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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Benny Bailey / Nashville Big Band: A Bird in the Hand

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To accentuate the positive: A Bird in the Hand is Georgia-based drummer Ben Bailey's debut album as a big-band leader, and a splendid one it is, thanks to Bailey's ample talents and those of the Nashville Big Band. The recording arose from a chance meeting in 2011 when another well-known timekeeper, Duffy Jackson, traveled to from Nashville to Atlanta as featured artist with a band in which Bailey was the regular drummer. A bond of friendship and respect was formed, and shortly afterward Jackson phoned to ask if Bailey would like to come to Tennessee to record with Jackson's band. ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Fitz and the Tantrums at The Space at Westbury

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Fitz and the Tantrums The Space at Westbury Westbury, NY November 11, 2014 Following an impressive opening set by Alan Wilkis' electronic music project, Big Data (who played an excellent version of its chart topping hit “Dangerous" and a fantastic cover of Hall & Oates' “Private Eyes"), with an all ages audience crowding the stage at Westbury, NY's The Space, the Los Angeles-based neo-pop/funk/soul group Fitz and the Tantrums blasted through a seventeen song set of high octane songs. High energy lead singers Michael Fitzpatrick (Fitz) and Noelle Scaggs danced ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Styx at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury

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Styx NYCB Theatre at Westbury Westbury, NY November 14, 2014 Styx is a rock band from America's heartland (Chicago) whose music blends the best part of rock, power pop, prog-rock, art-rock, arena rock with a touch of classical composition. The band originally consisted of brothers Chuck (bass) and John Panozzo (drums), Dennis DeYoung (vocals, keyboards), guitarists/vocalists, James “JY" Young and John Curulewski. Following Curulewski's departure and the arrival of guitarist Tommy Shaw, the band achieved its greatest success in the late '70s and early '80s. By the mid '80s, both Shaw and DeYoung had left ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

DIVA: A Swingin' Life

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As if being the premier all-female big band on the planet weren't enough, DIVA has enlisted the services of two purebred divas--Nancy Wilson and Marlena Shaw--to enrich its latest album, A Swingin' Life, recorded live at Pittsburgh's Manchester Craftsmen's Guild (November 2011) and Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center (September 2012). Wilson and Shaw are more than window dressing, giving their all on five of the album's eleven numbers. Wilson brings out the best in Sammy Cahn / Jimmy van Heusen's b-level standard, “All My Tomorrows," and the far more congenial (and swinging) “All of ...

TALKING 2 MUSICIANS

Badfinger's Joey Molland

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Badfinger was a band that rocketed to fame after being discovered by the Beatles' roadie Mal Evans and signing with Apple Records. They appeared on the world stage just as the Beatles went public with their breakup. With songs like “No Matter What," “Day After Day," “Suitcase," “Baby Blue," and “Carry On," Badfinger's tight soaring harmonies, melodic tendencies, and compositional talent filled a void left by the Beatles. They were also younger than the Beatles and still drawn to power pop/rock. As a live band they displayed surprisingly high energy and, unlike the Beatles, they engaged in extended jams. When ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jason Yeager: Affirmation

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No sophomore slump for pianist Jason Yeager. His trio disc Affirmation actually has the feel of a mature artist's fourth, fifth, and sixth recording. Maybe that is because he has preserved his working trio of bassist Danny Weller and drummer Matt Rousseau from his initial offering Ruminations (Inner Circle Music, 2011) or possibly it's his ability to integrate varying musical concepts without sounding imitative. Yeager's piano, under the tutelage of Danilo Perez, masterfully pulls from jazz, classical, blues and pop music with a seamless approach that yields a coherent and consistent document. He pulls bits of Thelonious Monk-speak ...

INTERVIEWS

Daniel Lanois: I Look for Commitment and a Lot of Heart and Soul

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Whenever I'm asked to name a list of Top 10 all time favorite records, the list slightly changes and shuffles every time. However, one of the most common denominators to those diverse lists is producer/musician Daniel Lanois. Often called a “studio wizard" or “studio magician," this producer has become renowned both for his proficiency in the studio and his gift for motivating and enabling people to reach new creative heights. Armed with an intuitive combination of emotions and technical proficiency, over the last 30 years he has been involved in some of the most ambitious and progressive new music as ...



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