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EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Ultimate Sinatra: A Very Good Compilation

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On December 12, 1915, Francis Albert Sinatra was born in Hoboken, New Jersey. This single birth in this sleepy borough was the first tremor in a musical earthquake that changed the cultural landscape all around the world, forever. On April 21, 2015, in celebration of Frank Sinatra's centennial year, Capitol/UMe released the first career retrospective that surveys the complete recording history of “The Chairman of the Board." Drawn from his recordings for Columbia (1943-'52), Capitol (1953-'62; 1993-'94) and ...

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

Frank Sinatra

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In the 1950s and '60s, there erupted into the world's consciousness a series of celebrities so unique and identifiable, from several different public arenas, that they were known by only one name. It was as if those were names were mythical and could not possibly be mistaken for anyone else. Elvis. Martin and Malcolm. Marilyn. John Paul George and Ringo. Ali. And Sinatra. Frank Sinatra released hit albums for half a century. His career began to take off ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Chuck Anderson Trio at Melodies Cafe

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Chuck Anderson Trio Melodies Cafe Ardmore, PA April 11, 2015 The Chuck Anderson Trio marked a long overdue end to the winter with their first performance of the 2015 season. The trio, consisting of guitarist Chuck Anderson, bassist Eric Schreiber, and drummer Ed Rick played at Melodies Café in Ardmore, PA. An intimate venue, Melodies was filled with an attentive and informed jazz audience. The trio came out strong, starting with “Bag's Groove" ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Hu Vibrational: The Epic Botanical Beat Suite

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The Epic Botanical Beat Suite--the fourth release from percussionist Adam Rudolph's ever-evolving Hu Vibrational--is a trance-inducing rhythmic trip. Rudolph, the man behind the bulky Go: Organic Orchestra and the Moving Pictures Octet, has always been adept at creating distinct outfits. Hu Vibrational has served as his vehicle for blending African rhythms, minimalistic tides, and electronica-influenced sounds into hypnotic soundscapes. In the past, this mutable band has been a bit heavier in sound yet lighter on personnel. The ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Benny Green: Live In Santa Cruz

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We hope you've made the journey these past thirty plus years with pianist Benny Green. From hotshot young lion to keeper of the jazz flame he has consistently electrified audiences with his live performances. Live In Santa Cruz recorded at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center follows up on a recording he made as bassist Ray Brown's sideman twenty years ago. Green built a career, first as an apprentice to Betty Carter, then Art Blakey, Freddie Hubbard, then Brown. His career as ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Monoswezi: Monoswezi Yanga

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A while back I picked up a copy of a 1971 Smithsonian album featuring the traditional mbira music of the Shona People of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). It's a valuable ethnomusicological recording, but unless one is from that culture, the appeal may be limited. The mbira, though, is a fascinating instrument and I longed to hear more of it, perhaps in a more modern context. That's where Scandanavian/African group Monoswezi comes in. Monoswezi Yanga is their second album on ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Hailey Niswanger: PDX Soul

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Saxophonist Hailey Niswanger's third release is a stylistic departure from her previous bop based two. Dedicated to versatile Portland based keyboardist Janice Scroggins, who passed away shortly after the recording, the engaging PDX Soul primarily channels an old school funk energy and a retro R&B charm. Scroggins and her rhythm section lay down an electrified backdrop against which Niswanger blows her alto and her soprano with fiery abandon. Trombonist Stan Bock's buttery growl opens “Say What," a tune ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Various Artists: I Never Meta Guitar Three

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Few would be more equipped to produce this series of various guitarists parading their avant-garde stuff other than New York City-based, and world-renown experimental guitar acolyte, Elliot Sharp. This third installment of the ongoing extravaganza showcases the far-flung imaginations of 18 artists, continuously pushing the envelope via a kaleidoscopic presentation sketched with unconventional acoustic-electric tone poems. It's a rousing celebration of oscillating sound designs, fuzz-toned voicings, and startling digressions as each piece tells a distinct story, largely nestled in atypical ...



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