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by Rex Butters
The reissue of Chi-Congo fills a very big hole in the active Art Ensemble discography. Since the mid-1970 recording, these sessions have seen light on at least five other labels in different formats. Released between Certain Blacks and Live on Affinity, Chi-Congo introduces Famoudou Don Moye as the group's permanent percussionist. We moved towards the direction of developing as percussionists before we took on another drummer, Roscoe Mitchell said recently in an AAJ interview with Fred Jung.
The title track ...read more
by Michael Davis
This oft-reissued set still makes an ideal stocking-stuffer for several reasons beyond Eric Dolphy's continuing iconic stature.
First off is its amazing diversity, a batch of material ranging from formative, definitive free-bop ensemble performances to free duets with then—emerging bass giant Richard Davis. Actually, many of these musicians, including Bobby Hutcherson, Woody Shaw and Sonny Simmons, were just beginning to be heard at this time and everyone's playing is as fresh as it would ever be.
Perhaps this ...read more
by Glenn Astarita
The title of this 2002 release might denote a mildly satirical inference to the band’s early 70’s outing titled, “Living In The Past.” Here, Ian Anderson and co. delves into the vast Tull songbook for these live performances, spanning 1989 thru 2001, whereas the bulk of the material might ring like a “best of” collection.
With the latest rendition of “Tull” – we find keyboardist Andrew Giddings effectively employing an assortment of synth-based textures for the series ...read more
by Ed Kopp
Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, the J. Geils Band, Fleetwood Mac, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan -- these are just some of the popular artists who have covered Otis Rush 's songs. Yet Rush himself is barely known outside the blues world, even after garnering a Grammy for his 1998 album Any Place I'm Going. As The Essential Otis Rush makes abundantly clear, the unsung Mr. Rush is one of finest singers and baddest guitar players in blues history. If you don't ...read more