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Robert Johnson

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“King of the Delta Blues Singers” More than half a century after his death, Robert Johnson, the legendary Mississippi Delta blues singer, remains an enigma. A provocative and influential figure in the blues field, Johnson revealed his remarkable musical skills around the age of 20 in 1931. He completed only two recording sessions--one in 1936 and the other in 1937--prior to his untimely death in 1938. Very little was known about Johnson when his first album was released in 1961. By the time Columbia Records released “Robert Johnson: The Complete Recordings” in 1990, slightly more information had come to light, but the mystery endures. Like that of other early Delta blues singers, the music of Robert Johnson arose from an oral tradition that began with a mixture of field hollers, chants, fiddle tunes and religious music and ended up as the blues

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Article: Multiple Reviews

Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac: A Green Sun Sets On The Blue Horizon

Read "Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac: A Green Sun Sets On The Blue Horizon" reviewed by Scott Gudell


There are times when the stars align in a dramatic and symbiotic way. Although Mick Fleetwood had talked about a tribute concert to honor friend and British blues slide guitar giant Peter Green for years, Fleetwood was tenacious and succeeded in bringing together an all-star roster of close to 20 musicians on February 25, 2020, days ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Guitar Gods & Goddesses: An Alternative Top Ten Albums

Read "Guitar Gods & Goddesses: An Alternative Top Ten Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Although it has been present in jazz since the 1920s, when it was routinely used in rhythm sections, as a solo instrument the guitar struggled to make itself heard--literally--until the second half of the 1930s, when reliable pick-ups and portable amplifiers became available. Foremost among the pioneers of the electrified instrument was Charlie Christian, a member ...

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Article: Album Review

Ghalia Volt: One Woman Band

Read "One Woman Band" reviewed by Doug Collette


As pictured on the cover of One Woman Band, songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Ghalia Volt radiates such a commanding presence that it's hard not to imagine the array of musical instruments displayed alongside her coming to life all on their own. In a very real sense, though, that's exactly what the Brussels Belgium-born blues-woman accomplishes on this third album ...

Article: Profile

La vita e la musica di Makaya McCraven

Read "La vita e la musica di Makaya McCraven" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi


Un ritratto di Makaya McCraven deve necessariamente considerare la mutazione antropologica che è avvenuta nell'ultima generazione di musicisti afroamericani che si spingono oltre la tradizionale sintesi tra jazz e generi popolari, usando creativamente la tecnologia sperimentata nell'ultimo trentennio dai DJ e produttori dell'hip-hop e della club culture. Le musiche di questo tumultuoso torrente ...

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News: Recording

Pianist Lisa Hilton Releases More Than Another Day with Rudy Royston and Luques Curtis on Ruby Slippers Productions

Pianist Lisa Hilton Releases More Than Another Day with Rudy Royston and Luques Curtis on Ruby Slippers Productions

More Than Another Day (Ruby Slippers Productions) is the latest release from composer / pianist / producer, Lisa Hilton. Hilton and her longstanding band mates: Rudy Royston on drums, and Luques Curtis on bass, as well as JD Allen on tenor saxophone, had just finished the first half of their tour for their 2020 album, Chalkboard ...

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Article: Catching Up With

Ron Miles: Rainbow Sign Of The Times

Read "Ron Miles: Rainbow Sign Of The Times" reviewed by Ian Patterson


The title of Ron Miles' Rainbow Sign (Blue Note Records, 2020) carries great personal meaning for the Denver cornetist/composer and educator. The initial influence was The Carter Family song “God Gave Noah the Rainbow Sign," with its line 'No more water but the fire next time," which in turn gave James Baldwin the title for his ...

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Article: Album Review

Tony Davis: Golden Year

Read "Golden Year" reviewed by Kyle Simpler


Tony Davis definitely knows how to get things done. At 25, he has already earned a Master's Degree and is involved in musical education. He has played and recorded with some of the most notable jazz musicians around, including the group, Works for Me. With Golden Year, his first solo album, Davis captures the energy of ...

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Article: Book Review

Brother Robert: Growing Up with Robert Johnson

Read "Brother Robert: Growing Up with Robert Johnson" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey


Brother Robert: Growing Up with Robert Johnson Annye C. Anderson, Preston Lauterbach 224 Pages ISBN: # 978-0306845260 Hachette Books 2020 Brother Robert: Growing Up with Robert Johnson is a slim memoir told by Annye C. Anderson, step-sister of Robert Johnson, to author Preston Lauderbach (The Chitlin' Circuit And The ...

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Article: Under the Radar

The Archive of Contemporary Music

Read "The Archive of Contemporary Music" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


In Lower Manhattan, sits a musical gold mine. It's the motherlode of recorded music though the small, brightly colored sign above a grey steel door provides only a cryptic clue. The dusty window display of rare 78 RPM records, broken into erratic pie charts serves as a vestige of the past and a cautionary tale about ...


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