like it was recorded off the radio., March 26, 2015
This comes from a concert on July 3, 1976 during the Interview tour. According to the liner notes, it is the complete concert minus the encores. It is under 100 minutes long.

The sound quality is OK (what a relief) but not great. According to the liner notes, the concert was broadcast by a local radio station. It does not say if the source of these CDs is from recordings off of the soundboard or something someone recorded off of the radio. It sounds like to me it was recorded off the radio by some high end equipment (maybe reel to reel). It has limited dynamic range similar to a FM radio. But, it does not have tape losses or hisses you would get from a cassette tape (a recent Anderson, Buford, Wakeman and Howe live release was definitely taken from a cassette recording of a radio even can a part where the cassette tape was mangled).

Compared to most of the other live Gentle Giant CDs released over the last 15 years, the sound quality is great. There have been some really horrible live CDs from the group (probably not the group's fault...but some dishonest record companies). When I was a kid, we bought a number of Gentle Giant bootlegs that had great sound.

Half of this concert is old material that has been covered on many other live albums (some with great sound quality). Some of the songs are better on this album (like Free Hand) and some of the songs are better on older albums (like Octopus).

What make this album very good and worth getting is the newer, fresher material that the group has not been playing for years. That accounts for about half of the album.

I give 4 stars instead of 5 due to the sound quality and the retread of old material.

TempurPedic Downdraft Men's Slipper
TempurPedic Downdraft Men's Slipper
Price: $49.97 - $70.00

2.0 out of 5 stars Comfy but don't last long., March 13, 2015
These are very comfortable slippers. They are great to walk in.

Cracked my toe on a rock in a waterfall. The ball of my foot was painful when I walked on hardwood floors. These slippers were great for that. I didn't feel any pain when walking in them.

But, these slippers only lasted 2 months. The cloth glued to the memory foam of the insole started coming loose and bunched up in side the shoe. The foam itself also started bunching up.

Note that these run large. I normally wear a size 9, which is what I ordered. It was too big and we returned for a size 8 that fit just right.

If you want to trade in the slippers for a different size, shipping is free. If you don't like the slippers and want your money back, you have to pay for shipping.

You Remixed:Gong & Friends
You Remixed:Gong & Friends
11 used & new from $2.97

3.0 out of 5 stars Better than most extended mix albums, but some bad spots, March 12, 2015
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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.

There are some really good tracks on this CD. But there are some that just typical extended mixes, which I hate. These are the type where they put the drums or some other sound in a loop and just constantly repeat it like they are constantly beating you over the with it.

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

David LaFlamme: White Bird
David LaFlamme: White Bird
14 used & new from $3.94

2.0 out of 5 stars 2 good tracks., March 3, 2015
This review is from: David LaFlamme: White Bird (Vinyl)
I bought this album when I was a poor, starving college student because music was always better than food. Boy, did I feel ripped off.

White Bird-a short, uninspired version of It's A Beautiful Day's greatest hit. It is only 4 minutes long and not that interesting. It is a pointless remake. It was only included so stupid fans like me would buy the album.

Hot Summer Day-another It's A Beautiful Day classic. This is a seven minute version, with a really interesting, spacy instrumental in the middle. It reminds of Pink Floyd's Echos. The singing isn't on par with the original version, but the music is more interesting.

Swept Away is a jazz fusion instrumental similar to what Jean Luc Ponty or Michael Urbaniak would do. It is very nice, but not up there with the best of Ponty.

Easy Woman is a lounge act song. It sounds like something Tom Jones would do or like the theme song to the Love Boat.

This Man is kind of disco a number.

Baby Be Wise is like a combination of Easy Woman and This Man.

Spirit of America sounds like something Kansas would do, with a little Bruce Springsteen and John Wayne thrown in.

This is really not an album worth getting, but if you do, you will get a nice, spacy Hot Summer Day.
Hal Wagnet, from the first It's A Beautiful Day album, plays bass on some of the tracks.
The back up singer is called Dominque DelaCroix. Her real name was Linda. She ended up marrying David LaFlamme, and became the second Linda LaFlamme. She is not to be confused with the first Linda LaFlamme. The first Linda was responsible for writing much of the great music on the first It's a Beautiful Day album. She also sang and played keyboards. She left the group, and David, after the first album.
After the Linda split from David, David was not as successful at writing songs. After the first album, all the best It's A Beautiful Day songs were written by Fred Webb, who replace Linda on keyboards. Patty Santos replaced Linda on vocals, and It's A Beautiful Day recorded four more albums. For some reason, Santos was not on the first album even though she was an original member of the group. On the last album, Today, David had left the group. Fred Webb and Patty Santos both died later.

It's A Beautiful Day has constantly been fueding with their original manager over the rights to the group's name and music. For this reason, the It's A Beautiful Day albums were taken off the market and have become very rare. But, you can now get them and also some wonderful live albums.

David and the second Linda stayed together and have been performing since the late seventies. Currently they are performing under the name David and Linda LaFlamme, IABD, formerly known as It's A Beautiful Day. Val Fuentes, the original drummer from It's A Beautiful Day is also in IABD.

Internal Exile
Internal Exile
22 used & new from $3.26

2.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre album with poor sound quality. More like Collins than Gabriel., March 3, 2015
This review is from: Internal Exile (Audio CD)
Released in 1991, this is Fish's second solo album. It has 9 tracks and is 50 minutes long. The picture shown here is not the original album cover. I like this cover better than the original. The original cover makes it look like the album is going to be bad.

The biggest problem with this album is the sound quality. It has that muddy quality with no dynamic range, which was common in CDs through the mid 1990s. There were good sounding CDs during this time period, but most weren't. This CD is worse than most. Improved sound quality would make some of the lesser tracks more enjoyable. I would give this 3 stars for the music and am knocking it down a star for the sound quality.

When Fish was in Marillion the group sounded a lot like early Genesis, with Peter Gabriel, much of the time. Now, Fish going solo, he sounds more like Phil Collins led Genesis. That is not just an analogy. On a couple of songs we really does sound like Phil Collins.

There are some good songs, like the first two. But, there are others that are boring and border on being annoying (like the two Friend songs). I don't really like the jig, Internal Exile.

The album ends with Thunderclap Newman's Something in the Air. It starts out as an interesting take on the song, but he doesn't really pull it off in the end. His version is too soft, almost like a lounge singer version of the song....and the song loses its power.

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