The B-52's - s/t: Only heard it a few times but like it a lot. The album version of "Rock Lobster" is too long and "6060-842" is a gas. Haven't put on yet Wild Planet; I need to.
The Rolling Stones - Tattoo You: Getting my stalled Stones survey up again. There's hardly a bad moment on the second side, "Worried About You" excepted (makes you "worried about" the album, kicking off that side); it's the first side that's more dodgy. "Black Limousine" sucks and "Little T & A" is little better; "Start Me Up" has always been my least-favorite Stones mega-hit. Still, it's a good song and a great album opener, and the rest of the side is pretty good ("Slave" is one of those great rare songs that grow on you in the middle of them rather than on subsequent listens). On further review, "Black Limousine is a pretty good song (as is "Little T&A") and it's "Neighbours" that sucks.
Coleman Hawkins - Hawk Eyes!: Of a piece with The Hawk Flies High, warm and euphonic, decidedly old-fashioned. It's great light music, but don't look for anything profound (and hear Flies High first). Not the all-star lineup that the other album has but they're good, except for one track where the guitar comes in way too loud. Best track is "C'mon In", an extended blues jam, wonderful in its creamy richness.
Andrew Hill - Time Lines: Got this to see how latter-day recordings hold up to the '50s-'60s bread-and-butter. Turns out this was Hill's last record, and it, appropriately enough, ends with a solo-piano version of the first track that's a nice epilogue. This is ambitious; exluding the postlude the shortest of the seven tracks is seven minutes. It's all very enjoyable (well, "Whitsuntide" -- I thought black people tended to be Baptist or otherwise evangelical? -- is a bore) and ironically the most up-tempo track is "Smooth". Probably not essential but it was very entertaining and eye-opening to me.
Hank Mobley - Roll Call: You could practically sell this as a Jazz Messengers album (with Hubbard, Mobley, and Blakey). This is one of those discs that, however many times I listen to them and however much concentration I give to it, never quite clicks. I suppose the tracks are all pretty good, but that's exactly how this album is: pretty good.
Thelonious Monk - Thelonious Alone in San Francisco: Compared to Solo Monk, the later album is very streamlined, with clean, clear lines and the humming all but eliminated (you can hear it on one track, but this falls in with the observation that the Columbia albums are easier to follow). There's no reason to choose, though, with so little overlap in the tracklistings; it's great to have both. Thelonious Alone is thicker and denser, as if emerging from a fog (not just saying that because of SF).
Sonny Rollins & Coleman Hawkins - Sonny Meets Hawk!: Didn't like this much at first -- Hawkins' lyricism can clash with Rollins' sometimes squonky and ugly tune (and I'm a Rollins fan) -- but it grows on you. Hard-panned with Hawkins in the left channel and Rollins in the right, and that's actually great for giving each man his domain. Five standards of six tracks, letting Hawkins go at it in an otherwise bebop-tinged session; the "old-fashioned" nature of Hawk Eyes! shines through not in the overall sound, but in that purely melodic approach.
Cannonball Adderley - Somethin' Else
Jaki Byard - The Jaki Byard Experience
Ornette Coleman - The Shape of Jazz to Come
John Coltrane - Soultrane
Miles Davis - E.S.P.
Miles Davis - Miles Smiles
Miles Davis - Sorcerer
Duke Ellington - The Essential Collection, 1927-1962 (disc 1)
Bill Evans - Waltz for Debby
Herbie Hancock - Empyrean Isles (always a frustrating listen: the four tracks aren't much like one another and while this is great music, it's a bit too all-over-the-place to be a great album)
Herbie Hancock - Head Hunters
Coleman Hawkins - The Hawk Flies High
Andrew Hill - Black Fire
Andrew Hill - Point of Departure
Roland Kirk - The Inflated Tear
Hank Mobley - Hank Mobley and His All Stars
Thelonious Monk - Solo Monk
Sonny Stitt - Sonny Stitt/Bud Powell/J.J. Johnson
McCoy Tyner - Trident (I realize this makes me a bad listener but it's hard to tell whether the bass is electric or acoustic)
Arnold - Symphonies (NSO of Ireland/Andrew Penny): They're all pretty good. At five discs following the nine-disc Beethoven set I got a bit restless towards the end but I can recommend the seventh wholeheartedly and the ninth is completely unlike the others and completely good, if you're not looking for something like them.
Bruckner - String Quintet; Smetana, Verdi, Tchaikovsky, Dvořák - String Quartets (Amadeus Quartet): It's Bruckner, for sure, and it's great. Huge recommendation to anyone who likes any of his music because it's much of the same Bruckneriana. The Smetana is very tuneful and a nice, short contrast to the preceding. The second disc isn't as good; the "American" quartet has never been my favorite and the Tchaikovsky is only okay. No problems with the Verdi; it doesn't overstay its welcome and it's structurally interesting if nothing else.
Chopin - Polonaises; Fantaisie-Impromptu, Tarantella, Berceuse (Alexander Brailowsky): Ordinary repertory, but it's good music. I was familiar with the first six polonaises from several recordings I have, and the other four presented here, though on a much lesser scale, are if anything more tuneful and dancelike than the "big six". The other three tracks are very enjoyable and would have been a great change of mood had they been in the middle of the disc; I've never owned the Fantaisie-Impromptu and I'm very glad to have a recording. Does not include the Fantaisie-Polonaise or Andante spianato etc etc. Sound isn't great but this replaces the Malcuzynski as my go-to stereo polonaises.
Handel - Silete venti, Laudate pueri; Mozart - Exsultate jubilate (Sylvia McNair; EBS/Gardiner): A great way to get into the world of 18th-century choral/vocal music. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Laudate pueri is a completely different setting of the psalm than the one I already had, and it's six or seven short (approximately 2-minute) little gems of arias. Its start-and-stop nature makes it a frustrating listen at first but once it clicks it clicks. The Mozart sounds totally different but spiritually is similar. Great for contrast, and it's great music, too.
Shostakovich - 24 Preludes and Fugues, Op. 87 (Keith Jarrett): At two and a half hours long rather hard to take in in one sitting (I didn't try); this is easily the equal of most of his symphonies and is one of his better works. The E-flat minor in particular was a pleasant surprise; most compositions in this key are elemental shitshows (see Chopin) but this one is actually well-crafted. Picking out individual highlights would be pointless; in general the middle of the order (latter half of disc one and first half of disc two) is the best, with the D-minor finale a monumental summation. Recommended.
J Strauss - Die Fledermaus (Karajan)
R Strauss - Also sprach Zarathustra; Dance of the Seven Veils (Reiner)
R Strauss - Death and Transfiguration; Metamorphosen (Klemperer)
R Strauss - Don Juan; Death and Transfiguration (Dorati)
R Strauss - Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme Suite (Maazel)
R Strauss - Till Eulenspigel's Merry Pranks; Don Juan; Death and Transfiguration (Szell)
JS Bach - Das wohltemperierte Klavier, Book I (Hewitt)
Bartók - Concerto for Two Pianos and Percussion; Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta (Bernstein)
Canteloube - Chants d'Auvergne (de los Angeles)
Chopin - Preludes, Op. 28 (Rubinstein)
Glazunov, Prokofiev - Violin Concertos; Chedrin - Stihira (Mutter)
Lalo - Symphonie Espagnole; Vieuxtemps - Violin Concerto No. 4 (Francescatti)
Monteverdi - Christmas Vespers; Motets (Denis Stevens)
Shostakovich - 6 Preludes and Fugues (Shostakovich)
J.S. Le Fanu - Ghost Stories and Tales of Mystery: His first collection, of four works; the ghost stories are very short and the tales of mystery are pretty long, and you can solve the mysteries halfway through but the joy is in the reading. Also Le Fanu is a pretty crappy writer, though I still have to hear In a Glass Darkly, which is next. At best I'm in the lucky position of reading his stuff for the first time.
Will Carruthers - Playing the Bass with Three Left Hands: For some idiotic reason I'm only about fifty pages into this one (life intervened, but the intervention has passed and I really ought to be reading both this and my Latin and Greek, which have ground to a halt as well. I'll try this weekend, though there's opportunty to watch a lot of basketball (not my favorite sport but, like the World Cup, it's such a bonanza that I really enjoy it nonetheless).