Recent Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nels Cline and Julian Lage: Room

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Serious fans of guitar may have heard of both Nels Cline and Julian Lage, but many listeners more likely know only one or the other of these guitar giants. The two innovators have very different styles and sounds. Cline is known primarily for his work with Wilco and The Nels Cline Singers, where his compositions function as experimental explorations and push boundaries in many ways; even more so his solo improvisations, which heavily incorporate electronic sounds and unconventional uses of ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Party Knüllers: Was Something Lost in Translation?

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The duo Party Knüllers is a transatlantic collaboration between Chicago's own Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello & electronics and Norway's Ståle Liavik Solberg on drums & percussion. The two played together in a quartet, also including clarinetist Frode Gjerstad and vocalist Stine Janvin Motland, on VC/DC (Hispid, 2011), the inaugural release of the label that now releases two albums by the duo themselves. One of these albums is a vinyl collaboration with Chicagoan Jim Baker on analogue synthesizer, bearing a bizarre ...

TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five With Ray Clemens

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Meet Ray Clemens: Born in Oklahoma. High school at the Idyllwild Arts Academy in Idyllwild, CA. College and briefly at the New School for Social Research in NYC. Been playing for what seems ages....and yet I can't come up with suitable material for the bio. Instrument(s): Bass -upright & electric, piano Teachers and/or influences? I've had the pleasure of studying with some amazing musical minds. It all started at the Idyllwild Arts Academy ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Strother: Azul

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Azul is an aural meditation by electric violinist David Strother that covers a wide swathe of emotions and delves fearlessly into the human condition. The word azul means “blue" in Spanish, and indeed the songs explore many shades of this emotional color. The blues also refer to loss: during the editing and mixing phases of the EP, Strother learned about the death of bassist and composer Charlie Haden, a musician who influenced him deeply, so the EP also serves as ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Brandee Younger 4tet: Live At The Breeding Ground

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While a list of currently operating notables on nearly any given instrument could fill anywhere from a chapter to a book or two, a rundown of head-turning active jazz harpists might only fill out a very small portion of a leaflet. The most important among them--Latin jazz trailblazer Edmar Castaneda, refined role model Carol Robbins, and wide-ranging experimentalist Zeena Parkins, to name just a few--all manage to say something unique with the instrument, pushing it into places where it wasn't ...

DVD/VIDEO/FILM REVIEWS

Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train A Comin’

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Jimi Hendrix Hear My Train A Comin' Sony-Legacy 2013 As an entry into the PBS American Masters series, it's little surprise Hear My Train A Comin' doesn't take a particularly novel approach to its subject. Still, the film progresses assuredly and vividly from one significant point to another as it covers the life and career of the one of the epochal figures of Sixties rock, Jimi Hendrix. Interviews with those who knew ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jenny Scheinman: The Littlest Prisoner

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It's tempting to say that Jenny Scheinman has a split musical personality, but that's not really the case. The playful-and-devious violinist with a glint in her eye and the poised alt-country singer aren't as far apart as some may think, as both are powered by the heartbeat of American life; it's just important to remember that American life isn't so simple to define. It's gritty and gorgeous all at once, and Scheinman understands that better than most. The Littlest Prisoner ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jon Mapp: The World Will End with A Bang

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British electric bass guitarist Jon Mapp suggests two parallel ways to experience his debut solo album. The first, and most impressive one, feature his unorthodox technique and personal improvisational approach. Mapp plays the bass guitar as an instrument that its sonic spectrum is similar to the acoustic guitar, varying his gentle, melodic touch with percussive sounds. He uses pedals and a laptop to create different looping layers of music and trigger electric effects. The second way ...



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