Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

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 ...

16

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

Various Artists: The Harry Smith B-Sides

Read "The Harry Smith B-Sides" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard


An anthology of music is a mirror of the world. It says something about a specific time, a place, a genre, a label, or the life story of an artist. But in a few rare cases, an anthology can also help shape a musical landscape. In that sense, it becomes a musical map that not only draws the lines of the past, but also leads the way into the future. Released in 1952, Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music ...

4

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 ...

9

Album Review

Various Artists: Indaba Is

Read "Indaba Is" reviewed by Chris May


There are probably several reasons why American jazz made the deep and lasting impact it did on South Africa in the 1950s. One may be that the colonial regime which was imposed on the country during Europe's pan-African nineteenth-century landgrab was among the most vicious of them all, and persisted the longest through the apartheid system which was in existence until the early 1990s. American jazz was born as protest and cultural-survival music in similar circumstances, and that vibe must ...

4

Album Review

Various Artists: Tales Of Wonder: A Jazz Celebration Of Stevie

Read "Tales Of Wonder: A Jazz Celebration Of Stevie" reviewed by Kyle Simpler


There aren't many songwriters who have reached a level of success comparable to Stevie Wonder. He is one of the most important figures in American music, and to celebrate his 70th birthday, Posi-Tone records is releasing Tales of Wonder: A Jazz Celebration of Stevie. This compilation, performed by some of the label's excellent roster of musicians, offers a fitting tribute to this legendary artist. Rather than simply offering something of a greatest hits compilation, Tales of Wonder digs into Wonder's ...


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