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Article: Album Review

Joe Hisaishi: A Symphonic Celebration: Music from the Studio Ghibli films of Hayao Miyazaki

Read "A Symphonic Celebration: Music from the Studio Ghibli films of Hayao Miyazaki" reviewed by Scott Gudell

Many movie directors have forged tight bonds with musicians/composers and crafted long lasting and trusted partnerships. Director Hayao Miyazaki is the creator, architect and wizard behind the curtain of arguably the greatest film animation studio on the planet, Japan's Studio Ghibli (with all due respect to, and an occasional photo finish with, Disney.) Joe Hisaishi is ...


Article: Album Review

Sinikka Langeland: Wind And Sun

Read "Wind And Sun" reviewed by Scott Gudell

Pause. Trust your inner self to guide you. Prepare to avoid the constant bombardment of a multitude of society's mind and body piercing assults. If you're not sure where to start, Sinikka Langeland is willing to help guide you. A master of the kantele (a Nordic instrument with similarities to plucked string instruments such as a ...


Article: Album Review

Jeff Beck: Beck Bogert & Appice Live In Japan 1973 Live In London 1974

Read "Beck Bogert & Appice Live In Japan 1973 Live In London 1974" reviewed by Scott Gudell

Will the real Jeff Beck please raise his guitar strumming hand? Will it be the musician who's recognized as one of only a handful of Brit Invasion guitar gods from the 1960s that includes Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page? Will it be the man who absorbed a gritty blues “message in a bottle" that floated across ...


Article: Album Review

Nina Simone: You've Got To Learn

Read "You've Got To Learn" reviewed by Scott Gudell

Socially conscious black troubadours such as William Warfield, Harry Belafonte, Odetta and many others were challenging the U.S. government's questionable policies on numerous things including war, civil rights, equality and more, by the mid-20th century. R&B soul master Marvin Gaye would follow in the early 1970s and pointedly ask “What's Going On" while the Temptations were ...


Article: Album Review

Jack DeJohnette: Sorcery

Read "Sorcery" reviewed by Scott Gudell

Jack DeJohnette gets around. The Chicago born drummer was drawn to R&B and bebop in the late 1950s and eventually toyed with a more avant-garde jazz sound when he spent some time with the esoteric Sun Ra. It seems like DeJohnette played in the big leagues almost from the beginning since, by the time he moved ...


Article: Album Review

Steve Smith and Vital Information: Time Flies

Read "Time Flies" reviewed by Scott Gudell

As with so many prolific drummers, this guy is lean, energized, crisp and knows when to add the snap. Drummer/percussionist Steve Smith's early professional musical explorations were often in the world of jazz as he teamed up with fusion violinist Jean Luc Ponty and the progressive jazz/rock Dutch band Focus for about a year in the ...


Article: Album Review

Sam Gendel: Cookup

Read "Cookup" reviewed by Scott Gudell

Saxophonist Sam Gendel has sent out an invitation to an unusual sonic Cookup. So what is he serving? Who will be there? Will beat poets merge with experimental musicians in a smoky jazz grotto? Will it be a cryptic musical labyrinth or a collection of meandering songs? Is it a transcription of ancient African organic rhythms ...


Article: Album Review

Danielle Ponder: Some Of Us Are Brave

Read "Some Of Us Are Brave" reviewed by Scott Gudell

For years, when someone said “let's go see Danielle Ponder" they may have been talking about going to court, since she was a dedicated Public Defender in Rochester, New York for approximately a decade. As a lawyer, she often found herself championing the indigent, beat down and challenged people of her community. More recently, as a ...


Article: Album Review

Redman / Mehldau / McBride / Blade: Long Gone

Read "Long Gone" reviewed by Scott Gudell

The mid-1990s saw the first recorded and officially preserved union of four up-and-coming jazz newcomers--Joshua Redman (saxophone,) Christian McBride (bass,) Brad Mehldau (piano) and Brian Blade (drums.) All four were dedicated followers of classic jazz and came together, but soon scattered and began charting their own individual courses. There was a long delay before they reunited ...


Article: Album Review

John Mayall: The Sun Is Shining Down

Read "The Sun Is Shining Down" reviewed by Scott Gudell

British blues master John Mayall can still turn out a rich collection of originals and covers six decades, and approximately sixty albums, after his first songs were released in the early 1960s. Add the fact that he still has a knack for enlisting top guitarists--this time Mayall spotlights Mississippi born/Chicago bred Melvin Taylor among others--and it ...


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