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Jo-Yu Chen: Savage Beauty

Read "Savage Beauty" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

The cover art of pianist Jo-Yu Chen's fourth album, Savage Beauty, is provocative and beautiful. So is the music. There is a sense of a “stepping up of the game," in terms of public persona and artistry. Chen has always taken the physical product—the hard copy of her CDs—seriously, beginning with her debut, Obsession (Sony Music Taiwan, 2009), through Incomplete Soul (Sony Music, 2012), then Stranger (Okeh, 2014). On Savage Beauty she embraces an over-the-top glamor mode in this regard, ...

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Bob Dylan: More Blood, More Tracks: The Bootleg Series Vol. 14

Read "More Blood, More Tracks: The Bootleg Series Vol. 14" reviewed by Eric Gudas

The challenge of finding something original to say about Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks (1975), the mother of all comeback albums, baffles even the most steely-eyed critic. But Sony has made the task easier with More Blood, More Tracks, the unfortunately titled, overpriced, but nonetheless revelatory fourteenth entry in the Bootleg Series. The six-disc Deluxe Edition contains all extant tracks for the album, recorded in 1974 over four September days in New York and two late December days in ...

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The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Electric Ladyland 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

Read "Electric Ladyland 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition" reviewed by Doug Collette

Given the voluminous prior excavations of Jimi Hendrix' vault, the producers of and contributors to the Jimi Hendrix Experience's Electric Ladyland 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition deserve some kudos. This 3-CD plus Blu-ray set compares favorably to similarly-conceived archive presentations released coincidental to it, specifically More Blood, More Tracks (Legacy Music, 2018), Vol. 14 of The Bootleg Series of Bob Dylan and the 50th Anniversary editions of The Beatles (Apple, 1968) a/k/a 'The White Album.' Yet even as this ...

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Till Brönner / Dieter Ilg: Nightfall

Read "Nightfall" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Trumpeter Till Brönner is widely lauded in his native Germany and throughout Europe. He has had broad success not only as a jazz composer and musician but also in film music, pop and country genres. Brönner has recorded eighteen albums as a leader and worked with Monty Alexander, Dave Brubeck, Al Foster, Joachim Kühn, Nils Landgren, James Moody, Aki Takase, Ernie Watts and many other noteworthy artists. On Nightfall, he is paired with countryman and bassist Dieter Ilg whose sole ...

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Van Morrison and Joey DeFrancesco: You're Driving Me Crazy

Read "You're Driving Me Crazy" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Van Morrison has been busy, releasing three recordings in quick succession, Roll With the Punches (Exile, 2017), Versatile (Exile, 2017), and presently You're Driving Me Crazy with jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco. At this point in his career, Morrison can pretty well sing what he damn well pleases. On his past several recordings, Morrison has revisited his catalog, recasting some of his older songs in new frames and You're Driving Me Crazy proves no exception. Revisited here are “The Way Young ...

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Li Xiaochuan: Initial

Read "Initial" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

In China, one of the world's most ancient--and at times sheltered--civilizations, jazz music, which was once called “pornographic," has experienced a very robust re-emergence. For example, a recent multi-city tour in 5-digit capacity venues by Maestro Arturo Sandoval played to overflow SROs each night. And, there's even now a Blue Note in Beijing, a jazz club near the Great Wall, and many other jazz venues. Trumpeter Li Xiaochuan, a leading Chinese jazz/classical trumpeter and educator (he teaches ...

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Riccardo Muti: 2018 Neujahrskonzert New Year’s Concert

Read "2018 Neujahrskonzert New Year’s Concert" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

It is a yearly ritual. Rather than watch the ball drop on Times Square, I tune into my local Public Television station to watch the Vienna Philharmonic's annual New Year's Day concert. This yearly event features a different conductor every year, leading the orchestra through a program of waltz music, not the least of which comes from the famous Strauss family (Johann, et al. not Richard). Hell, there is even some polka and marching band music. Now, I know what ...


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