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Sun Ra: Jazz in Silhouette

Read "Sun Ra: Jazz in Silhouette" reviewed by Robert Mitchell

"A Certain Beat A Sudden Chord These things charm the mind with veiled enchantment That lingers long after the song is done" As with many cult artists, the back catalogue of Sun Ra is long and varied with large, less than bitesize chunks available for consumption if you ...


Howard and the White Boys: Made in Chicago

Read "Made in Chicago" reviewed by Jim Santella

Howard McCullum brings Chicago blues to a worldwide audience. He and the members of his band first met in college at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb back in 1988. They've been living the Chicago blues ever since, making the Windy City their home and serving as ambassadors for their contemporary sound. While the band's ...


Ken Saydak: It's My Soul

Read "It's My Soul" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Born in one of the blues' most essential cities, this Chicago native learned from some of the Windy City's best by playing piano and keyboards on tours by Mighty Joe Young and Lonnie Brooks. In the 1980s, Ken Saydak played an essential part in Texas blues guitar legend Johnny Winter's renaissance as pianist on several tours ...


Babatunde Lea and Phenomena: Levels of Consciousness

Read "Levels of Consciousness" reviewed by Rex  Butters

1979's Levels of Consciousness features San Francisco Bay Area percussionist Babatunde Lea’s familiar Afro-Caribbean mix shaded by the prevalent R&B phase of the time. At the center lies his sunny positivism and furious drumming prowess. The eclectic program includes funk, soul ballads, and jazz as played by guests Julian Priester, Eddie Henderson, and Mark Isham. Muziki’s ...


Various Artists: Vanthology: A Tribute to Van Morrison

Read "Vanthology: A Tribute to Van Morrison" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

The mercurial Morrison has consistently honored classic blues, soul, and R&B music in the material favored by The Them, which he co-founded, as well as his own inimitable compositions as a solo artist. Here Morrison is on the receiving end of the tributes from soul and blues legends performing his compositions. Guitarist/vocalist Little ...


Charnett Moffett: Planet Home

Read "Planet Home" reviewed by Franz A. Matzner

Released in 1995, Charnett Moffett's Planet Home represents a tremendous musical accomplishment. Coming from a successful musical family, Moffett has been playing the bass since early childhood, and he has been recognized on the scene for quite some time as a master of the instrument. What Moffett had yet to do prior to Planet Home was ...

Fortune / Harper / Cowell / Workman / Hart: Great Friends

Read "Great Friends" reviewed by Frank Rubolino

Paris in the mid-1980s was the scene for this session of power players, but the music remains as fresh and vital today as it was when drummer Billy Hart formed the band. Almost a decade earlier, the drummer had assembled a star-studded group for Enchance (Horizon, 1977) and a threesome with Walter Bishop, Jr. called The ...


Fortune/Harper/Cowell/Workman/Hart: Great Friends

Read "Great Friends" reviewed by Terrell Kent Holmes

Great Friends, originally released in France in 1986, is a reissue of the only studio recording made by a star-studded quintet that performed briefly in the ‘80s: Sonny Fortune (alto sax), Billy Harper (tenor sax), Stanley Cowell (piano), Reggie Workman (bass), and session leader Billy Hart (drums). The album was recorded right after a tour, while ...


Sun Ra: We Travel the Spaceways/Bad and Beautiful

Read "We Travel the Spaceways/Bad and Beautiful" reviewed by Matthew Wuethrich

This Evidence re-issue package, like a large portion of the others, captures different aspects of the late '50s/early '60s Arkestra in transition. The first seven tracks comprise We Travel the Spaceways, recorded in Chicago between 1956 and 1960 at a variety of sessions. The second group of seven tunes were originally released as Bad and Beautiful, ...


Sun Ra: Holiday for Soul Dance

Read "Holiday for Soul Dance" reviewed by Matthew Wuethrich

Holiday for Soul Dance testifies to not only Sun Ra’s originality, but also his courage when making stylistic decisions. This album, believed to be recorded sometime around 1958, casts Ra in the role of the traditionalist as the Arkestra interpret a batch of time-honored (and time-worn) standards. Surprisingly, this role fits better than one might expect. ...


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