Daily articles including interviews, profiles, live reviews, film reviews and more... all carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. You can find more articles by searching our website, see what's trending on our popular articles page or read articles ahead of their published dates on our future articles page. Read our daily album reviews.
by Mark Barnett
Getting Started If you're new to jazz, go to our Getting Into Jazz primer for some hints on how to listen. CD Capsule Timeless, straight-ahead 1950's jazz, played with passion and elegance by seasoned musicians at the top of their game. Don't look for bebop or coolness here. These guys weren't interested in revolutions. Background Although the 1950's are generally viewed as a period of Father-Knows-Best comfort and conformity, that ...read more
by Sacha O'Grady
The origin of Spaces can be traced back to when Larry Coryell saw John McLaughlin performing at Count Basie's nightclub with the Tony Williams Lifetime ensemble. Apparently he was so impressed with what he heard, that he invited McLaughlin to join him in the studio and record what would turn out to be arguably one of the very first jazz-rock/jazz-fusion records made at that moment in time. Not that they would have known it. But as Bob Dylan sang, the ...read more
by Doug Collette
Right from the cover graphic depicting an audio speaker as a source of spiritual sustenance, The Word's Soul Food continues one of the most unusual but profoundly successful and satisfying collaborations in contemporary roots music. Bluesrockers the North Mississippi Allstars so deeply bonded with keyboardist John Medeski and pedal steel wunderkind Robert Randolph on their initial eponymous collaboration (Ropeadope, 2001), a followup was probably inevitable, but this album is far from merely de rigeur. Quite the contrary, as ...read more
by C. Michael Bailey
The Arkansas delta grit is gone from his voice, replaced by age and disease with the well-sanded twang of an American Southern Isaiah, if Johnny Cash were a stern Elijah. Levon Helm was the first voice among equals in The Band, sharing vocal duties with the equally distinctive vocals of bassist Rick Danko and pianist Richard Manuel. The only American (necessarily Southern) in a band of Canadians, it was Helm's dusty tenor that lent an American authenticity to the Band's ...read more
by Eyal Hareuveni
Patty Larkin is considered a rare bird among today's singer/songwriters. The Boston-based Larkin is more literate than her fellow bards; she is an inventive and experimental musician who likes to push the sonic envelope of her songs with subtle and sophisticated arrangements; an excellent guitarist--on all guitars, acoustic and electric--and a musician whose preferences are more varied than that of the common folk singer. She's wrote that she enjoys listening to John Coltrane with the volume turned up to ten" ...read more
by Mark Sabbatini
Even as a ho-hum host, it's hard not to have fun at a Big Bad Voodoo Party.
Everything You Want For Christmas may not quite live up to its name, but it's a lively and reliable collection for those holiday mixers. The band adopts the eleven songs reasonably well to their horn-heavy modern swing, but somehow the result feels more professional than inspired--sort of like a quality team dismantling a poor foe methodically, but with their eye ...read more
by C. Michael Bailey
Garrison Starr follows Mindy Smith onto the Vanguard Records roster. Vanguard has been carefully crafting an artist list with smart, edgy female singer/songwriters who are more Lucinda Williams and less Shawn Colvin. With Ms. Smith they have mostly been meeting with success. Now Hernando, Mississippi native Garrison Starr mixes things up with her new release, Airstreams & Satellites, a collection of moody, slickly produced in-your-face-songs about complicated love and the hopeful ahead.
Ms. Starr first reached the airways ...read more