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The Branford Marsalis Quartet: The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul

Read "The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul" reviewed by Doug Collette

Anyone who's seen the Branford Marsalis Quartet in concert is well aware of what high-flying improvisations the group can embark upon. But the foursome's abandoned approach hardly precludes due emphasis on structure---how better to highlight it than leave it behind?--which is also why this band makes studio albums as trenchant as The Secret Between the Shadow ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Joey DeFrancesco: In The Key Of The Universe

Read "In The Key Of The Universe" reviewed by Doug Collette

Joey DeFrancesco has stretched himself regularly throughout the course of thirty-plus albums. Just since Project Freedom (Mack Avenue, 2017) he's collaborated very productively for two albums with the Irish soulman Van Morrison--You're Driving Me Crazy (Sony Legacy, 2018) and The Prophet Speaks (Caroline, 2018). And, on In The Key of the Universe, the organist/trumpeter reaffirms his ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Dennis Coffey: Live at Baker's

Read "Live at Baker's" reviewed by Doug Collette

The intimations of springtime on guitarist Dennis Coffey's Live at Baker's place it more closely in line with the balmy tone of Hot Coffey in the D: Burnin' At Morey Baker's Showplace Lounge (Resonance Records, 2016) than the insistent rhythm workout of One Night at Morey's: 1968 (Omnivore, 2018). Nevertheless, this three concert release, like its ...

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John Mayall: Nobody Told Me

Read "Nobody Told Me" reviewed by Doug Collette

Over the course of some fifty-plus years, the bands of John Mayall have served as a proving ground for some estimable guitarists. Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor and Peter Green are just the most famous axemen who've aided and abetted “The Godfather of British Blues." Yet, in all that extended time, he has never before had a ...

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Gurf Morlix: Impossible Blue

Read "Impossible Blue" reviewed by Doug Collette

An object lesson in simplicity, Gurf Morlix' Impossible Blue is one fast shuffle away from pure excellence. Yet even with due recognition for this, his tenth album, the Americana Award-winning man may yet remain better known by association: collaboration with Americana master Peter Case on his eponymous debut and as a fifteen-year tenure Lucinda Williams (during ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Luther Russell: Medium Cool

Read "Medium Cool" reviewed by Doug Collette

The photo of Luther Russell wearing shades inside this digipak perfectly captures the attitude of this album's title, albeit with slightly self-effacing charm. But the music resounds even deeper in that regard. Russell's longstanding independence is the source of the infectious immediacy in his rock, and his do-it-yourself approach to making records creates loose, scrappy power ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Mark Feldman's Level 5: The Sybil EP

Read "The Sybil EP" reviewed by Doug Collette

Jazz-rock fusion may have peaked in popularity back in the 1970s, but it has remained an integral sub-set of jazz ever since. That said, those traits that undermined its force back then--fake funk and over-emphasis on technique--have remained so pervasive within the hybrid that truly distinctive entries in the genre are few and far between. The ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Julian Lage: Love Hurts

Read "Love Hurts" reviewed by Doug Collette

By the release of Modern Lore (Mack Avenue, 2018), Julian Lage had fully established his very own style of modern jazz, one arising directly from his approach to the electric guitar. Justifiably proud of what he's accomplished to date, yet not content to rest on his laurels, Lage stretches himself on Love Hurts, simultaneously freshening the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

The Long Ryders: Psychedelic Country Soul

Read "Psychedelic Country Soul" reviewed by Doug Collette

The Long Ryders remained on the periphery of the so-called Paisley Underground of the '80s, resting virtually alone in the “cowpunk" niche until Uncle Tupelo appeared in the next decade under the aegis of “alternative country." Shepherded by Coal Porters member and Million Dollar Bash author Sid Griffin, The Long Ryders have periodically regrouped for brief ...

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Colin Linden & Luther Dickinson: Amour

Read "Amour" reviewed by Doug Collette

On Amour, Colin Linden (of Blackie & The Rodeo Kings) and Luther Dickinson (from North Mississippi Allstars) offer a collaborative paean to romantic love that is not entirely sentimental. Even on such an otherwise earnest effort, there is an inherent danger that might come across as campy, but the two guitarists/vocalists demonstrate an abiding loyalty to ...