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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Club d'Elf: Live at Club Helsinki

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The Boston-based collective Club d'Elf seems to attract genre labels like nobody's business. Moroccan-dosed dub-jazz, trance, psychedelia, free jazz, electronica, hip hop, avant-garde, jam band, rock...what other styles have you got? At one point or another any of these labels could apply, but the distinctions are blurred in the joyous sonic stew. The band has hosted a dizzying array of players: their website includes long lists of “Special Guests," “Rotating Cast," and “Occasional Conspirators." But the core group of bassist ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Club d'Elf: Live at Club Helsinki

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It's not really necessary to be a dervish dancer to appreciate Club d'Elf, especially because, on Live at Club Helsinki, the prominence of varied sounds from Duke Levine's electric guitars, combined with the keyboard wizardry of John Medeski, is enough to capture and hold the attention of (almost) any contemporary music-lover. It's as effortless to fall into a dreamlike trance as a visceral spell in response to these extend Moroccan-influenced grooves. The cumulative intensity, however, is almost indiscernible, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dwiki Dharmawan: Pasar Klewer

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Another day, another two- disc set. Or so it seems. Fortunately, one does not have to wade through Dwiki Dharmawan's Pasar Klewer. Despite some odd choices in track sequence one may even wonder ..."is that all?" after the second disc has finished its spin. Dharmawan is an Indonesian jazz pianist who, like so many of his countrymen, has found a rich vein of inspiration in the folk and ethnic musics of his native land. It's worth noting that Dharmawan is ...

REDISCOVERY

Greg Lake & Keith Emerson: Their Best Work Together

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While it should come as no surprise that musical heroes from across all genres are beginning to die off, some of the highest profile losses are, in particular, in the rock/pop world, where many of its biggest stars are now in their mid-to-late sixties...or older. Few would disagree that one of the years biggest losses happened just ten days into 2016, when David Bowie passed away at 69 just two days after the release of Black Star (Sony)--an album that ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dewa Budjana: Zentuary

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In retrospect, all paths have truly led to this. Four increasingly impressive recordings for Moonjune Records have brought Dewa Budjana together with a variety of high profile, top-drawer jazz musicians from the American west and east coasts. Each successive album, from 2013's Dawai in Paradise through to 2015's Hasta Karma, have found the Indonesian guitarist raising an already high bar with challenging yet eminently accessible compositions that, once the initial tracks were recorded, Budjana subsequently expanded in post-production with contributions ...

INTERVIEWS

Don Falcone: Daevid Allen’s Weird Quartet and Weird Biscuit Teatime

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Don Falcone is a multi-instrumentalist and music producer who has been working with known psychedelic and space rock musicians since the 1990s with his band Spirits Burning as well as other projects. The late Daevid Allen, founder of Soft Machine and Gong, appeared on Spirits Burning's first album, 1999's New Worlds By Design, performing on much of the recording playing lead, rhythm and glissando guitars and singing. Falcone and Allen, with Michael Clare, later formed Weird Biscuit Teatime, releasing DJDDAY ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

King Crimson: On (and Off) The Road

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Sometimes the best music--and some of the best bands--are those that come from the most difficult of births. When King Crimson co-founder/guitarist Robert Fripp had the idea for a new band after dissolving the last incarnation of the '70s-era Crimson lineups seven years prior, it was a completely new concept and, with the exception of returning drummer Bill Bruford, a totally revised lineup. Gone were the mellotrons and symphonic leanings of old. In their place: technological advancements including ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Peter White: Groovin'

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Some musicians simply have an affinity for certain genres. Peter White, having assumed the crown from George Benson has established himself as the gold standard for smooth jazz guitarists and this means he now has the freedom to do whatever he wants. What White wants to do with Groovin' is demonstrate how deft a touch he possesses in not simply covering classic pop and soul music, but putting an individual signature to his interpretations. There's a certain inherent ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jaco Pastorius: Jaco Pastorius

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For any serious fan of jazz fusion, the release of Jaco Pastorius' debut solo album should have come as no surprise. Largely self taught, by 22 he was already teaching bass at the University of Miami, where he forged a strong friendship with guitarist Pat Metheny, one which would lead to the two eventually recording together, issuing a little known LP (simply titled Jaco) in 1974. But it wasn't until he became a member of fusion pioneers Weather Report that ...


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