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Al Green

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The title of Al Green’s Lay It Down truly tells it like it is. Conceived as a collaboration between the soul legend and a handful of gifted young admirers from the worlds of contemporary R&B and hip hop, the album is drawn from a series of inspired sessions that yielded the most high-spirited, funky and often lushly romantic songs of Green’s latter-day career. The album is a refreshingly old school jam, with everyone laying down the music together, face to face, heart to heart, soul to soul. The project features the sophisticated R&B voices of singer-songwriters John Legend, Anthony Hamilton and Corinne Bailey Rae, and it was co-produced with Green by two of hip-hop’s most innovative players, drummer Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson from the Roots and keyboardist James Poyser, the go-to guy for high-profile artists ranging from Erykah Badu to Common

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Article: Multiple Reviews

Ran Blake: Gray Moon, When Soft Rains Fall and Northern Noir

Read "Ran Blake: Gray Moon, When Soft Rains Fall and Northern Noir" reviewed by John Ephland


I'm a sucker for musical duets. Duets that make me feel like I'm in the same room with the two of them. Here we have three recent releases with the iconoclastic, legendary Ran Blake, now 83, in what is his most typical setting. Yes, to hear Blake paired up like this is to hear ...

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Article: Interview

David Sanborn: Night Music and Beyond with Hal Willner

Read "David Sanborn: Night Music and Beyond with Hal Willner" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


Could you imagine tuning in to national network TV today and finding a 60-minute weekly music show focusing on forward-looking musicians driven by a desire to push the envelope rather than to “entertain?" A music show sponsored by a beer company, on top of that? It's hard to believe today. But for two seasons at the ...

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Article: Album Review

Emanuel Casablanca: It's Getting Strange

Read "It's Getting Strange" reviewed by Phillip Woolever


Emanuel Casablanca is a singer-songwriter from Brooklyn who displays a classic sense of experience that belies his relatively young age while invoking prime characteristics of iconic blues and soul artists. The result is a solid album that carries more down-home southern-based traits than a metropolitan-manufactured product. The basic sophistication of the smoothly developed opener, ...

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Article: Profile

The Very Singular Mr. Ran Blake

Read "The Very Singular Mr. Ran Blake" reviewed by Duncan Heining


There have been few American composers and musicians, with the ability to encapsulate their country's music in all its racial and ethnic complexity. We might perhaps point to Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Charles Ives and perhaps, in their own distaff ways, Harry Partch and Steve Reich. In jazz, their number is fewer still--Duke Ellington and George ...

Article: Album Review

Fleurine: Brazilian Dream

Read "Brazilian Dream" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi


L'amore per la musica brasiliana di Fleurine Verloop era ben chiaro in Meant to Be, il debutto del 1995 della cantante olandese. Una fiamma insita nel suo background (una linea familiare è portoghese e lei parla fluentemente la lingua lusitana) che è sempre rimasta accesa, come dimostrano quasi tutti i suoi album (in particolare San Francisco ...

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Article: Bailey's Bundles

Seven Women (Plus Three) 2018 – Part VIII

Read "Seven Women (Plus Three) 2018 – Part VIII" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey


Cheryl Bentyne (and Mark Winkler) Eastern Standard Time Café Pacific Records

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Article: Album Review

Roseanna Vitro: Tell Me The Truth

Read "Tell Me The Truth" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey


It is completely fitting that vocalist Roseanna Vitro conceive of and release a recording devoted to the music of the American South. But, this is not just any thoughtlessly-assembled concept recording. Vitro is the master of intelligently programmed and produced thematic albums as evidenced by: Catching Some Rays: The Music of Ray Charles (Telarc, 1997); The ...

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Article: Album Review

Peter Horsfall: Nighthawks

Read "Nighthawks" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay


The title of Peter Horsfall's Nighthawks may call to mind the iconic Edward Hopper painting, or maybe Tom Waits' Hopper-inspired Nighthawks At The Diner (Asylum, 1975). A few bars into “Nighthawks" it becomes obvious that Horsfall and Waits both take inspiration from the painting ("Nighthawks lead a lonely life...")--but Horsfall's melancholy vocal stands in sharp contrast ...

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Article: Live Review

Tortilla Soup with Tony Lindsay At Yoshi's

Read "Tortilla Soup with Tony Lindsay At Yoshi's" reviewed by Walter Atkins


Tortilla Soup with Tony Lindsay Yoshi's Oakland Post Eclipse Party Oakland, CA September 1, 2017 Powerhouse band Tortilla Soup lit up Yoshi's Oakland with their savory blend of soul, R&B, funk, Latin rock, and salsa along with special guest vocalist Tony Lindsay of Santana fame.


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