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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Various Artists: Light My Fire: A Classic Rock Salute to The Doors

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Southern California-based Purple Pyramid Records and producer, instrumentalist Billy Sherwood raised the bar with this tribute to The Doors by convening a star-studded cast, featuring classic rockers performing with progressive rock luminaries. And the jazz contingent is onboard, evidenced by jazz guitar great Larry Coryell appearing with Focus keyboardist Thijs Van Leer on “Love Me Two Times." When I first broke the seal on this recording and perused the personnel listing I was delighted yet partly suspicious, fearing this would be an unbalanced project and/or a riffing contest framed on The Doors songbook. Such is not the case. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Various Artists: Impulsively Ellington!: A Tribute to Duke Ellington

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It's not hard to find Duke Ellington cover songs. Nearly every jazz musician alive (and many long dead) has covered an Ellington tune or two. Some have done entire albums. Ella Fitzgerald did a three-CD set. Many covers are so well-known and so ordinary, they're hardly worth finding. “Sophisticated Lady" has been done to death. Ditto “Satin Doll." I'm not sure the world needs another cover version of either. I choose the path less traveled. Lately, I've been listening to a dandy collection called “Impulsively Ellington"--a 2-CD set of Ellington covers recorded by various ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Various Artists: Peru Maravillloso

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Peru Maravilloso: Vintage Latin, Tropical and Cumbia demonstrates what's best about the digital media revolution: It resurrects 15 singles released by homegrown Peruvian labels across the 1960s and '70s, two of the most vibrant musical decades in the history of Peru (and just about everywhere else). Compiled by label managers Duncan Ballantyne, Andres Tapia and Martin Morales, it presents the lively South American styles of cumbia and guaracha and more electric sounds of chicha with strains of music from the Caribbean and Cuba leaking through like radio static. As you'd expect, this robust and hearty musical stew of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Various Artists: Postcards From Italy

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Sound artists, like their brethren mail artists, adhere to the motto “sound art is not fine art, it is the artist who is fine." Born out of phonography, or the audio equivalent of photography, field recordings capture the native sounds of a place. For the Postcards From Italy project, the collective AIPS (the Archivio Italiano dei Paesaggi Sonori, or Italian Archive of Soundscapes) gathered the ambient sounds of a particular place, as designated by specific latitude and longitude coordinates, and swapped them with another member for processing and manipulation.Part ambient, part minimalist improvisation the sounds suggest a place, ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Greek Rhapsody: Instrumental Music From Greece 1905-1956

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A couple years back, Tompkins Square issued an unforgettable box set called To What Strange Place: The Music of the Ottoman-American Diaspora, 1916-1929, which collected a type of Eastern music that had gone unanthologized, largely because it came from places long since gone from the world map, played on instruments to which most Westerners have never paid much attention. Name three oud players. I dare you.Greek Rhapsody (Dust-To-Digital) surveys rebetika, the international style prominent among Greeks throughout the Ottoman Empire. The music collected here was recorded from 1905-56 in Greece,Istanbul, the United States, and even a German prison ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Various Artists: Rework_ Philip Glass Remixes

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In these modern times, remixing is seen as merely another way of reinterpreting someone's work. Just like jazz or rock artists reworking old standards or classics in their own way, so, too, do remixers apply a modern method of interpreting people's songs, compositions--or, their entire oeuvre.According to Wikipedia “the remix is an alternative version of a song, different from the original version. A remixer uses audio mixing to compose an alternate master recording of a song, adding or subtracting elements, or simply changing the equalization, dynamics, pitch, tempo, playing time or almost any other aspect of the various ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Various Artists: Work Hard, Play Hard, Pray Hard

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There is always complaint that American contemporary musical life is at turns either too glitzy or overly-intellectualized. Either claim is overly simplistic, neither completely wrong. And in no area is it more true than country music. On one hand, there is the proud stupidity of Toby Keith and Gretchen Wilson. On the other, the self-consciously literate indulgences of the Americana movement. Great stuff still lives on in the margins, but it's hardly the norm.Early country music was healthy in that the people who got the recordings made seemed to regard the audience as a constituency whose record-buying was ...



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