The Beatles, “Fixing a Hole” from Sgt. Pepper’s (1967): Deep Beatles

The Beatles, “Fixing a Hole” from Sgt. Pepper’s (1967): Deep Beatles

July 7, 2017

An underrated track from the Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,’ “Fixing a Hole” reveals the more eccentric side of Paul McCartney’s songwriting.

Jason Lyon, jazz pianist: Something Else! Interview

Jason Lyon, jazz pianist: Something Else! Interview

July 11, 2017

The fun, dexterous jazz pianist Jason Lyon has just ended his well-received six-year residency at Toulouse Lautrec in London. Now what?

Jason Lyon, jazz pianist: Something Else! Interview

Jason Lyon, jazz pianist: Something Else! Interview

July 11, 2017

The fun, dexterous jazz pianist Jason Lyon has just ended his well-received six-year residency at Toulouse Lautrec in London. Now what?

Gary Bartz’s NTU Troop – Harlem Bush Music – Uhuru (1971)/Joe Henderson – The Elements (1973) (2017 reissues)

Gary Bartz’s NTU Troop – Harlem Bush Music – Uhuru (1971)/Joe Henderson – The Elements (1973) (2017 reissues)

July 19, 2017

Jazz Dispensary reissues two early 70s documents of explorative jazz: Gary Bartz NTU Troop – ‘Harlem Bush Music – Uhuru’ (1971) and Joe Henderson feat Alice Coltrane – ‘The Elements’ (1973)

Denny Zeitlin and George Marsh – Expedition (2017)

Denny Zeitlin and George Marsh – Expedition (2017)

July 16, 2017

‘Expedition’ continues a long, provocative journey taken by Denny Zeitlin and George Marsh along the innovative frontier of jazz.

Cheap Trick – Cheap Trick (1977); We’re All Alright! (2017): Shadows in Stereo

Cheap Trick – Cheap Trick (1977); We’re All Alright! (2017): Shadows in Stereo

July 21, 2017

Cheap Trick’s ‘We’re All Alright!’ does what so few late-career albums are able to do: tap into what made a band great in the first place.

Alan Parsons Project somehow remains faceless, despite hitting big with Eye in the Sky

Alan Parsons Project somehow remains faceless, despite hitting big with Eye in the Sky

June 24, 2017

It didn’t help that a different singer was featured on each single from the Alan Parsons Project’s smash album, which arrived in June 1982.

Alestorm – No Grave But the Sea (2017)

Alestorm – No Grave But the Sea (2017)

May 31, 2017

Frankly, not a lot of music has excited me through the first half of this year. That is, until Alestorm’s ‘No Grave But the Sea’ arrived.

On Broadway: The Songs of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil (2016)

On Broadway: The Songs of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil (2016)

June 14, 2017

‘On Broadway’ offers mostly curiosities for admirers and collectors of the brilliant ’60s and ’70s songs composed by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.

Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ – Tajmo (2017)

Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ – Tajmo (2017)

May 5, 2017

With Taj Mahal and Keb Mo’s ‘Tajmo,’ you have two folk/blues legends, two generations – and one marvelous meeting.

Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ – Tajmo (2017)

Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ – Tajmo (2017)

May 5, 2017

With Taj Mahal and Keb Mo’s ‘Tajmo,’ you have two folk/blues legends, two generations – and one marvelous meeting.

On Broadway: The Songs of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil (2016)

On Broadway: The Songs of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil (2016)

June 14, 2017

‘On Broadway’ offers mostly curiosities for admirers and collectors of the brilliant ’60s and ’70s songs composed by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.

Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ – Tajmo (2017)

Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ – Tajmo (2017)

May 5, 2017

With Taj Mahal and Keb Mo’s ‘Tajmo,’ you have two folk/blues legends, two generations – and one marvelous meeting.

Yes, “Changes” from 90125 (1983): YESterdays

Yes, “Changes” from 90125 (1983): YESterdays

July 11, 2017

An often-overlooked Yes classic, “Changes” is a testament to a how great the band was during the Trevor Rabin era.

Steely Dan Sunday: Katy Lied turns 40 this month

Steely Dan Sunday: Katy Lied turns 40 this month

March 8, 2015

This month, Steely Dan’s ‘Katy Lied’ turned 40 years old. Here are some reasons why it’s good enough to overcome an infamous mixing fiasco.

The Beatles, “Fixing a Hole” from Sgt. Pepper’s (1967): Deep Beatles

The Beatles, “Fixing a Hole” from Sgt. Pepper’s (1967): Deep Beatles

July 7, 2017

An underrated track from the Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,’ “Fixing a Hole” reveals the more eccentric side of Paul McCartney’s songwriting.

Bruce Springsteen – The River (1980): Gimme Five

Bruce Springsteen – The River (1980): Gimme Five

October 18, 2015

When Bruce Springsteen issued ‘The River’ in October of 1980, I didn’t like it very much. Time has changed that – and here’s why.

Levon and the Hawks, “He Don’t Love You” (1965): Across the Great Divide

Levon and the Hawks, “He Don’t Love You” (1965): Across the Great Divide

October 22, 2015

The Band, then known as Levon and the Hawks, released a few forgotten songs before heading to that basement with Bob Dylan. Here’s one of the best.

Toto, “Straight From the Heart” from The Seventh One (1988): Toto Tuesdays

Toto, “Straight From the Heart” from The Seventh One (1988): Toto Tuesdays

July 18, 2017

“Straight From the Heart” appears to be a straight-forward rock-pop single, but Toto always adds a level of sophistication to make their songs different.

(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny, “Offramp” (1981)

(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny, “Offramp” (1981)

June 7, 2014

Some think Metheny is joking around, that he couldn’t possibly like “all of this noise.”

Chicago, “Italian From New York” from Chicago VII (1974): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, “Italian From New York” from Chicago VII (1974): Saturdays in the Park

July 22, 2017

You won’t find this on anyone’s list of Top 10 favorite Chicago songs, but “Italian from New York” proves just how versatile they were in the ’70s.

Desmond White, “Dream Girl” from Glace (2017): One Track Mind

Desmond White, “Dream Girl” from Glace (2017): One Track Mind

July 13, 2017

“Dream Girl” is a effective gateway to the heart of Desmond White’s ‘Glace.’

Bruce Springsteen Bassist Garry Tallent, April 22, 2017: Shows I’ll Never Forget

Bruce Springsteen Bassist Garry Tallent, April 22, 2017: Shows I’ll Never Forget

June 5, 2017

Garry Tallent assured us that this “was not going to be any four-hour concert.” He laughed, “I only know one person crazy enough for that!”

Rock and Roll Music, by the Beatles, Stones, Oasis, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Odd Couples

Rock and Roll Music, by the Beatles, Stones, Oasis, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Odd Couples

June 25, 2017

For us, rock and roll was a term applied to music of the 1950s such as Elvis Presley or Chuck Berry – and was strictly to be avoided.

Savatage – Fight for the Rock (1986): Metal Meltdowns

Savatage – Fight for the Rock (1986): Metal Meltdowns

April 19, 2017

‘Fight for the Rock’ almost put Savatage’s career in a coffin before we got their best work.

Cheap Trick – Cheap Trick (1977); We’re All Alright! (2017): Shadows in Stereo

Cheap Trick – Cheap Trick (1977); We’re All Alright! (2017): Shadows in Stereo

July 21, 2017

Cheap Trick’s ‘We’re All Alright!’ does what so few late-career albums are able to do: tap into what made a band great in the first place.

The Beatles and ‘Sgt. Pepper’: A Fans’ Perspective, by Bruce Spizer (2017): Books

The Beatles and ‘Sgt. Pepper’: A Fans’ Perspective, by Bruce Spizer (2017): Books

June 14, 2017

Why is the Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’ so significant? Bruce Spizer tackles this complicated issue by talking to every-day people.

Heart – Alive in Seattle (2003; 2017 reissue)

Heart – Alive in Seattle (2003; 2017 reissue)

July 9, 2017

Displaying their broad musical range, Ann and Nancy Wilson remind us why Heart is considered the foremost interpreters of Led Zeppelin.

Ella Fitzgerald, “Perdido” (1949): Appreciations

Ella Fitzgerald, “Perdido” (1949): Appreciations

April 25, 2017

“Perdido” was supposed to be a live showcase for Charlie Parker. Then Ella Fitzgerald – who would have been 100 today – stepped up to the mic.

Halloween Howlers from Guadalcanal Diary, Joy Division, Jim Stafford + others: Gimme Five

Halloween Howlers from Guadalcanal Diary, Joy Division, Jim Stafford + others: Gimme Five

October 29, 2016

Let’s stalk through the rock ‘n’ roll graveyard and dig up some of the scariest music on this side of the mortal curtain from Joy Division and others.