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Extended Analysis


Unreleased Art: Volume 9 - Art Pepper & Warne Marsh At Donte's, April 26, 1974

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When any previously unheard Art Pepper is released, the event bears a bit of context. Laurie Pepper's Volume 9 addition to her Unreleased Art series is the 3-CD box Art Pepper & Warne Marsh at Donte's April 26, 1974. It contains music from late in Pepper's fallow period between the releases of Intensity (Contemporary, 1960) and his comeback period inaugurated by the release of Art Pepper: Living Legend (Contemporary, 1975). I mark the period by Pepper's two studio recordings of ...


Jim Ridl: Door in a Field V2, Songs of the Green River

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This is pianist Jim Ridl's seventh album as a leader, and all revolve around specific motifs involving people, places, things, images, and words. For example, his debut CD, Five Minutes to Madness and Joy (Synergy Music, 1999), is based on a poem by Walt Whitman which Ridl then elaborated upon in a variety of musical expressions. On the one hand, Ridl is a solid, mainstream jazz pianist who has worked with a panoply of cohorts like Dave Liebman, Joe Locke, ...


Big Star: Complete Third

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In perusing the credits of the Big Star's Complete Third box set, it may be puzzling to notice only the names of original members guitarist/vocalist/composer Alex Chilton and drummer Jody Stephens, plus, almost as prominently, producer of the Ardent Studios Memphis sessions, Jim Dickinson. And the notation of baroque strings and horns may well seem contrary, at least at first, to the Beatles/Byrds influences ( as self-conscious as they sometimes sounded) duly noted by esteemed rock writer and music lover ...


Yes: Tales from Topographic Oceans (Definitive Edition)

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It was the album that, based on challenges during the five months it took to record, should really never have come to pass. It was the album that broke a three studio album/one live recording winning streak of increasing critical acclaim. It was the album, when at least for some critics, suggested the group's seemingly endless wellspring of creative indulgences were beginning to cross over into excess. It was the album that began to divide the band's fanbase, for the ...


Marcus King: The Marcus King Band

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Praised, mentored and produced by none other than the titular leader of Gov't Mule, Warren Haynes, precocious twenty-year old songwriter/guitarist/vocalist/bandleader Marcus King faces some heady expectations with the release of he and his band's second full-length LP and first for Fantasy Records via the Evil Teen imprimatur. But The Marcus King Band addresses those expectations with confidence, panache and imagination right from the start of this eponymous record, firing on all cylinders from the beginning of “Ain't Nothing ...


Peter Case: Peter Case

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The music on Peter Case's debut solo album is as pure and straightforward as the title of this eponymous work. And that's even taking into account the layered approach T Bone Burnett applied in one of his earliest production jobs. The seven bonus tracks illustrate how both this original material of Case's stands strong on its own terms, especially in his authoritative performances, as a foundation for a brilliant all-around collaborative work. Peter Case devotees as well as ...


Chuck Hammer: Blind On Blind

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Award-winning composer, guitarist, recording artist and producer Chuck Hammer has been an active influence on the progressive music scene since the mid-1970's, working with Laurie Anderson, David Bowie and Tony Visconti, Nile Rodgers, and Lou Reed, with whose band he recorded and toured globally for several years. An early adopter of the Roland guitar synthesizer, Hammer has been a leading innovator on the edge of the rapidly evolving technology of sound production and engineering. While working with Reed, Hammer was ...


Tender Heart: Songs Of Tom Giacabetti And Melissa Gilstrap

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The late Tom Giacabetti was a master guitarist based in Philadelphia and Atlantic City. Towards the end of his life, cut short at age 64 by a prolonged illness, he compiled several of his own compositions for some of which lyrics were set by Melissa Gilstrap, a Philly lawyer and lover of music, poetry, literature, and the arts, who is currently making a name for herself as a jazz lyricist. (Her words are featured in a self- produced 2013 recording ...

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