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Big Bands, Orchestras and Soft Machines

Read "Big Bands, Orchestras and Soft Machines" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Randy Brecker & NDR Bigband
Rocks
Piloo Records & Productions LLC
2019

The easiest answer isn't always the best answer, but sometimes it is. So it's both easy and proper to point out that trumpet and flugelhorn master, composer, and bandleader Randy Brecker was kind enough ...

Heaven & Earth: Live and in the Studio 1997-2008

Read "Heaven & Earth: Live and in the Studio 1997-2008" reviewed by John Kelman

Yet another year, yet another characteristically detailed and chronologically contextualized King Crimson mega-box set.

Except that 2019 is no typical year. And Heaven & Earth is no typical King Crimson box set.

While Heaven & Earth: Live and in the Studio 1997-2008 completes (well, almost) the series of box sets documenting King ...

Take Five with Christian de Mesones

Read "Take Five with Christian de Mesones" reviewed by Christian de Mesones

About Christian de Mesones

Christian “Big New York" de Mesones has been playing bass guitar for decades. At 18, he graduated from the world-famous Bass Institute of Technology (now the Musician's Institute) in Hollywood, California where he studied with such greats as Abraham Laboriel, Pat Martino, and the late Tommy Tedesco.

He ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Bruford-Borstlap: Sheer Reckless Abandon

Read "Sheer Reckless Abandon" reviewed by John Kelman

One of the great joys of music can be that of distance: coming back to a piece of music, a musician/group or a discography, even, years later to rediscover it anew. While returning to music after a break of months, years...even decades...is not always a revelation, it's likely true that, if the music was appealing the ...

Q4: Uphill Struggle

Read "Uphill Struggle" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Saxophone quartets are a relatively infrequent phenomenon in jazz. Perhaps the last one to cause a stir was the Delta Saxophone Quartet whose albums Crimson! (Basho Records, 2016) and Bowie, Berlin & Beyond (FMR Records, 2018) offered new perspectives on the music of King Crimson and David Bowie respectively. But even the DSQ relied on occasional ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Joan Torres's All Is Fused: Revolution

Read "Revolution" reviewed by Paul Naser

Since the band's last record, Of The Musical (Self Produced, 2016), Joan Torres' All Is Fused has taken time to dig deeper into its influences and expand its sound. This year All Is Fused returns with an evolved vibe that finds it delving deep into fusion and Latin with a slight nod to the avant-garde and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

King Crimson: Live in Newcastle, December 8, 1972

Read "Live in Newcastle, December 8, 1972" reviewed by John Kelman

"Never say never," or so the old adage goes. When it comes to music, there are two more that should be added: “farewell tour" and, most certainly as it relates to King Crimson's Live in Newcastle, December 8, 1972, “the complete recordings." This, the 48th in the veteran group's King Crimson Collector's Club series of archival ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Stephan Thelen: Fractal Guitar

Read "Fractal Guitar" reviewed by John Kelman

For his Moonjune Records debut, Stephan Thelen, USA-born/Swiss guitarist and primary composer for the post-minimalist/post-progressive band Sonar, challenges some of the foundational premises of a group that has, over almost the last decade, garnered increasing critical and popular acclaim. As informed by Robert Fripp and the guitarist's work with (and beyond) King Crimson as it is ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Stephan Thelen and Sonar: Minimal Grooves at Maximum Volume

Read "Stephan Thelen and Sonar: Minimal Grooves at Maximum Volume" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Sonar
Live at Moods
7d Media
2018

Imagine the gamelan-infused minimalism of 1980s King Crimson crossed with the droning heavy-rock menace of Sunn O))). Imagine Steve Reich if he discovered metal and turned to devil worship. You may be approaching the distinct neighborhood of Sonar, though their strange brew is far ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Steven Wilson: Home Invasion: In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall

Read "Home Invasion: In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

One component of progressive rock composer/vocalist/guitarist/ Steve Wilson's widespread appeal pertains to his rather boyish charm and heartfelt vocal delivery. A strong composer and supreme melody-maker, the artist seduces the audience with the notions of living and breathing the experiences and implications of a song's lyrics. And he helped pave the way for post progressive rock ...