Recent Articles

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 ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Daniel Lanois: Flesh and Machine

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Credit should be given where it's due. Producer/musician Daniel Lanois has never been satisfied with just keep churning out the same kind of music for the same kind of audience that swooned over his song based records or the productions he did for other artists. As a true artist he wants to evolve and continuously create something different and Flesh and Machine is a move in that direction. Lanois' work cuts a distinctive swath through the last 30 years of electronic, rock and pop music, and unlike the song based records he has been releasing, Flesh and Machine is a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ken Thomson and Slow/Fast: Settle

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There are ways to get to know people really well, really quickly. Many of these fall under the general category: “challenge them, somehow." For a certain time of my life this meant: “go camping with them." Really. If you go camping with a group of people, you will find out a lot about them in a very brief time. Over the past decade or so, I've found that if you play really intense music with other musicians, you will also get to know them really quickly, and in much the same way. Or you could just go camping. Ken Thomson ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Khan: Subtext

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From his obscure gems on Columbia Records--Tightrope (1977), The Blue Man (1978) and Arrow (1979), or the critically acclaimed 1980s Eye Witness recordings, to 2011's Latin-tinged Parting Shot(Tone Center), jazz guitarist Steve Khan continues to deliver his unique artistry--exquisite touch, expressive solos, and warm tonality--that's made his music identifiable. Subtext finds that mastery still intact with a renewed mix of originals and covers. In addition to Khan's musicianship, he's always been a great interpreter of standards, giving his own personality and insights to Thelonious Monk's music with 6 string acoustic guitar in 1981's Evidence and the swinging ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Michael Mantler: The Jazz Composer’s Orchestra Update

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Trumpeter Michael Mantler has been a fixture on the US music scene for so long that it's easy to forget the global nature of his career. Born in Vienna, Austria, he came to the US in the early 1960s working with Cecil Taylor and co-founding the Jazz Composers' Orchestra Association (JCOA). The resulting JCOA self-titled album (JCOA/ECM, 1968) is historic in its scope of content and musicianship including Mantler's then-wife, pianist Carla Bley, and some of the finest work in the careers of trumpeter Don Cherry and pianist Cecil Taylor. More than forty-five years later The Jazz Composer's Orchestra Update ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Rory Gallagher - Irish Tour ’74, the 40th Anniversary Deluxe Box Set

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In the end, music is a personal soundtrack to one's life. It is tied to a specific time and place, circumstances and memories that are so tightly integrated in one's experience that having memory with no music cannot even be imagined, much less considered. In the summer of 1974, I went from Little Rock to Chicago to visit my closest childhood friend. While there I purchased two LPs for our listening pleasure, Eric Clapton's 461 Ocean Boulevard (RSO, 1974) and Rory Gallagher's Irish Tour '74 (Polydor). I had just started listening to the blues and had fallen under the spells ...

CATCHING UP WITH

John Butcher: So Far

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Saxophonist John Butcher's career could have taken an academic path. He completed a Ph.D in theoretical physics--Charmed Quarks to be precise--but left the academic world behind shortly thereafter. As a saxophonist, Butcher has played with and collaborated with many musicians. He is not afraid to try completely off the wall musical experimentation. All About Jazz: What is your background? Where did you grow up and how did you come to music? John Butcher: I was born in Brighton, grew up in South London/Kent. The Beatles were the first musical excitement I remember, around ...



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