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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jonny Lang: Signs

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The weathered voice recounting life's travails on the opening track of Signs, “Make It Move," is in marked contrast to the boyish countenance of Jonny Lang as pictured on the cover of the album. The distortion on his electric guitar, however, suits the chain-gang song likes of that number, even as it leads directly into the jump of the following cut, “Snakes;" here the caterwauling voice leading into the fretboard solo carries all the repulsion the title might conjure up. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Pizzarelli: Sinatra & Jobim @ 50

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The year 1967...the “Summer of Love," the Monterey Pop Festival, the release of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely-Hearts Club Band, Their Satanic Majesties Request, and Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits. At the other end of the popular music spectrum, the beautifully square end, was the release of Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim (Reprise), the recording that, with the Stan Getz/João Gilberto recordings of the period would justify and substantiate Bossa Nova in the American Musical Lexicon. Guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli ...

GETTING INTO JAZZ

Jazz/Concord

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Getting Started If you're new to jazz, go to our Getting Into Jazz primer for some hints on how to listen. CD capsule Two masters of the jazz guitar in a wonderful give-and-take session, listening to each other as they play and playing as one. The emotion is contagious, the songs well chosen, the sound pristine. A perfect union. Background Guitarist Herb Ellis had a remarkable talent for connecting musically ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eliane Elias: Dance of Time

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Two years ago, Eliane Elias released Made In Brazil (Concord, 2015) and all it did was win the 2016 Grammy for Best Latin Album. It's a great album and with Dance of Time, Elias hasn't repeated a successful formula; she's perfected it. This is an opulent recording, rich in its authenticity and lavish in its glorious accomplishments. As Elias has transitioned from a pianist/vocalist to a vocalist/pianist (there is a difference), some fans and certainly some critics have ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Chick Corea: The Musician

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As people age, it's not uncommon to commemorate birthday milestones--specifically, those marking the passing of decades--with special celebrations, ranging from parties to vacations. In most cases, however, these festivities are private events, restricted to family and friends. Not Chick Corea. When this renowned pianist/keyboardist, composer, bandleader and guest participant in countless projects since emerging on the scene in the early '60s--Cab Calloway was his first professional hire, but was quickly eclipsed by gigging and recording with ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ashleigh Smith: Sunkissed

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Summer 2016 was hot, sticky and not a lot of fun. Many big name Hollywood blockbusters tanked. The presidential election has been a long slog. Television ratings for the Summer Olympics were off and every time you turned on the TV there were plenty of reasons to turn it back off. Then along came Ashleigh Smith to save the summer with Sunkissed as welcome as coming across brightly sparkling gem in the sand. Blessed with maturity beyond her ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Billy Gibbons and the BFGs: Perfectamundo

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We are one hell of a long way from 1971 and ZZ Top's First Album (London). That music was as purely organic chewing tobacco and loose as the dust on the bank of the Rio Grande. Well, all that ended in 1976 with Tejas (London), which was the beginning of the band's ascendency to pop stardom in the '80s with songs shining with polish, humor, and technology. Break forward 40 years and band-frontman Billy Gibbon's picks up where he left ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Shawn Colvin: Uncovered

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There are two trends occurring in popular music that are both equally welcome to “those of a certain age." These are classic rock titans or their later devotees, performing their landmark albums, from beginning to end, in concert. The Rolling Stones performing Sticky Fingers (Rolling Stones, 1971) in its entirety at Los Angeles' Fonda Theater, May 20, 2015 and Phish's “Musical Costume" presenting Little Feat's monumental Waiting for Columbus (Warner Bros., 1978) immediately come to mind. The ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Boney James: Futuresoul

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At this point, with 15 albums under his belt, it's been established what Boney James does and does not do well. If you are in search of an adventurous artist who is constantly pushing the envelope and challenging himself and the listener by daring to deviate from expectation, keep looking: this is not the saxophonist you are looking for. James is an extremely impressive master of the good groove. That is something he is at the top of ...


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