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Album Review

Various Artists: Black Lives - From Generation to Generation

Read "Black Lives - From Generation to Generation" reviewed by Glenn Astarita


Indeed, African Americans are the architects of several musical formations, hearkening back to Scott Joplin's development of 'ragged' rhythms i.e., Ragtime, along with blues, funk, jazz, and other genres, often evolving into various tangents and offshoots. And on this comprehensively entertaining set produced by Belgian Stefany Calembert with assistance from her husband and acclaimed bassist Reggie Washington, they righteously bestow Black Music as a “source of moral truth and potent weapon against racism." Numerous stars such as saxophonist ...

11

Album Review

Various Artists: Putumayo Presents Jazz Christmas

Read "Putumayo Presents Jazz Christmas" reviewed by Jim Trageser


The Putumayo World Music compilations have achieved an enviable brand status with their wide-ranging stylistic variety and the distinctively cheerful covers by artist Lisa Gonzalez. The latest entry, Putumayo Presents Jazz Christmas joins previous entrants Putumayo Presents New Orleans Christmas (2007) and Putumayo Presents A Jazz & Blues Christmas (2008) in offering collections of holiday-themed entrants in a jazz vein. As with all of its jazz releases, Putumayo founder and curator Dan Storper's taste in jazz ...

16

Album Review

Various artists: Changüí - The Sound of Guantánamo

Read "Changüí - The Sound of Guantánamo" reviewed by Jim Trageser


In much of our supposedly modern world, there is a distinct demarcation between the creators of music, and those who listen. Musician and audience, the former expecting to earn a living by performing for the latter. More and more, Western society's division of labor is stripping away the idea of communal music, Except, apparently, in Cuba. Or at the very least, Guantánamo province. What brings this to mind is the splendid new three-disc collection ...

1

Album Review

Various Artists: Modern Love

Read "Modern Love" reviewed by Geno Thackara


Strangely, but perhaps inevitably, the strength of Modern Love is also the thing which makes it suited to niche appreciation more than widespread appeal. Mostly leaning away from the obvious pop and rock of David Bowie's catalogue, this tribute from the BBE Music label focuses on his cuts rooted in soul, R&B, jazz and blues (and often deep cuts at that). Likewise, the intent is for the artists involved not to play it safe but to take each piece somewhere ...

20

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 ...

5

Album Review

Various Artists: Excavated Shellac: An Alternate History of the World's Music

Read "Excavated Shellac: An Alternate History of the World's Music" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard


Every audio medium has its champions from CD oldies to tape hipsters and lossless purists, but those who like to play big discs with a needle instead of a laser should not be lumped into such a vulgar category as vinyl revivalists. It's both a question of material and size, and true afficionados prefer the fragile format of 78s made of shellac. One of them is Jonathan Ward, who runs the sound blog Excavated Shellac, posting rare ...

7

Album Review

Various Artists: New Orleans Mambo: Cuba to NOLA

Read "New Orleans Mambo: Cuba to NOLA" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


The distance between New Orleans (Louisiana, USA) and Havana (Cuba) is almost exactly 670 miles, about a two-hour flight. But it takes only one listen to Putumayo Records' anthology New Orleans Mambo: Cuba to NOLA to bridge the distance between the two. With such a wide and colorful net to cast, assembling this collection must have been a lot of fun. This includes the companion booklet, which contextualizes the cross- cultural dance between New Orleans and Cuba by ...


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