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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mahavishnu Orchestra: Apocalypse

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Well, there's not much to say about the new release of Apocalypse. Well, not as much as many Mahavishnu fans had hoped; rumours of a long awaited and much needed remastering of this legendary album, making the rounds of the mailing lists were alas, premature. So what is this CD? Answer: it's the exact same, level-for-level digital copy as Sony (né Columbia)'s previous release--slapping the audio files into your favourite audio comparison remastering detection software, and positioning the track profiles ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Vince Tampio: Live at PafA

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The long-standing practice of incorporating non-Western instruments within a jazz setting is further evolved on up-and-coming trumpeter and composer Vince Tampio's self-produced album Live at PafA. More specifically, the Philadelphia/New York-based musician culled various percussion instruments from Eastern Europe alongside an Indian tanpura for a performance of five original compositions recorded live at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Besides enhancing the pervading atmosphere of alluring exoticism, the nontraditional instrumentation maintains a spacious environment that proves ideal for a ...

INTERVIEWS

Tim Bowness: Ghost Lights and Life Sentences

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As much as it's something most would prefer to avoid, when a pair of musicians share a lengthy musical history together it's difficult not to compare and contrast the work they do when apart. Beyond contributing added clarity to their individual work, it helps to articulate what each of them bring to the table when they're collaborating. Singer, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Tim Bowness may have yet to achieve the same degree of commercial success that his partner in the currently ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Tim Bowness: Lost in the Ghostlight

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It's a somewhat hidden truth that a sizeable percentage of any musician's fan base believes that the music their favorite artists make is a direct reflection of their tastes. While an artist's music ought, indeed, be a reflection of what moves them, it's another truth that, more often than not, their listening habits run much farther afield. One way to develop a more thorough appreciation for an artist's tastes, touchstones and influences is to look at their entire ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Weather Report: Heavy Weather

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Weather Report were one of the earliest jazz fusion groups to emerge at the beginning of the '70s. They were rare in that, like Herbie Hancock's Headhunters, they didn't have a guitarist to light the fire and excite the audience as was the case with Mahavishnu Orchestra and Return to Forever; instead, they relied, in addition to pure instrumental virtuosity, upon intelligent compositions. The band's founding members were none other than Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter, two exceptional musicians who ...

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 ...


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