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A Sonic Compass: A Journey Through Prince's N·E·W·S

Read "A Sonic Compass: A Journey Through Prince's N·E·W·S" reviewed by Giulia Bianchi

It is indisputable that musician, composer, singer, actor, and producer Prince Rogers Nelson has been one of the most prolific and committed musical artists of all time. With an enduring career spanning over five decades, the virtuoso mastered a plethora of instruments, perpetually exploring and trailblazing new creative horizons. His music is steeped in a timeless fusion of musical genres which is the trademark of his unique and abiding spirit. 2003: The Year of Instrumental Releases A curious ...


Herbie Hancock: Thrust

Read "Herbie Hancock: Thrust" reviewed by Mick Raubenheimer

Haters can hate, but that molten decade sprung between the mid-Sixties and mid-Seventies was a smorgasbord of innovation and adventure in music. While the heady spirit of freedom—and hyper-stimuli of psychedelics—didn't exactly wreak genius upon the average human mind (whose imaginative reach crested at tie-dye shirts, living in tepees, and emancipating body hair), original artists went and dove over the edges of all kinds of edges. Music, for one, would never be the same; nor, perhaps, ever as rampantly inspired. ...


Miles Davis: Bitches Brew

Read "Miles Davis: Bitches Brew" reviewed by Mick Raubenheimer

Bitches Brew, (Columbia, 1970) 52 years old this year, can be seen as the elder statesman of jazz fusion, but old it is not, trapped, or rather insulated as it is in its youthfully electric vortex. This ink is daunting. In preparing to tease this retrospective into view, I am listening to Bitches Brew for the first time in a long, highly eventful decade. And the opening strains, instructively, and deceptively placid (the proverbial ellipse preceding rupture), displace me: I ...


Stranger Things: Kate Bush And The Forest Of A Thousand Tongues

Read "Stranger Things: Kate Bush And The Forest Of A Thousand Tongues" reviewed by Mick Raubenheimer

The arrival of '80s-flavoured teen Sci-fi-meets-Lovecraft Netflix series Stranger Things 4th season has shed unexpected fresh light on one of the more reclusive and fascinating female singer-songwriters of the last four decades, Kate Bush, via crucial use of her 1985 hit “Running Up That Hill (Deal with God)." The use of the song in pivotal moments of the latest season of the hit series has brought the track back into the British Top 10, near 40 years after its original ...


Five Classic ECM Titles in High Res

Read "Five Classic ECM Titles in High Res" reviewed by John Kelman

If ever there were a label that deserved to have its catalog released in a high resolution format, it's Munich's ECM Records. Since its inception in 1969, the multiple award-winning record label headed by producer Manfred Eicher has truly redefined how, initially, jazz and improvised music recordings could--and, at least for some, perhaps should--sound. Attention to the minutest detail and creating albums of such pristine clarity that every layer is clearly audible--from the loudest roar to the softest decay--has garnered ...


Greg Lake & Keith Emerson: Their Best Work Together

Read "Greg Lake & Keith Emerson: Their Best Work Together" reviewed by John Kelman

While it should come as no surprise that musical heroes from across all genres are beginning to die off, some of the highest profile losses are, in particular, in the rock/pop world, where many of its biggest stars are now in their mid-to-late sixties...or older. Few would disagree that one of the years biggest losses happened just ten days into 2016, when David Bowie passed away at 69 just two days after the release of Black Star (Sony)--an album that ...


Mark Isham: Blue Sun

Read "Mark Isham: Blue Sun" reviewed by John Kelman

Mark IshamBlue SunColumbia Records1995 Better-known, perhaps, for his work in the film arena as scorer for movies including 1986's The Hitcher, the 1992 reboot of Of Mice and Men and 1998's Blade, Mark Isham has, nevertheless, demonstrated his instrumental prowess as a trumpeter on albums including pianist Art Lande's Rubisa Patrol (ECM, 1976), singer/songwriter Van Morrison's Beautiful Vision (Warner Bros., 1982), David Sylvian's Brilliant Trees (Virgin, 1984), David Torn's Cloud About Mercury (ECM, 1987) and ...


Sweet Billy Pilgrim: We Just Did What Happened and No One Came [2016 Kscope Remix/Remaster]

Read "Sweet Billy Pilgrim: We Just Did What Happened and No One Came [2016 Kscope Remix/Remaster]" reviewed by John Kelman

Sweet Billy PilgrimWe Just Did What Happened and No One CameKscope Music2016 (2005) My how things have changed. Upon first encountering Britain's Sweet Billy Pilgrim at the 2007 Punkt Festival in Kristiansand, Norway, funding was so diminutive that singer/songwriter/guitarist/multi-instrumentalist/erstwhile leader Tim Elsenberg was unable to bring the full group; instead, he came with bassist/banjoist/background vocalist Anthony Bishop...and even had to use a borrowed Fender Stratocaster, which caused no shortage of tuning difficulties throughout the duo's ...


Nils Petter Molvaer: Khmer

Read "Nils Petter Molvaer: Khmer" reviewed by John Kelman

Nils Petter Molvær KhmerECM Records 1997 At a time when, with the sheer volume of music vying for attention it's almost an impossibility to release a recording that actually shakes the foundation of what music is and what it can be, there was a time, in 1997-98—and in, perhaps, the most unlikely of places—when four albums changed the course of music...particularly in their native country, to be sure, but also on an international scale. Out ...


Trio Sud: Young and Fine

Read "Trio Sud: Young and Fine" reviewed by John Kelman

Trio Sud Young and Fine Dreyfus Jazz2008 It's hard to believe that a guitarist as fine as France's Sylvain Luc has been so overlooked by supposedly comprehensive music sites like All Music Guide--especially with albums like today's Rediscovery, Young and Fine, featuring his Trio Sud group, out in the world. While you can find Luc at AMG, coverage of his small but significant discography is diminutive, and that's a shame, because Luc may well be ...

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