My Dad went through a sudden decline in his health after a serious fall about three years ago, and was not able to go home again afterwards.
Our family is spread out about as far as it is possible to be while still living in the USA, and with no family local to where Mom and Dad lived in Boise, Idaho, Mom and I made the decision for them to move into assisted living near me so I could keep a better eye on them to make sure they were doing ok.
So with the help from a couple of friends I moved my Mom and Dad from their cozy home in Boise, Idaho, the long distance across Idaho, through the Blue Mountains in Oregon, to be near me in Washington State, about three years ago now.
The transition was a rough go for all of us, but the good part about having Mom and Dad move near me was that we got to visit more often, as before we only got to visit a couple of times a year during the holidays.
I enjoyed bringing Mom and Dad over to my place for lunches and dinners so they could get some away-time from assisted living, and so we could spend some quality time together.
Mom’s 92 now, and Dad passed away almost a year and a half ago, at age 92, just a few days before their 69th wedding anniversary.
This is the first time Mom has lived by herself since they were married in Missoula, Montana, on December 14, 1946, now over 70 years ago. As you might imagine, it’s a big life change for Mom, and actually for both of us.
After Dad’s passing I got Mom moved into a new assisted living apartment, and of course got a stereo and television set up for her, because like me, Mom enjoys music and films.
In fact it was Mom who turned me into a jazz lover, when in 1965 she took me to a Louis Armstrong concert at the Lloyd Center Mall near where we lived in Beaverton, Oregon, and I’ve loved jazz ever since!
A couple of days ago I brought Mom over for a little dinner and some music listening. We had stuffed bell peppers and Potatoes au Gratin, along with some nice Red Chair NWPA (Northwest Pale Ale) from Deschutes Brewery.
Mom wanted to listen to a little Tony Bennett, so I got out the excellent Tony Bennett Duets II album on the Music On Vinyl label and we listened to Tony sing duets with Andrea Bocelli, Michael Bublé, Mariah Carey, Natalie Cole, Sheryl Crow, Aretha Franklin, Josh Groban, Faith Hill, Norah Jones, Lady Gaga, K.D Lang, John Mayer, Willie Nelson, Queen Latifah, Alejandro Sanz, Carrie Underwood, and Amy Winehouse!
I’ll tell you what, Tony Bennett is amazing, and I think Mom’s right, he’s only gotten better as the years have gone on.
If you like Tony Bennett (I do), the Duets II album is a great one to get, as it gives a nice survey of Tony’s music with a lot of other great artists. It’s a nicely done album with a very natural, warm, analogue feel to it. I found mine out on Discogs for a reasonable price.
Mom mentioned she also thought the stereo was sounding particularly good lately, which is always gratifying to hear, and Mom knows her stuff when it comes to what sounds good, and she’ll tell you if you’ve got it right or not!
Mom would make one hell of a good audio reviewer, she’s got great ears and superb musical sensibility!
Mom was also telling me stories about when she lived in the San Francisco area with her Aunt Leila, up on Skyline Boulevard in Half Moon Bay.
This was before she met Dad, in the 1940’s, and she told me how she loved to go out and listen to all the great jazz music that was happening there, including Tony Bennett.
Mom asked me if I had the Tony Bennet album with I Left My Heart In San Francisco on it, one of her favorites.
I didn’t, so we listened to some other jazz albums, and all-in-all we had a nice dinner and listening session together before calling it a night.
I went out to Discogs and found a Mobile Fidelity version of Tony Bennett’s I Left My Heart in San Francisco so I could play it for Mom at our next visit.
I don’t know what it is with Mobile Fidelity’s view on what records are supposed to sound like, but I think it’s their impression that audiophiles like resolution cranked up, bass emphasized, and the highs goosed way up.
I’m not sure what the MF’ers do to their albums to make them sound the way they do, but I generally hate what they do to perfectly good albums.
In my opinion it ruins the musicality in an attempt to make the records sound like some sort of audiophile ‘sonic spectacular’, and Tony Bennett’s I Left My Heart in San Francisco is the worst one for this sort of tomfoolery I’ve encountered yet.
It’s nearly unlistenable, with weird screechy and phasey highs that were so bad I was very tempted to go out into the yard and play frisbee with it.
Can any of you recommend a Tony Bennett album with I Left My Heart in San Francisco on it that is a good record? I’d really appreciate a good recommendation!
Ok, enough of that.
This weekend my goal is to get the Lefson Resistor review finished up. Those are Lefson Resistors in the R4 and R5 positions in my Altec A5 Voice of the Theater project crossovers in the photo above.
While doing listening sessions with the Lefson Resistors I’ve learned some very interesting things about resistors, which I’ll tell you all about in the upcoming full review at Positive Feedback.
Here’s a little tidbit to pique your interest: The materials used, and particularly the gauge of wire used in the leads, has a large effect on overall performance.
Ok, that’s it for now, I’ve got to get to work on some more listening sessions for the review, and do some more writing.
As always, thanks for stopping by, and may the tone be with you!