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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. ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Los Lobos at The Barre Opera House

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Los Lobos Barre Opera House Barre, Vermont January 28, 2017 Without playing virtually any of their best known material-no “La Bamba" or “How Will the Wolf Survive?"-Los Lobos thoroughly charmed and eventually won the hearts (and minds no doubt) of a Vermont crowd January 28. This even after a “Wanna get away moment?" for guitarist Cesar Rosas when, early in the evening, he came right out and asked his audience where he and his bandmates ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Wingfield Reuter Stavi Sirkis: The Stone House

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Electrifying collective improvisation from four progressive masters. The combination of electric guitar, touch guitar, electric bass and drums recalls the classic David Torn album Cloud About Mercury (ECM, 1987), as well as the various improvisational King Crimson spinoffs called ProjeKcts. U.K. guitarist Mark Wingfield (Jane Chapman, solo artist, and one half of the long-running guitar duo, with acoustic maestro Kevin Kastning) typically takes the lead lines. German touch guitarist Markus Reuter (Stick Men, The Crimson ProjeKct, Centrozoon) plays ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Modus Factor: The Picasso Zone

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Versatiity is the key to the musical success of The Picasso Zone by the multi-national, polystylistic electric jazz trio Modus Factor. Based in Toronto, Modus Factor is comprised of Canadian drummer (and putative bandleader) Chris Lesso, trumpeter Brownman Ali--originally from Trinidad--and Uganada- born bassist Ian De Souza. Clearly, these guys' diverse origins contributed to their abiding interest in a broad swath of musical genres which, in turn, truly enriches the music on The Picasso Zone. Though hip- hop, funk, electronica, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Veryan Weston: Discoveries on Tracker Action Organs

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This new solo album from keyboardist Veryan Weston was recorded in May 2014 on tracker action organs in seven churches located around England. The recordings here document some of the preparatory research that Weston did ahead of a tour of churches with tracker action organs. That tour involved Weston plus violinist Jon Rose and cellist Hannah Marshall, so this album should be considered a companion piece to Tuning Out (Emanem, 2015), the album recorded on the tour. As ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

James Brandon Lewis Trio: No Filter

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James Brandon Lewis's authoritative horn is demonstrated in his cultural influenced releases --gospel spirituality in Divine Travels (Okeh, 2014) featuring bassist William Parker and drummer Gerald Cleaver; soulful lyricism and hip hop in Days of Freeman (Okeh, 2015) with heavies bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma and drummer Rudy Royston. He continues that exploration with a new trio in No Filter an edgy but short LP which pays respect to early 90's hip hop, experimental jazz, and groove. Lewis's inclination ...


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