Jazz Articles

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.

17

Album Review

Various artists: Alligator Records: 50 Years of Genuine Houserockin’ Music

Read "Alligator Records: 50 Years of Genuine Houserockin’ Music" reviewed by Jim Trageser


Maybe this half-century commemoration of the jny: Chicago-based, blues-focused label should have been titled, “The Last of the Independents." Almost alone of the mid-major labels that formerly thrived in the 1980s and '90s by specializing in non-mainstream styles of music, Alligator has managed to navigate stunning changes in the music business--from the vinyl of LPs and 45s to cassettes and CDs, and then, most recently, the virtual collapse of the retail record business and wholesale pivot to online ...

3

Album Review

Shemekia Copeland: Uncivil War

Read "Uncivil War" reviewed by Paul Rauch


Blues vocalist Shemekia Copeland has firmly established herself as one of the most important modern blues artists. Though born in Harlem and raised in New Jersey, her sound has always clearly shouted Texas, reflecting her family ties to the music through her father, Texas bluesman Johnny Copeland. Her albums have called attention to her powerful instrument and natural penchant to find the inner soul of the material she chooses. On Uncivil War (Alligator, 2020), she plays above the rim, teaming ...

8

Album Review

Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials: The Big Sound of Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials

Read "The Big Sound of Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials" reviewed by Jim Trageser


For more than 25 years, Lil' Ed Williams and his three-piece Blues Imperials have been as rock-steady in their roster makeup as they have musically. Since the late 1980s, singer-guitarist Williams has been backed by Michael Garrett (second guitar), James “Pookie" Young (bass) and Kelly Littleton (drums). That kind of longevity in a band can lead in two directions: heightened understanding and interplay, or stagnation. On their new Alligator release, The Big Sound of Lil' Ed ...

3

Album Review

Blind Willie Johnson: God Don't Never Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson

Read "God Don't Never Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson" reviewed by James Nadal


As time moves on and the genuine bluesmen slip into historical archives, it is a cause for celebration when someone makes the effort to reconstruct the music of one of the true innovators in the blues genre. Produced by Jeffrey Gaskill, God Don't Never Change: The Songs Of Blind Willie Johnson, is a contemporary tribute to this seminal slide guitarist who was also unique in his imaginative vocal interpretations and compositions of gospel blues. Blind Willie Johnson (1897-1945) recorded thirty ...

7

Album Review

Tommy Castro & The Painkillers: Method to My Madness

Read "Method to My Madness" reviewed by Jim Trageser


Few have epitomized the workingman nature of the blues as much as Tommy Castro. A popular staple of blues festivals and cruises, and steadily in demand since he issued his debut in 1994, Castro nevertheless has always somewhat resided in the second tier of blues artists: Popular, well-liked, kept working steadily, but not considered one of the greats. And yet, even as he heads into his 60s, the Bay Area resident keeps growing, keeps pushing --continues to show ...

3

Album Review

Shemekia Copeland: Outskirts Of Love

Read "Outskirts Of Love" reviewed by James Nadal


The Blues. Much has been written about how it has influenced countless artists in a variety of genres, but few can claim to have been born into the blues. Blues singer Shemekia Copeland, as daughter of Texas bluesman Johnny Copeland, has this unique distinction, and has borne this trait with heartfelt integrity. Bequeathed with a dynamic and assertive voice, Outskirts Of Love is an affirmation that she has taken the blues into contemporary territory, while maintaining the raw emotion that ...

4

Album Review

J.J. Grey & Mofro: This River

Read "This River" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


Swamp-rock doesn't come much more swampy or rocky than This River. JJ Grey's sixth studio album with Mofro is named for the St. John's River near Grey's childhood home (Jacksonville, Florida) and stewed in a pressure cooker stocked by Tony Joe White, Stax Records, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Chess Records and other classic country blues and funk.Grey is a multi-faceted musician --a singer and songwriter who also plays (electric and acoustic) guitar, bass and harmonica--and so This River flows ...


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