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Various Artists: Technicolor Paradise: Rhum Rhapsodies & Other Exotic Delights

Read "Technicolor Paradise: Rhum Rhapsodies & Other Exotic Delights" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

Close your eyes and dream for a moment. There are beaches and palm trees. Long drinks are served with parasols and consumed while relaxing in hammocks to the distant sound of bird calls and bongo drums. There is no stress and the only adventure is the kind you seek for yourself when you go out into ...

Various Artists: J Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz From Japan 1969 - 1984

Read "J Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz From Japan 1969 - 1984" reviewed by Chris May

There is a lovely anecdote in Charlie Laurie's introduction to The Blue Note Years: The Jazz Photography Of Francis Wolff (Rizzoli, 1995). Describing the first Blue Note Festival at the foot of Japan's Mount Fuji in 1986, Laurie wrote: “Where else but in Japan can one see a field packed with fifteen thousand teens and twentysomethings ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Various Artists: Stax Singles, Vol. 4: Rarities & Best of the Rest

Read "Stax Singles, Vol. 4: Rarities & Best of the Rest" reviewed by Jim Trageser

Stax Records defined the “Memphis Sound" of soul music in the 1960s. With a roster that took in Otis Redding, Booker T & The MGs, Sam & Dave, Rufus Thomas and Isaac Hayes, Stax and its sister label Volt provided the main competition to Motown as a home to classic soul acts.

Three separate ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Various Artists: We Out Here

Read "We Out Here" reviewed by Chris May

This vivid snapshot of young London's jazz scene, featuring nine bands and a collective pool of 35 musicians, contains close to an hour of daring and uplifting music--from rebooted spiritual-jazz through abstract experimentation to Afrobeat-flavoured dancefloor urgency, a rich mix further enlivened by shots of grime, hip hop and funk. It was recorded over three days ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ryuichi Sakamoto: async Remodels

Read "async Remodels" reviewed by Nenad Georgievski

There is a legend about the vigorous dance of Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction and creative renewal. This endless and vigorous dance is called “Tandava," and with it Shiva destroys the world. With each new cycle, out of the scattered elements, a new world is reconstructed. This dance and act is the source of the ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Various Artists: ANDINA: The Sound of the Peruvian Andes

Read "ANDINA: The Sound of the Peruvian Andes" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

ANDINA captures The Sound of the Peruvian Andes from vinyl singles originally released by Sono Radio, Iempsa, El Virrey and other Peruvian labels from 1968 to 1978, a most tumultuous social/musical decade. The first installment in a new Tiger's Milk Records compilation series, assembled by Tiger's Milk co-founders Duncan Ballantyne and Martin Morales with Peruvian musical ...

Warm Climates, Cool Sounds: Southern Hemispheric Survey

Read "Warm Climates, Cool Sounds: Southern Hemispheric Survey" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Afro-Cuban All Stars
Absolutely Live II
DM Ahora! Productions
2017

You can find many groups who call themselves “Afro-Cuban All Stars." But few have the pedigree of this ensemble led by vocalist Juan de Marcos, co-architect of the legendary Cuban roots Buena Vista Social Club sessions (1997, Nonesuch/Elektra) ...

ARTICLE: BEST OF / YEAR END

Mike Jurkovic's Best Releases of 2017: Pianos Lead the Way

Read "Mike Jurkovic's Best Releases of 2017: Pianos Lead the Way" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

There are some years when certain artists and their instrument stand tallest among the tall. This year it was piano players. Established names, exciting discoveries. Creation music for repeated listening, relentless invention, insight, humor, new equations. Each with a particular turn, a defining touch, that takes you past the chaos of our harshest days.

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Various Artists: Christmas

Read "Christmas" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

'Tis the season. Just ask Jazz At The Ballroom. That Bay Area-based non-profit arts organization is making spirits bright with this collection of music showcasing top-flight artists who've appeared in its concerts. Everybody from the illustrious Freddy Cole to the supremely suave Nicki Parrott to the bright-eyed Champian Fulton gets in on the action. Good vibes ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Various Artists: Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts

Read "Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

Tribute concerts are often a mixed bag, especially if the idea is to bring a group of stars together to pay homage to an influential musical figure. The recent tribute to the wonderful singer, Tony Bennett, Tony Bennett Celebrates 90 (Columbia, 2016) is a sad case in point. There is no shortage of stars on that ...