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westslope

westslope Avatar

Location: BC sage brush steppe


Posted: Mar 27, 2021 - 9:47am

k:  My new "cans"  just took 8 days to go from the Canada/US border to clearing Customs in Toronto.    !    

The big delays are not with the USPS but rather with Canada Post. 

There have been some issues with the SARS CoV2 virus with 300 Mississauga Gateway sorting workers falling sick earlier this year.   I cannot complain.  If the postal workers union was as militant as it was some 40, 50 years ago, the postal service across Canada would have ground to a halt.

Another week to arrive?   I impatiently wait.  


kurtster

kurtster Avatar

Location: where fear is not a virtue
Gender: Male


Posted: Mar 21, 2021 - 9:11pm

 westslope wrote:


 kurtster wrote:

So, do you have the ability to listen to wav files on something nice ? If you do, I'll send you the files. I am very interested as to whether or not this is as good or better than a CD version. Someone like you knows this album well enough to be critical. This is a modern recording and not really part of the old analogue questions of much older recordings from the 80's going backwards. At $50+ for a copy, am I yanking my chain getting a modern recording like this on vinyl ?

Cheers and looking forward to your thoughts.
 

Something nice? By most audiophile standards, no.  I have some OK headphones arriving in the mail in the next few days.  beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 80 Ohm Studio Headphone

I rip 320k mp3 files and FLAC files from CDs.  Unless I have on headphones, I cannot tell the difference between the two, or the original CD.  The 2.1 HTPC system in the living room is OK but I have to sit and pay attention in order to discern the difference.  The mp3 files are all I require in an automobile.

Let me get these new headphones up and running and I will report back via pm.

Am really enjoying both the B-sides Collection EP and The Future Bites album. 
 
Good choice for cans !  They should be more than good enough to tell what's what. 

I have these.  Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro. They are almost too good for listening to vinyl.  At least un resolved vinyl.  I hear every little micro tick.  1st use I almost blew out my ears.  They sound so good I kept turning up the volume.  Was feeling the bass all the way down to my toes !  Took me a couple of months to get over that.  I've avoided cans all these years to keep that from happening.  Every once in awhile I'll use em for something special, at a much more conservative volume level.

Got them based on BG mentioning that these are the ones he uses.  Couldn't ask for a better recommendation.

I'll be looking for your PM
westslope

westslope Avatar

Location: BC sage brush steppe


Posted: Mar 21, 2021 - 6:49pm



 kurtster wrote:

So, do you have the ability to listen to wav files on something nice ? If you do, I'll send you the files. I am very interested as to whether or not this is as good or better than a CD version. Someone like you knows this album well enough to be critical. This is a modern recording and not really part of the old analogue questions of much older recordings from the 80's going backwards. At $50+ for a copy, am I yanking my chain getting a modern recording like this on vinyl ?

Cheers and looking forward to your thoughts.
 

Something nice? By most audiophile standards, no.  I have some OK headphones arriving in the mail in the next few days.  beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 80 Ohm Studio Headphone

I rip 320k mp3 files and FLAC files from CDs.  Unless I have on headphones, I cannot tell the difference between the two, or the original CD.  The 2.1 HTPC system in the living room is OK but I have to sit and pay attention in order to discern the difference.  The mp3 files are all I require in an automobile.

Let me get these new headphones up and running and I will report back via pm.

Am really enjoying both the B-sides Collection EP and The Future Bites album. 


kurtster

kurtster Avatar

Location: where fear is not a virtue
Gender: Male


Posted: Mar 16, 2021 - 2:02pm

 westslope wrote:
k,  That describes the In Absentia album very well (see below).

Would guess that In Absentia gets more airtime than any other PT album and that is well deserved.   

.3 is my favourite.  Love the beefy bass line.  The lyrics suggest what?   Anti-war, pro-war, or just about war?   Artists should raise issues and point out concerns, not tell people what to think or do.  Wilson does this really well.   Musicians are not policy experts, they are performing artists!   Roger Waters, are you listening!?!!  

Wilson in interview has gone on about the importance of creating a specific sonic space for each song.   PT keyboardist Richard Barbieri made a significant contribution to that unique sound.  He plays synthesizers in the Self song on the new The Future Bites album.  

In the spirit of mindless gossip and speculation.... I get the impression that Barbieri was not fond of jazz whereas Wilson is.   Add that to his growing boredom with heavy rock and that explains in part why Wilson abandoned Porcupine Tree.   The other part of course was a music industry increasingly willing to throw resources at him no matter what he did.  

Wilson describes his new regular keyboard player Adam Holzman from NYC as willing to throw himself enthusiastically at everything from light, bouncy pop to jazz fusion.

For a peek into Holzman's talent, see Detonation on the Home Invasion Blue-Ray/DVD/Amazon Prime streaming video.  Flyin' fingers.
 
So it arrived yesterday and I was up all night ripping and declicking and what not.  Pretty much just finished it this afternoon.  Sadly the album had some pressing flaws.  However, it is also one of the purest sounding recordings I have heard in a long, long time.

I took notes regarding the influences I perceived along the way.  Floyd, Parsons, Garbage, Yes, Metallica or Sabbath, and even some Dave Edmunds speed guitar, a la his Love Sculpture album and Sabre Dance.  Quite the mish mosh of riffs and sonics, all sewn together very, very well.  Kinda like Tesla live, but with a whole different type of musical riffs.  The Floyd influence was very much Umma Gumma, especially the drumming and synths.  Agree on the jazz.  The shifting of gears, both abruptly and smoothly at the same time and making it work requires skill and understanding.

Again, The Sound Of Muzak is still my stand alone favorite so far if I had to pick one at this early juncture.  I have yet to hear the album played back in its entirety as a whole.  I'll do that in a couple of days once it has settled.  I'm pretty burned out with it right now.  Side 2 is maybe my favorite side Gravity Eyelids, Wedding Nails and especially Prodigy.  .3 is really interesting and I'll give it a good listening on the playback and Chloroform is very tasty.  Side 4, meh so far.  Maybe it will grow of me but Heartattack In a Layby was really challenging to listen to.  Perhaps as I get more accustomed to hearing it and it also had a lot of cleanup to do so it may have influenced me.  For sure the first 3 sides are awesome all by themselves if the album stopped there.  Again, this is basically brand new music to me.

It is the kind of album that I would like to listen to when I was peaking on acid.  That is my takeaway.  I consider it to be that good.

So, do you have the ability to listen to wav files on something nice ?  If you do, I'll send you the files.  I am very interested as to whether or not this is as good or better than a CD version.  Someone like you knows this album well enough to be critical.  This is a modern recording and not really part of the old analogue questions of much older recordings from the 80's going backwards.  At $50+ for a copy, am I yanking my chain getting a modern recording like this on vinyl ?

Cheers and looking forward to your thoughts.

Time for a nap now.
westslope

westslope Avatar

Location: BC sage brush steppe


Posted: Mar 12, 2021 - 7:37am

k,  That describes the In Absentia album very well (see below).

Would guess that In Absentia gets more airtime than any other PT album and that is well deserved.   

.3 is my favourite.  Love the beefy bass line.  The lyrics suggest what?   Anti-war, pro-war, or just about war?   Artists should raise issues and point out concerns, not tell people what to think or do.  Wilson does this really well.   Musicians are not policy experts, they are performing artists!   Roger Waters, are you listening!?!!  

Wilson in interview has gone on about the importance of creating a specific sonic space for each song.   PT keyboardist Richard Barbieri made a significant contribution to that unique sound.  He plays synthesizers in the Self song on the new The Future Bites album.  

In the spirit of mindless gossip and speculation.... I get the impression that Barbieri was not fond of jazz whereas Wilson is.   Add that to his growing boredom with heavy rock and that explains in part why Wilson abandoned Porcupine Tree.   The other part of course was a music industry increasingly willing to throw resources at him no matter what he did.  

Wilson describes his new regular keyboard player Adam Holzman from NYC as willing to throw himself enthusiastically at everything from light, bouncy pop to jazz fusion.

For a peek into Holzman's talent, see Detonation on the Home Invasion Blue-Ray/DVD/Amazon Prime streaming video.  Flyin' fingers.
kurtster

kurtster Avatar

Location: where fear is not a virtue
Gender: Male


Posted: Mar 10, 2021 - 5:43pm

 westslope wrote:
k,

If you enjoyed Porcupine Tree's Lightbulb Sun, you would would also enjoy Stupid Dream.   Both these somewhat similar sounding albums are followed by In Absentia which is probably the single, strongest Porcupine Tree album. 
 
Well I went and listened to snippets of In Absentia on Utube and pulled the trigger and bought a NOS sealed copy of this pressing for $52 out the door.  It appears to be the best quality pressing of those available and also has Chloroform as a bonus track included.

Very interesting album.  Goes from gentle and thoughtful to very edgy and metallic.  It will be very interesting listening to it as it plays through as an album with its own context.  The one track that immediately was interesting and even hooky was The Sound Of Muzak. The concert box set will still sit unopened for awhile longer, but this will go on the ole turntable as soon as I get it.

Back when I was just in my early 20's I worked in the Bobbie Brooks distribution warehouse nearby and it had Muzak playing throughout the building.  Muzak was a very interesting format, not only with songs recorded strictly for it but the playlist was designed to influence behaviour through the work day.  It varied from giddyup up beat stuff in the morning to calming music after lunch and other tempos.  They had music designed for workplaces, retail establishments, restaurants and office environments all programmed with the intent to increase productivity and in the case of restaurants, hunger and satisfaction.  And it was also adjusted to the local timezone.  One of the earliest commercial attempts at mind control.  It worked, too.  Then of course, times and musical tastes changed.  But they had a good run, like it or not.

Cheers
Ohmsen

Ohmsen Avatar

Location: Valhǫll
Gender: Male


Posted: Mar 7, 2021 - 3:03pm

westslope wrote:
Been listening to both the EP  named B-Sides Collection released in 2020 and The Future Bites released earlier this year.  Love them both.  The EP is a download.

Eyewitness  on the B-Sides album reminds me a little bit of the introduction theme music to American Gods composed by Brian Reitzell.  Reitzell may have borrowed from Trent Reznor's version of the Immigrant Song.  

The EP and studio album constitute a big jump in style from earlier pressings.  

The song Floral Green (B-Sides) reminds me of Blackfield.  

 
They're all available to listen to on YT.
westslope

westslope Avatar

Location: BC sage brush steppe


Posted: Mar 7, 2021 - 2:53pm

Been listening to both the EP  named B-Sides Collection released in 2020 and The Future Bites released earlier this year.  Love them both.  The EP is a download.

Eyewitness  on the B-Sides album reminds me a little bit of the introduction theme music to American Gods composed by Brian Reitzell.  Reitzell may have borrowed from Trent Reznor's version of the Immigrant Song.  

The EP and studio album constitute a big jump in style from earlier pressings.  

The song Floral Green (B-Sides) reminds me of Blackfield.  

Ohmsen

Ohmsen Avatar

Location: Valhǫll
Gender: Male


Posted: Mar 7, 2021 - 2:43pm

westslope wrote:
In Absentia is probably the best Porcupine Tree album that covers a wide variety of genres or at least sub-genres related to rock. 

Deadwing is the must-have album for those who enjoy the prog metal songs.   My wife loves it.  And yet I cannot get her to listen to Yes or King Crimson. 

Steven Wilson is better at marketing to new listeners.    There are a number of good gateway songs in a few different styles.   Hook 'em on one song and they might listen more carefully to the others.  Then real 'em in like a North Atlantic Cod!
 
I was more than happy, when I came across Steve Wilson for the first time through RP, a few years ago (2012 or 13).
Never knew (until then) the spirit of the 70's Prog-Rock (like that of King Crimson, Yes or even Led Zeppelin) was alive anymore. For me it happened with the Porcupine Tree-song 'A Start of Something Beautiful' (sic!), followed by Steve Wilson's "The Holy Drinker"... 
Now I'm sort of a "fan", and even the latest new tunes come ringing in smoothly, and nicely, albeit quite different! - Big thanks to Bill and Rebecca, and forum members here! 


westslope

westslope Avatar

Location: BC sage brush steppe


Posted: Mar 7, 2021 - 2:35pm

In Absentia is probably the best Porcupine Tree album that covers a wide variety of genres or at least sub-genres related to rock. 

Deadwing is the must-have album for those who enjoy the prog metal songs.   My wife loves it.  And yet I cannot get her to listen to Yes or King Crimson. 

Steven Wilson is better at marketing to new listeners.    There are a number of good gateway songs in a few different styles.   Hook 'em on one song and they might listen more carefully to the others.  Then real 'em in like a North Atlantic Cod!
kurtster

kurtster Avatar

Location: where fear is not a virtue
Gender: Male


Posted: Mar 4, 2021 - 10:06pm

 westslope wrote:
k,

If you enjoyed Porcupine Tree's Lightbulb Sun, you would would also enjoy Stupid Dream.   Both these somewhat similar sounding albums are followed by In Absentia which is probably the single, strongest Porcupine Tree album. 
 
Thanks for that.  I found a version of In Absentia on vinyl that would be the right one to get for around $50 or $60.  Also the full Youtube album.  I'll stroll through the vid and see what's up.  I'm up for something different to wrap my head around and see what happens.
westslope

westslope Avatar

Location: BC sage brush steppe


Posted: Mar 4, 2021 - 1:21pm

k,

If you enjoyed Porcupine Tree's Lightbulb Sun, you would would also enjoy Stupid Dream.   Both these somewhat similar sounding albums are followed by In Absentia which is probably the single, strongest Porcupine Tree album. 


kurtster

kurtster Avatar

Location: where fear is not a virtue
Gender: Male


Posted: Mar 3, 2021 - 6:54pm

 haresfur wrote:
 
There's a New Yorker cartoon that I can't find online of two well dressed men standing in a vault full of large flat wooden crates. One says to the other, "I didn't realize you were an art lover."

But a little delayed gratification can be a good thing.

 
I am by no means a stranger to Steven Wilson.  I've heard much of what is here at RP although as it comes up in passing, I don't always know who or what it is just by listening without looking yet.  I was gifted Lightbulb Sun by SeriousLee  a couple of years ago and found it pretty tasty, albeit an acquired taste.  That and more importantly to me is the pursuit of Wilson's engineering work and remixes.  He has done great jobs with Yes, early Jethro Tull and what he did with King Crimson's debut album is simply breathtaking.  I have the KC album, his Yes box set and Stand Up, Benefit and Aqualung remixes all on vinyl already and maybe some others I cannot think of off the top of my head.  When selecting upgrades to my collection, if he has touched it, it goes to the top of my list.  His sense of what things should be as well as his obvious respect for the material is at least rare and almost peerless.  I put him right up there with Todd as a musician / engineer.  A very rare breed, indeed.  Al Kooper would be another one.

What I like most about concert recordings is that they tend to be a nicely segued run through a band's greatest hits or maybe an album being promoted.  If they are well recorded as well as well played, then there you have it.  A nice way to listen to a band or artist in their own context.

 westslope wrote:

The Home Invasion concert was recorded at the Royal Albert Hall in London.    I have listened to it on Amazon.ca Prime.  

It is over the top, well done.  With the exception of the rare wall of sound, all the tracks, all the instruments, all the sound effects, all the vocals can be easily made out.  

kurtster, you will enjoy the concert more if you are familiar with the music on the last 3 Steven Wilson studio albums:  The Raven that refused to sing, Hand Cannot Erase and To the Bone. 

In my own experience, some of Wilson's best material takes a few listens to fully 'get'.  Especially on the To the Bone album.    Much of the material has a light, poppy sound and that is easy to dial into.  The other material not so much but it all makes terrific sense a few listens later. 

Wilson's backup musicians are excellent.  Ninet Tayeb sings on several songs.   Her voice is just perfect for this kind of material.  
 
Yep, I understand that already.  By the time I get through this set, I will have listened to each side at least 3 times as that is my ripping protocol.  There is 700 minutes right there.  Add another 30 minutes per side in cleaning and prep for ripping and you can add another 300 minutes to this project.  Then there is the curation of these rips.  Playing each side, trimming the beginning and end and then going through them listening and manually removing the clicks and pops with a pencil tool redrawing the wav forms.  With a pristine piece of vinyl that can amount to about 15 minutes per minute of playing time.  15 X 230 = another 3450 minutes.  When it is all said and done I will have somewhere between 70 to 80 man hours just for this box set.  So I really, really hope I like this music, to say the least.  I am pretty sure that I will.  Then I put it up for sale and will listen to the rips going forward.  And the songs I find I like as stand alones will get separated and remastered individually for adding to my single songs collection for general listening or what not down the road.

Meanwhile, I have the rest of my collection to go through with the same process so I can put them up for sale.  Since the first of the year, I've already done 60 individual songs along with everything else I'm doing.  It's a bitch finding the time but it is what I do.  I just went through the Sade 6 disc box set with the same protocol only to find it has one defective side so I had to be returned, which I finally shipped out today after a lengthy back and forth with Music Today.  With the crap shoot of vinyl quality these days, you've got to play these new purchases to determine if they can be kept and resold before the return window expires.  With the Sade box set, I still have the rips and can repair them to the point where it is all good.  I have let the Steven Wilson set sit unopened because I have not heard one bad thing about the pressings yet and hopefully mine will be like the rest of them.

That said, and speaking of Al Kooper, I will be getting the Blood Sweat and Tears first 4 albums, Bloodlines box set at 2 X 12" 45 RPM per album shortly and will have to drop what I am doing in order to make sure that all is well with it.  No, I am not paying the prices at discogs.  It'll be around $290 and with a little bit of patience I should be able to get $400 later on at discogs.  My biggest project that I must get completed is my Rolling Stones In Mono box set which will fetch an easy $1000 when I finally put it up for sale.  Paid under $300 for it several years ago before it went out of print.  That is 16 full albums to go through.  But a nice payday will come.  The Wilson box set I just hope to break even on.

Cheers !  and back to tunes ...

westslope

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Location: BC sage brush steppe


Posted: Mar 3, 2021 - 4:08pm



 kurtster wrote:
.........
I have the Home Invasion Concert box set sitting yet to be opened.  It has 5 Lp's with material only to be found on this set.  The reviews of both the concert and the quality of the pressings are excellent.  It does look very interesting.  I've heard a couple of tracks on Youtube.  Not sure when I'll get around to popping it open.  Just waiting for when my plate gets a little less full and I'm ready for a whole bunch of new to me music.  
.......
 

The Home Invasion concert was recorded at the Royal Albert Hall in London.    I have listened to it on Amazon.ca Prime.  

It is over the top, well done.  With the exception of the rare wall of sound, all the tracks, all the instruments, all the sound effects, all the vocals can be easily made out.  

kurtster, you will enjoy the concert more if you are familiar with the music on the last 3 Steven Wilson studio albums:  The Raven that refused to sing, Hand Cannot Erase and To the Bone. 

In my own experience, some of Wilson's best material takes a few listens to fully 'get'.  Especially on the To the Bone album.    Much of the material has a light, poppy sound and that is easy to dial into.  The other material not so much but it all makes terrific sense a few listens later. 

Wilson's backup musicians are excellent.  Ninet Tayeb sings on several songs.   Her voice is just perfect for this kind of material.  
haresfur

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Location: The Golden Triangle
Gender: Male


Posted: Mar 3, 2021 - 2:34pm



 kurtster wrote:

I have the Home Invasion Concert box set sitting yet to be opened.  It has 5 Lp's with material only to be found on this set.  The reviews of both the concert and the quality of the pressings are excellent.  It does look very interesting.  I've heard a couple of tracks on Youtube.  Not sure when I'll get around to popping it open.  Just waiting for when my plate gets a little less full and I'm ready for a whole bunch of new to me music.  

 
There's a New Yorker cartoon that I can't find online of two well dressed men standing in a vault full of large flat wooden crates. One says to the other, "I didn't realize you were an art lover."

But a little delayed gratification can be a good thing.

kurtster

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Location: where fear is not a virtue
Gender: Male


Posted: Mar 3, 2021 - 10:30am

 beeblebrocks40 wrote:


 westslope wrote:
I submitted Personal Shopper — the one with the Elton John voice over — and it was rejected.  

At the time I thought it was the catchiest tune of what I had heard so far from the album.   No matter.  I pre-ordered the CD.
 

I got the new album last week. It is very good, but one you might not like if you are a Porcupine Tree fan. Very electronic but the lyrics are definitely Steven Wilson.  I have to laugh when Elton is reading off all the must have items, he lists limited edition box sets. Steven is one of the worst(or best) at releasing limited edition copies of his work.
 
I have the Home Invasion Concert box set sitting yet to be opened.  It has 5 Lp's with material only to be found on this set.  The reviews of both the concert and the quality of the pressings are excellent.  It does look very interesting.  I've heard a couple of tracks on Youtube.  Not sure when I'll get around to popping it open.  Just waiting for when my plate gets a little less full and I'm ready for a whole bunch of new to me music.  

westslope

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Location: BC sage brush steppe


Posted: Mar 3, 2021 - 8:16am



 beeblebrocks40 wrote:


 westslope wrote:
I submitted Personal Shopper — the one with the Elton John voice over — and it was rejected.  

At the time I thought it was the catchiest tune of what I had heard so far from the album.   No matter.  I pre-ordered the CD.
 

I got the new album last week. It is very good, but one you might not like if you are a Porcupine Tree fan. Very electronic but the lyrics are definitely Steven Wilson.  I have to laugh when Elton is reading off all the must have items, he lists limited edition box sets. Steven is one of the worst(or best) at releasing limited edition copies of his work.
 
It is funny.  In interview, Wilson describes Elton John as the world's most famous shopper and admits to enjoying shopping himself.

Mind you, Elton John is no slouch when it comes Limited Edition Jewel Box sets of vinyl LPs.  LOL!  I'll bet he sells more of them than Steven Wilson does.

beeblebrocks40

beeblebrocks40 Avatar

Location: In Absenita, NC
Gender: Male


Posted: Mar 3, 2021 - 7:33am



 BillG wrote:


 westslope wrote:
I submitted Personal Shopper — the one with the Elton John voice over — and it was rejected.  

At the time I thought it was the catchiest tune of what I had heard so far from the album.   No matter.  I pre-ordered the CD.
 

We’re playing two tracks from The Future Bites. Definitely a very different feel from the PT stuff!
 

Thanks Bill!
beeblebrocks40

beeblebrocks40 Avatar

Location: In Absenita, NC
Gender: Male


Posted: Mar 3, 2021 - 7:30am



 westslope wrote:
I submitted Personal Shopper — the one with the Elton John voice over — and it was rejected.  

At the time I thought it was the catchiest tune of what I had heard so far from the album.   No matter.  I pre-ordered the CD.
 

I got the new album last week. It is very good, but one you might not like if you are a Porcupine Tree fan. Very electronic but the lyrics are definitely Steven Wilson.  I have to laugh when Elton is reading off all the must have items, he lists limited edition box sets. Steven is one of the worst(or best) at releasing limited edition copies of his work.
westslope

westslope Avatar

Location: BC sage brush steppe


Posted: Feb 24, 2021 - 6:42pm



 BillG wrote:


 westslope wrote:
I submitted Personal Shopper — the one with the Elton John voice over — and it was rejected.  

At the time I thought it was the catchiest tune of what I had heard so far from the album.   No matter.  I pre-ordered the CD.
 

We’re playing two tracks from The Future Bites. Definitely a very different feel from the PT stuff!
 
And I like them both!  Both the new tracks that is.  You don't have to tell me why you like one of them in particular.   The lyrics are more than timely. 

I can also see the wisdom of keeping the number of new entries from a new single album down to a dull roar.  None of us want ScottfromWyoming to go on a hunger strike in frustration.

I love it when Steven Wilson goes a little weird and different.   Personal Shopper is probably a lot more easy to access than the two songs currently in rotation.   That and if you were alive and listening to popular music in the early 1970s, Elton John is iconic. 

We tend to be an older clientele here — even a few counter-culture types, heaven forbid — It is a safe guess that most dig Elton John's music and perhaps even feel a certain affection for the person.  Or is that the persona?   Would hope/imagine that the vast majority have a soft spot for self-deprecating British humour.    

Lookin' for that win-win  che.  


P.S. Despite the obvious popularity of Porcupine Tree's Prog metal sound, Steven Wilson admitted that he became bored with heavy rock.    Signify through to The Incident.  7 really decent studio albums.   His PT band-mates were great.  His current mainstay musicians are just as good or better.  

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