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John Lennon

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John Lennon was the Beatles' most committed rock & roller, their social conscience, and their slyest verbal wit. After the group's breakup, he and his second wife, Yoko Ono, carried on intertwined solo careers. Ono's early albums presaged the elastic, screechy vocal style of late- '70s new wavers like the B-52's and Lene Lovich. L7 and Babes in Toyland have also been influenced by and benefited from Ono's attitudinal, emotionally trailblazing work. Lennon strove to break taboos and to be ruthlessly, publicly honest. When he was murdered on December 8, 1980, he and Ono seemed on the verge of a new, more optimistic phase

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Article: Album Review

A Bu Trio with Larry Grenadier and Eric Harland: One Step East

Read "One Step East" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


Pianist/composer A Bu, whose given name is Dai Liang, has outgrown the “child prodigy" tag but not the attributes. A student at Central Conservatory in Beijing, and later at Juilliard, he was influenced by a meaningful meeting with Chick Corea at the age of thirteen. Corea performed in Shanghai, where he invited A Bu onto the ...

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Article: Album Review

Bill Evans: Hey Bill, It's Paul From Abbey Road

Read "Hey Bill, It's Paul From Abbey Road" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic


Hot after the release of Bill Evans Live at Ronnie Scott's (2020), Resonance Records and the Estate of Bill Evans announced an extraordinary find, now in the final stages of being prepped as a two-disc set entitled Hey Bill, It's Paul from Abbey Road. Recorded off the cuff as a sort of mic-set-up time ...

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Article: SoCal Jazz

Andrea Balestra: A Rich Sicilian Odyssey

Read "Andrea Balestra:  A Rich Sicilian Odyssey" reviewed by Jim Worsley


Guitarist Andrea Balestra makes a cerebral investment with every note he plays and with all of his compositions. A lot of guitarists like to jam. Balestra isn't one of them. Substance is preferred over droning speed. His highly intensified music is born of traditional Italian music...being from Sicily perhaps a factor...a deep integration of blues, a ...

1

Article: Blues Deluxe

Fall 2020

Read "Fall 2020" reviewed by Doug Collette


Blues Deluxe is a regular column comprised of pithy takes on recent blues and roots-music releases of note. It spotlights titles in those genres that might otherwise go unnoticed under the cultural radar. Heathcote Hill “the stories we are told" 311 Music 2020 Roots-music artists too often sacrifice ...

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Article: Year in Review

Karl Ackermann’s Best Releases of 2020

Read "Karl Ackermann’s Best Releases of 2020" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


2020 abridged: A staggering loss of lives and livelihoods. We had worldwide social unrest, wildfires, locust swarms of Biblical proportions, killer hornets, killer drones, kids in cages; an impeachment, an election, an attempted insurrection. Oh, and Poland accidentally invaded the Czech Republic. It was not exactly the Gilded Age. Yet, amid doom-scrolling, the creative music community ...

Article: Live Review

“Ho ucciso i Beatles” con Sarah Jane Morris a Jesi

Read "“Ho ucciso i Beatles” con Sarah Jane Morris a Jesi" reviewed by Libero Farnè


Pergolesi Spontini Festival Teatro Pergolesi Jesi 12.9.2020 Singolare e notevole lo spettacolo proposto a Jesi all'interno della ventesima edizione del Pergolesi Spontini Festival: un atto unico di Stefano Valanzuolo, con la regia e progetto scenico di Pierluigi Iorio, che prevede un'interazione fra un quartetto d'archi, una cantante e una voce recitante. ...

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Article: Album Review

Artemis: Artemis

Read "Artemis" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic


It's truly exhilarating yet sadly mundane and reductive that a recording as vital and victorious as Artemis will be universally hailed as a first from an all-female supergroup. That it cuts across all generational, cultural, international, and ethnic planes. That Blue Note Records has expanded its ever legendary ranks to include, well, you know, a female ...

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Article: Top Ten List

B.B. King: Through the Years

Read "B.B. King: Through the Years" reviewed by Alan Bryson


Sixty-six years passed from the time in 1948 when Riley King auditioned for a spot on Sonny Boy Williamson's radio program, until his final performance at the House of Blues on October 3, 2014 in Chicago. His life was a remarkable odyssey from a sharecropper's cabin to the pinnacle of success. We'll never know how many ...

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Article: Album Review

Al Di Meola: Across the Universe

Read "Across the Universe" reviewed by Doug Collette


Al Di Meola's Across The Universe reaffirms how ideally the music of the Beatles translates into the eclectic style he forged early in his career. It's not as if the multi-instrumentalist/composer hadn't already made the point with All Your Life (inakustik, 2013), but this second, similarly conceived album is not only worth savoring repeatedly on its ...


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