Happy New Year! I have a perhaps selfish New Year’s wish – that 2022 will be an easier year.
The Grammy Awards are coming up on January 31, 2022. But if it wasn't for the people behind the scenes – the engineers, mixers, tape ops and others – none of the music would happen. Yet they barely get recognized. For example, Jim Anderson, past president of the AES whose recordings have earned 28 Grammy nominations (including the recently-nominated Patricia Barber album Clique! reviewed by Tom Gibbs in Issue 144), told me the Recording Academy didn’t even nominate an award for Best Immersive Audio Album in 2020. (The stated reason was that COVID-19 didn’t allow the judging committee to meet. The winner will be announced this year, along with the 2021 honoree.)
Here’s to the unsung heroes of the audio world. They may not get the wardrobe consultants, makeup artists and airtime, but they are vital in creating the music that’s such an important part of our lives. (In an upcoming issue we’ll be profiling Jim Anderson and his partner in life and music, producer/engineer Ulrike Schwarz, who have more than 60 years of combined experience in audio.)
In this issue: Cliff Chenfeld gives us his favorite songs and albums of 2021. Anne E. Johnson profiles jazz drumming legend Elvin Jones, and pop/country songstress Bobbie Gentry, who walked away from fame at the height of it all. Ray Chelstowski interviews pop songwriting powerhouse Marshall Crenshaw. Tom Gibbs improves the optics of his streaming audio system. Rudy Radelic concludes his epic series on Burt Bacharach. I cover the latest Octave Records release, The Moon Leans In by singer/songwriter Thom LaFond. Tom Methans indulges in a Dirty Weekend – the Zu Audio speaker, that is. Alón Sagee misses a trusted listening companion.
Rich Isaacs finds some mind-blowing YouTube videos, of music…and more. J.I. Agnew provides Part Three of his series on record-cutting lathes. Andy Schaub proffers a parody for vinyl enthusiasts. B. Jan Montana continues his long journey. John Seetoo offers more coverage of AES Show Fall 2021 with a session with St. Vincent and a look at audio archiving. Russ Welton asks: when it comes to speakers, how much power is enough? Adrian Wu goes audio system shopping with two very different customers. Ken Kessler unravels more information about reel-to-reel tape. We kick off 2022 with a New Year’s resolution, the future sound of London, magnetic attraction, and a pleasure dome.
J.I. Agnew, Ray Chelstowski, Cliff Chenfeld, Jay Jay French, Tom Gibbs, Roy Hall, Rich Isaacs, Anne E. Johnson, Don Kaplan, Ken Kessler, Don Lindich, Stuart Marvin, Tom Methans, B. Jan Montana, Rudy Radelic, Tim Riley, Wayne Robins, Alón Sagee, Ken Sander, John Seetoo, Dan Schwartz, Russ Welton, WL Woodward, Adrian Wu
Ivan Berger, Steven Bryan Bieler, Jack Flory, Harris Fogel, Robert Heiblim, Steve Kindig, Ed Kwok, Andy Schaub, David Snyder, Bob Wood
“Cartoon Bob” D’Amico
James Whitworth, Peter Xeni
James Schrimpf, B. Jan Montana, Rich Isaacs (and others)
Audio Anthropology Photos:
Howard Kneller, Steve Rowell
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