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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joe Sample & the NDR Big Band Orchestra: Children of the Sun

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Toward the end of his remarkable career, the late pianist Joe Sample (he died on September 12, 2014) traveled to Hamburg, Germany, to record Children of the Sun, a suite of his own music, with the splendid NDR Big Band. The eleven compositions were inspired by Sample's appearance at the 1995 St. Croix Jazz Festival, where he weighed the beauty of that island paradise against the brutality of slavery (17th Century St. Croix was a crucial part of what is referred to as slavery's “middle passage") and the helplessness and hopelessness the captives must have felt. Sample thought something should ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

David Sylvian: There's a Light That Enters Houses With No Other House in Sight

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David Sylvian's extended flight from pop stardom in the middle years of the 1980s was an enthralling counterpoint to that decade's facile obsession with surface and relapse into materialism. While mainstream pop retreated from the innovations and musical openness of post-punk into the empty banalities of bean counting corporate rock, Sylvian among a few others appeared to plot a different idiosyncratic path routed in improvised music and jazz. Central to this were his often inspired choices of collaborators such as the late Kenny Wheeler, Jon Hassell, Bill Nelson, Riuichi Sakamoto and Robert Fripp that opened a window on ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Rolling Stones From the Vault: L.A. Forum Live in 1975 & Hampton Coliseum Live in 1981

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Given that their history spans more than five decades and multiple generations, it only stands to reason the Rolling Stones would have a veritable wealth of material in their archives on par with the vintage likes of Charlie Is My Darling (Abkco, 2012) and what's perhaps the next high-water mark of their career after that mid-Sixties apogee, the Exile on Main Street (Rolling Stones, 1972) era Ladies and Gentlemen the Rolling Stones (Eagle Vision, 2010). There may be more scintillating content than what's contained in the first two editions of 'From the Vault,' but the fact of the matter is ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Rory Gallagher: Irish Tour '74 Deluxe Edition

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Of all the entries in the Rory Gallagher discography-and it's lengthy despite his premature passing in 1995 at the age of forty-seven-none deserve the expanded treatment more than Irish Tour '74, which is not doubt why it was originally documented on film as it happened by Tony Palmer. Not only did the title set the standard for the many subsequent live releases of Gallagher's career, the abbreviated tour reaffirmed the man's loyalty to his native country, a theme he would also revisit numerous times prior to his untimely demise. Not his first concert piece-Live in Europe (Polydor, 1972) ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Leonard Cohen: Popular Problems

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On 21st of September, Leonard Cohen, member of an elite triumvirate of singer songwriters joined the 80 club. A day after his birthday, he delivered a new record and another chapter of his life opened to the public. Cohen is one of those singer songwriters that have kept maturing, producing new and interesting work with every advancing decade of his life. And there is something wondrous about Cohen delivering a new record for his 80th birthday. That he is delivering a masterpiece of a record is even more wondrous thing than that. Several months after the mammoth tour that saw ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Ben Sidran: The First Existential Jazz Rapper

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Ben Sidran is an old school hipster in the authentic sense of the word. He's a no frills, musician's musician who's got the heart, got the chops. He's been there, done that, and ready to do more. Sidran has never been interested in following trends or squeezing into categories and is not about to start now. “In jazz, they want you to be yourself, but they only want you to be yourself in their category, and if you're not, it becomes your problem and not theirs. I'm a child of R & B and a child of rock 'n roll, ...

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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