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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Sparky Parker: In the Dark

Read "In the Dark" reviewed by Jim Trageser

Crafting the perfect riff has been the goal of every blues and rock guitarist since Jimi Hendrix first began channeling Albert King. Welding a memorable theme to jaw-dropping technique is the surest way for a budding guitarist to elevate his or her reputation. Houston, Texas' Sparky Parker's debut opens with one of those defining ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Big Joe & The Dynaflows: Rockhouse Party

Read "Rockhouse Party" reviewed by Jim Trageser

Big Joe Maher, a veritable institution in our nation's capitol, has been active in Washington's jazz and blues scene since the 1980s, when he put together his own combo and also began drumming for former Powerhouse guitarist Tom Principato's blues band. But it wasn't until he recorded his own debut, “Good Rockin' Daddy," in ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Bobby Broom: Soul Fingers

Read "Soul Fingers" reviewed by Jim Trageser

A thematic sequel to his 2007 release, Song and Dance, Bobby Broom's Soul Fingers is a deep-pile take on late 1960s--early 1970s pop, with Broom in his best Wes Montgomery vein, giving new soul-jazz life to one-time chart hits. And yet, it's also a break from Song and Dance because Broom has changed his ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

David Virelles: Igbó Alákọrin

Read "Igbó Alákọrin" reviewed by Jim Trageser

Maybe the most unexpected delight of 2018, avant-garde pianist David Virelles has released an utterly dyed-in-the-wool homage to his birthplace of Santiago de Cuba.Completely different from any other recording he's done to this point, this unreconstructed slice of midcentury Cuban music is so completely steeped in tradition, and Virelles' playing is so gorgeously virtuosic, ...

ARTICLE: BOOK REVIEWS

Alligator founder provides blues fans insider look at running of label

Read "Alligator founder provides blues fans insider look at running of label" reviewed by Jim Trageser

Bitten By the Blues: The Alligator Records Story Bruce Iglauer with Patrick A. Roberts 338 Pages ISBN: 9780226129907 University of Chicago Press 2018 Bruce Iglauer's autobiographical history of Alligator Records is, in many ways, a story about technological change as much as it is about music. Yet, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Brad Goode: That's Right!

Read "That's Right!" reviewed by Jim Trageser

With a fat, rich tone somewhere between French classical trumpeter Maurice André and the flugelhorn of Chuck Mangione, Brad Goode has the ultimate calling card for a jazz player: An immediately recognizable sound. The fact that he's also got an upper register to rival Maynard Ferguson makes Goode one of the most underknown of jazz players. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Various Artists: Putumayo Presents: Ska Around the World

Read "Putumayo Presents: Ska Around the World" reviewed by Jim Trageser

For casual fans and newcomers to the music of Jamaica (a growing number, given the popularity of the BBC / France 2 TV mystery series Death in Paradise and its Jamaican-infused soundtrack), the definitions of ska vs. reggae are likely too obscure to worry about. Much as only hardcore jazz fans worry about drilling into the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Dawg Yawp: Doubles, Vol. 1

Read "Doubles, Vol. 1" reviewed by Jim Trageser

jny: Cincinnati's folk-rock duo Dawg Yawp is rolling out their new music in a series of two-song singles that they are calling “Doubles." (And why did nobody think of that bit of marketing genius in the heyday of the 45?) Their first such set shows a nice progression from their 2016 self-titled full-length release, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Braxton Brothers: Higher

Read "Higher" reviewed by Jim Trageser

It's interesting how certain musical styles become punching bags for the critics. Disco grew out of R&B and funk in the mid-1970s--yet by 1979 it was so despised in many quarters that the Chicago White Sox had a near-riot on their hands when they opened Comiskey Park for “Disco Demolition Night" during a double-header against the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Rich Halley 3: The Literature

Read "The Literature" reviewed by Jim Trageser

Tenor saxophonist Rich Halley decided, according to the liner notes, to make his twenty-first recording an all-covers collection. The title of the recording, he writes, comes from his thought that if “literature" connotes a body of work in classical music, then why not in jazz as well--and so he's collected a dozen of the songs that ...


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