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16

Article: Album Review

Various artists: Alligator Records: 50 Years of Genuine Houserockin’ Music

Read "Alligator Records: 50 Years of Genuine Houserockin’ Music" reviewed by Jim Trageser


Maybe this half-century commemoration of the jny: Chicago-based, blues-focused label should have been titled, “The Last of the Independents." Almost alone of the mid-major labels that formerly thrived in the 1980s and '90s by specializing in non-mainstream styles of music, Alligator has managed to navigate stunning changes in the music business--from the vinyl of ...

7

Article: Album Review

Rubén Blades: Salswing!

Read "Salswing!" reviewed by Jim Trageser


In the liner notes to this recording, veteran Latin pop singer Rubén Blades explains that Salswing! is meant as a demonstrative statement: About his own ability to grow beyond being a Panamanian singer, to show that musicians can speak to an audience beyond their own nationality, and to celebrate the stellar chops of the Roberto Delgado ...

14

Article: Jazz Fiction

Elvin's Waiting

Read "Elvin's Waiting" reviewed by Michael J. Williams


This article was originally published in Turbula.net in 2004. Behind the Viking Lounge Is there a swimming pool        and a garden where they hold summer fish fries Families living in the building        know and love each other            ...

16

Article: Interview

Charles McPherson: The Art Of Teaching

Read "Charles McPherson: The Art Of Teaching" reviewed by Jim Trageser


Charles McPherson will always be known for his alto sax playing. A favorite of Hollywood director Clint Eastwood, McPherson first gained a national reputation playing in Charles Mingus' combo in the late 1950s. By 1964 he was recording as a leader (although he'd continue to perform with Mingus for another half-decade), and later re-created Charlie Parker's ...

11

Article: Album Review

Derrick Shezbie: The Ghost of Buddy Bolden

Read "The Ghost of Buddy Bolden" reviewed by Jim Trageser


Derrick Shezbie's sophomore release as leader--a mere 26 years after his highly acclaimed debut, Spodie's Back (Warner Bros., 1994)--finds the New Orleans trumpeter in much the same territory as a quarter-century ago: traditional jazz played with an assured combination of virtuosity and energy. But this should be no surprise. He came of age musically ...

8

Article: Reassessing

Spodie's Back

Read "Spodie's Back" reviewed by Jim Trageser


Still a teenager when signed to Quincy Jones' Warner Bros. subsidiary, Qwest, trumpeter Derrick Shezbie was nonetheless a veteran on this debut as leader--having been playing in the traditionalist Rebirth Brass Band for several years already. Produced by fellow Crescent City native Delfeayo Marsalis, “Spodie's Back" is a much more modernistic outing than anything ...

8

Article: Album Review

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 ...

3

Article: Album Review

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 ...

3

Article: Album Review

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 ...

8

Article: Album Review

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, ...


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