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Nothing but Love in God’s Water by Robert Darden

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Nothing but Love in God's Water--Volume 1: Black Sacred Music from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement Robert Darden 224 Pages ISBN: # 978-0271050843 Penn State Press 2014Critic Ed Ward's The History of Rock & Roll, Volume 1: 1920-1965 (Flatiron Books, 2016) is a history written with a very even and broad horizon in mind. Bigger than the blues, country, and soul: rock & roll is an internationally large tent ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chicago: Chicago II

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Chicago II deserves its stereo remix and mastering by British audiophile extraordinaire Steven Wilson for any number of reasons, the most prominent of which is that, at this early juncture in the band's career, its creativity was at full flower, minus the pedantic tendencies or self-conscious pretension that would arise on later records. Everything was in balance on this sophomore effort, from the composing credits shared by guitarist/vocalist Terry Kath, keyboardist/vocalist Robert Lamm and bassist/vocalist Peter Cetera (who ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ross Hammond: Follow Your Heart

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Have you doubted the existence of God? Wondered if there is a place called heaven? You may react to those questions with an emphatic “no," or, if your answer is you have “no doubts," you posses a substance called faith, an article beyond reason and knowledge. Listening to Follow You Heart by guitarist Ross Hammond bolsters the argument for this thing called faith. Hammond's solo acoustic set, recorded in a Sacramento church, opens with “Sinner Man," and a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Khan: Backlog

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Steve Khan's love affair with Latin music germinated in the 1980's with his stellar Eyewitness recordings and continued to develop in a number of releases including 2011's Parting Shot and 2014's Subtext both on Tone Center Records. Backlog is third in this series and represents some of the esteemed jazz guitarist's finest work to date. A consummate musician, Khan's credits include heavy work in the '70s and '80s with pop and jazz icons Donald Fagen, Michael Brecker, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Modus Factor: The Picasso Zone

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Hollow, reverberant trumpet. Electric grooves. Ambient undertones. Infectious bass. Slippery electronic textures mixed with lithe improvisational flights. Modus Factor's debut The Picasso Zone is a stellar example of modern jazz's hybrid nature as well as the creative surge coming out of Canada's jazz scene of late.Conceived by drummer Chris Lesso and featuring Brownman Ali on electric trumpet and Ian de Souza on bass and effects, Modus Factor belongs firmly to the Miles Davis electric period branch of jazz. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Billie Davies - A Nu Experience: On Hollywood Boulevard

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There could not be much more of a musical, emotional or just vibe difference than that between drummer Billie Davies' latest album On Hollywood Boulevard and her previous project, Hand In Hand In The Hand Of The Moon. However, although they inhabit completely different worlds, both projects had a very long gestation and originate in Davies' reactions to specific events in her life, the latter to her interaction with painter Serge Vandercam, while the former to living in ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Chicago II (Steven Wilson Remix)

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It's rare that an opportunity presents itself to directly compare a high resolution remaster with a high resolution remix, but with last year's Quadio (Rhino) box set containing Blu Ray Audio versions (at 24-bit/192KHz) of its first nine studio recordings (including, curiously, a completely superfluous, early Greatest Hits package) and the recent, single-disc reissue of Chicago II, featuring a brand new stereo mix by remix go-to-guy, Porcupine Tree founder and now-successful solo artist Steven Wilson, there's a chance to do ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

SLIXS: Playgrounds

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The six members of German a cappella group SLIXS have been honing their instruments together, that's to say their voices, for over a decade. Few vocal groups can match SLIXS' energy and musical charisma, or its masterly fusion of funk, pop, jazz and baroque idioms. SLIXS' unforgettable live shows brought them to the attention of Bobby McFerrin, with whom the band subsequently toured, and his influence is undoubtedly felt on Playgrounds. However, the nine original compositions, the lion's share composed ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Firey String Sistas!: That's What She Said...

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The innovative and versatile cellist Nioka Workman leads the, New York based, dynamic ensemble Firey String Sistas, on the group's captivating sophomore album. The delightful That's What She Said... consists of eight originals that explore various styles with a jazzy sensibility and thematically cohesive manner. The tracks range from the soulful to the stately veering occasionally into Latin territory. “Adversidad" is a wistful, passionate melody that violinist Marlene Rice plays over the hypnotic, sashaying beats of the band. ...


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