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Articles by C. Michael Bailey


Ten Artists: February 2019

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Cecilia Bartoli Antonio Vivaldi Decca 2018 2019 marks the thirtieth anniversary of mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli recording for Decca, her label for the duration of her career. Bartoli's first recording was Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia (London/Decca, 1989) opposite famous baritone Leo Nucci. My own introduction to Bartoli was through her Mozart Arias (London/Decca, 1991). For full disclosure, Ms. Bartoli was so beautiful that I purchased that recording based on the cover alone. 20 years ago, ...


Memphis Rent Party: The Blues, Rock & Soul in Music's Hometown by Robert Gordon

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Memphis Rent Party: The Blues, Rock & Soul in Music's Hometown Robert Gordon 272 pages ISBN: # 978-1632867735 Bloomsbury USA 2019 One becomes part of a place when one takes that place for granted. I spent the better part of the 1980s in Oxford, Mississippi, attending graduate school. During that time, I practiced pharmacy in Charleston, the co-county seat of Tallahatchie County, along with Tutwiler. All of these locals are infused ...


Shake Your Hips: The Excello Records Story by Randy Fox

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Shake Your Hips: The Excello Records Story Randy Fox 170 Pages ISBN: # 9781947026223 BMG 2018 As almost a vital act of nature, three books that would make a tidy trilogy in any musical world, were recently released independently. These are: Blues From The Bayou: The Rhythms Of Baton Rouge (Pelican Publishing Press, 2018), Martin HawkinsSlim Harpo: Blues King Bee Of Baton Rouge (LSU Press, 2016), and the present Shake Your Hips: The ...


Lefty Frizzell: An Article From Life - The Complete Recordings

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Lefty Frizzell An Article From Life -The Complete Recordings Bear Family Records 2018 Obsession is a great motivator and perhaps the greatest form of appreciation. However, that may be no more than making a virtue out of necessity. The German label, Bear Family Records has made a career of being obsessed in providing a complete accounting of American Music. Previous to this 20-CD box set, An Article From Life -The Complete Recordings was the essential ...


Ten Artists: January 2019

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I am adopting my “Bailey's Bundle" format as sole vehicle for my music reportage. Moreover, I am sharpening my focus to three segments of the jazz universe, in this order: (1) Jazz Vocals, (2) Archival Releases, and (3) Everything Else. I have changed the title to the more inclusive “Ten Artists," better reflecting how I have been programing my articles all along. The inaugural edition of this column is representative of what the reader can expect. Let's celebrate music together. ...


Ben Sidran: Renaissance Man

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The only appropriate person to tell the story of Ben Sidran is Ben Sidran. And, that is exactly what he did in his “autobiography/memoir" Ben Sidran: A Life in Music. The book is also the perfect companion to Ben There, Done That: Ben Sidran Live Around the World (1975-2015), a 3-CD retrospective of Sidran performing in a variety of formats that only a Renaissance Man like himself could achieve. Ben Sidran: A Life in Music Ben ...


Rolling Stones: Beggar’s Banquet 50th Anniversary Edition

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It is hard to properly define when rock music reached its zenith, so I am going to designate that pinnacle as the four-year period between 1968 and 1972. As a not-so-certain coincidence, this same period corresponds to what is considered the Golden Age of the Rolling Stones, which further not-so-certainly coincides with the departure and subsequent death of founding member Brian Jones and the hiring of Mick Taylor away from John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. But that is getting a little ahead ...


C. Michael Bailey's Best Releases of 2018

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The Pocket Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Stangel Beethoven Revisited Symphonies 1-9 One thing that can be bragged on regarding Beethoven's nine symphonies is their artistic durability and persistence. As the pinnacle of Western Musical thought, we might not expect any less of this music, seemingly forged in humanity's collective unconscious, as well as possibly encoded in our spiritual genome... continue. Tiffany Austin Unbroken One of the greatest talents ...


Seven Women (Plus Three) 2018 – Part XI

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Kris Adams We Should Have Danced Self Produced 2018 There is a special significance to Kris Adams's release We Should Have Danced. The recording features Adam's original lyrics with arrangements by pianist Tim Ray, of compositions of the late Steve Prosser, Adams' former husband and Berklee College of Music professor. Shortly after Prosser's passing away in 2012, Adams came across a folder titled “Songs for CD" among the items he had left behind for ...


The Traditional Holidays - 2018

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The Monastic Choir of St. Peter's Abbey, Solesmes, France Gregorian Chant Christmas Paraclete Records 2018 Paraclete Press continues its re-release of Gregorian Chant from The Monastic Choir of St. Peter's Abbey, Solesmes, France with a 2-CD Christmas offering hot on the heels of their recent release of Melodies I & II (Paraclete Records, 2018). Presently is a set of chants derived from two previous releases Christmas, which features Midnight Mass and the Mass of the ...


Hearing Beethoven: A Story of Musical Loss and Discovery by Robin Wallace

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Hearing Beethoven: A Story of Musical Loss and Discovery Robin Wallace 288 Pages ISBN: # 978-0226429755 University of Chicago Press 2017 It is the artistic human-interest story to end them all. The most famous “Classical" composer spent the better part of his late composing period almost completely deaf, in the process completing a body of music unsurpassed 200 year later. The sheer Romanticism of the thought of it is almost too much to ...


The Nontraditional Holidays - 2018

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Robyn Spangler Christmas is... O.P. REcords