Play This!

Play This! is a platform to share your prized musical discoveries (past or present) with your fellow readers. Recommend a favorite song, album, or performance here.


Michael Blake: Afro Blake

Read "Michael Blake: Afro Blake" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Africa seems to have been a special source of inspiration for Michael Blake, as compositions like “Addis Abeba" (Elevated), “Mauritania" (Buzz), “Road to Lusaka" (In the Grand Scheme of Things), “Africa Used to Be Home" (More Like Us) or “Surfing Sahara" (Elevated) attest. They are all characterized by memorable themes and an instantly recognizable sound, but there's one song that is like a “first among equals" and leaves a deep mark every time I listen to it, “Afro-Blake" (Drift, Intuition ...


Larry Coryell's Souls Dirge

Read "Larry Coryell's Souls Dirge" reviewed by Michael Ricci

Mike Jakobs' recommendation of Michael Shrieve's “Palace Of Dreams“ immediately made me think of Larry Coryell's “Souls Dirge" from Fairlyland (live from Montreux, 1971) with Chuck Rainey and Bernard Purdie. Sounds even better on pink vinyl. Jam on! ...


Derek Brown: Whatever the Case May Be

Read "Derek Brown: Whatever the Case May Be" reviewed by Geno Thackara

From the catchy combo of sax + analogue beatboxing (his first viral-video trademark) to now, literally, beating on a box, Derek Brown never runs short on tricks. Just as importantly, those fun little ideas aren't gimmicks but building blocks to be used in ways both clever and musical. Whatever the context, the sonic coloring is just the topping while there's always a melody to happily hook the ear. ...


Melanie De Biasio: The Flow

Read "Melanie De Biasio: The Flow" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Melanie De Biasio is a vocalist from Belgium who sings in a low-pitched, affectless voice over seductive electronically treated vamps. it is a spare, hypnotic sound best heard on this track from her 2014 album, No Deal, (Play It Again Sam, 2014). “The Flow" creeps along on a hypnotic mix of off-center drum beats, brooding keyboards, and De Biasio's swirling, offhand vocal which gives way to her haunting flute playing. The song is a late-night cocktail of noirish soul that ...


Michael Shrieve: Palace Of Dreams

Read "Michael Shrieve: Palace Of Dreams" reviewed by Mike Jacobs

From the dual-project, double album Two Doors (CMP, 1995) that features drummer Michael Shrieve manning the drum kit in two different trios, it's arguably the Deep Umbra disc with bassist Jonas Hellborg and guitarist Shawn Lane that is the brighter half of that binary star. Shrieve may indeed get top billing here but like so many of the tracks from that line-up's disc, “Palace Of Dreams" is a veritable showcase for the late Mr. Lane. While there are indeed flashes ...


Garth Alper: Spider's Web

Read "Garth Alper: Spider's Web" reviewed by Edward Blanco

An original composition by educator and pianist Garth Alper. “Bop-Wanna-Be" is an upbeat bop-filled five-minutes of riveting jazz bringing the swinging saxophone voice of Lucas Munce, bassist Bob Nash and drummer Chris Munson to the fore from the sturdy and animated Spider's Web album sure to resonate with jazz audiences everywhere. The track is a teaser, the project is a pleaser. ...


Sam Taylor: Let Go

Read "Sam Taylor: Let Go" reviewed by Edward Blanco

A very tasteful and swinging version of the Jimmy Van Heusen classic standard “Here's That Rainy Day," from tenor saxophonist Sam Taylor on his third album as leader entitled Let Go featuring trumpeter Terell Stafford and an all-star rhythm section of pianist Jeb Patton, bassist Neal Miner and drummer Willie Jones III. The quintet sets out to send a clear message on the title track and this piece is but a glimpse of how good they sound when they all ...


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