King Crimson’s brief, but important, double-trio era peaked with Thrak

King Crimson’s brief, but important, double-trio era peaked with Thrak

April 25, 2015

The potential of King Crimson’s inventive musical format on ‘Thrak,’ released on April 25, 1995, has only become more clear as time passes.

David Bowie’s Let’s Dance illustrated the durability of Chic’s hitmaking sound

David Bowie’s Let’s Dance illustrated the durability of Chic’s hitmaking sound

April 19, 2015

Credit David Bowie for understanding how to cast his latest iteration. But also Chic for having the goods to make that nascent vision a reality.

Bluey, “Saints and Sinners” from Life Between The Notes (2015): Something Else! sneak peek

Bluey, “Saints and Sinners” from Life Between The Notes (2015): Something Else! sneak peek

April 16, 2015

Bluey’s new tune “Saints and Sinners” doesn’t get the point across from the lyrics alone: the music delivers, too.

Cyrus Chestnut, “Gloria’s Step” from A Million Colors in Your Mind (2015)

Cyrus Chestnut, “Gloria’s Step” from A Million Colors in Your Mind (2015)

April 23, 2015

Cyrus Chestnut doesn’t supercede the definitive take by Bill Evans’ Trio. Still, I found myself enjoying the new corners he and his trio explored.

The Word [Robert Randolph, John Medeski + North Mississippi All-Stars], “When I See the Blood” from Soul Food (2015)

The Word [Robert Randolph, John Medeski + North Mississippi All-Stars], “When I See the Blood” from Soul Food (2015)

April 21, 2015

Robert Randolph helps set a new standard for improv gospel-jazz country blues supergroups. Because, yeah, they’re the only one.

Matthew Shipp Chamber Ensemble – The Gospel According to Matthew and Michael (2015)

Matthew Shipp Chamber Ensemble – The Gospel According to Matthew and Michael (2015)

April 13, 2015

The musicianship gets this improvised chamber jazz concept off the ground, but it’s the bottomless imaginations of Shipp, Maneri and Bisio that make ‘The Gospel According To Matthew and Michael’ fly.

King Crimson’s brief, but important, double-trio era peaked with Thrak

King Crimson’s brief, but important, double-trio era peaked with Thrak

April 25, 2015

The potential of King Crimson’s inventive musical format on ‘Thrak,’ released on April 25, 1995, has only become more clear as time passes.

King Crimson’s brief, but important, double-trio era peaked with Thrak

King Crimson’s brief, but important, double-trio era peaked with Thrak

April 25, 2015

The potential of King Crimson’s inventive musical format on ‘Thrak,’ released on April 25, 1995, has only become more clear as time passes.

Iron Maiden’s 1988 masterpiece Seventh Son of a Seventh Son changed everything

Iron Maiden’s 1988 masterpiece Seventh Son of a Seventh Son changed everything

April 11, 2015

‘Seventh Son of a Seventh Son,’ released on April 11, 1988, started a journey. Iron Maiden is now a part of me, and I am a part of what’s kept them around.

Todd Rundgren, “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away” (2015): Exclusive advance stream

Todd Rundgren, “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away” (2015): Exclusive advance stream

April 24, 2015

Here’s an exclusive advance stream of Todd Rundgren’s new take on ‘You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away,” from ‘Keep Calm And Salute The Beatles.’

Otis Taylor, “Cold at Midnight” from Hey Joe Opus / Red Meat (2015): One Track Mind

Otis Taylor, “Cold at Midnight” from Hey Joe Opus / Red Meat (2015): One Track Mind

April 24, 2015

Otis Taylor’s “Cold at Midnight,” a white-knuckle ride into the very heart of worry, advances the forthcoming ‘Hey Joe Opus / Red Meat.’

John Manning – White Bear (1971): Forgotten Series

John Manning – White Bear (1971): Forgotten Series

April 24, 2015

We’re on the trail of the seemingly untraceable John Manning, a talented singer-songwriter who released a lone album, then disappeared.

Garth Hudson, “Little Island” from The Sea to the North (2001): Across the Great Divide

Garth Hudson, “Little Island” from The Sea to the North (2001): Across the Great Divide

April 23, 2015

On an album that justly earned accolades for touching upon every element of Garth Hudson’s roving genius, this grace-note finale often gets overlooked.

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, “What You’re Doing” from Beatles for Sale (1964): Deep Beatles

The Beatles, “What You’re Doing” from Beatles for Sale (1964): Deep Beatles

April 17, 2015

Paul McCartney’s underrated “What You’re Doing” foreshadows how the Beatles would test the limits of rock later in the 1960s.

Bruce Springsteen’s Working On A Dream remains deeply misunderstood

Bruce Springsteen’s Working On A Dream remains deeply misunderstood

January 27, 2015

With ‘Working On A Dream,’ released six years ago today, Bruce Springsteen continued an intriguing journey back to the music of his formative years.

Yes, “Harold Land” from Yes (1969): YESterdays

Yes, “Harold Land” from Yes (1969): YESterdays

April 14, 2015

A promising-but-still-transitional composition from Jon Anderson, Bill Bruford and Chris Squire, “Harold Land” points to bigger things from Yes.

Toto, “Girl Goodbye” from Toto (1978): Toto Tuesdays

Toto, “Girl Goodbye” from Toto (1978): Toto Tuesdays

April 21, 2015

Don’t let the seemingly simple time signature fool you. There is plenty of Toto goodness in “Girl Goodbye.”

(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.”

Otis Taylor, “Cold at Midnight” from Hey Joe Opus / Red Meat (2015): One Track Mind

Otis Taylor, “Cold at Midnight” from Hey Joe Opus / Red Meat (2015): One Track Mind

April 24, 2015

Otis Taylor’s “Cold at Midnight,” a white-knuckle ride into the very heart of worry, advances the forthcoming ‘Hey Joe Opus / Red Meat.’

John Manning – White Bear (1971): Forgotten Series

John Manning – White Bear (1971): Forgotten Series

April 24, 2015

We’re on the trail of the seemingly untraceable John Manning, a talented singer-songwriter who released a lone album, then disappeared.

Steve Cropper on the Black Crowes’ cover of ‘Hard to Handle’ : ‘They threw it off time by half a beat’

Steve Cropper on the Black Crowes’ cover of ‘Hard to Handle’ : ‘They threw it off time by half a beat’

April 21, 2015

Steve Cropper offers his take on the Black Crowes’ 1990 hit version of an Otis Redding classic, and reveals a special connection with the band.

John Manning – White Bear (1971): Forgotten Series

John Manning – White Bear (1971): Forgotten Series

April 24, 2015

We’re on the trail of the seemingly untraceable John Manning, a talented singer-songwriter who released a lone album, then disappeared.

King Crimson’s brief, but important, double-trio era peaked with Thrak

King Crimson’s brief, but important, double-trio era peaked with Thrak

April 25, 2015

The potential of King Crimson’s inventive musical format on ‘Thrak,’ released on April 25, 1995, has only become more clear as time passes.

Fighting Songs by the Rolling Stones, Pat Benatar, the Ramones + others: Odd Couples

Fighting Songs by the Rolling Stones, Pat Benatar, the Ramones + others: Odd Couples

March 20, 2015

Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. have finally agreed to fight. Here’s a special edition of Odd Couples to whet your appetite.

Calling From a Star: The Merrell Fankhauser Story, by Merrell Fankhauser (2015): Books

Calling From a Star: The Merrell Fankhauser Story, by Merrell Fankhauser (2015): Books

March 13, 2015

Merrell Fankhauser’s contributions to the music scene are priceless, and I’m thrilled to say his memoir is just as worthy.

The Last Waltz was nearly derailed, time and again: ‘It was like throwing the dice’

The Last Waltz was nearly derailed, time and again: ‘It was like throwing the dice’

April 7, 2015

‘The Last Waltz,’ released as a triple album on April 7, 1978, chronicled a guest-packed Band concert that overcame one complication after another.

Toto IV found Toto at an early career crossroads: ‘We wanted to make something great’

Toto IV found Toto at an early career crossroads: ‘We wanted to make something great’

April 8, 2015

The story of Toto can be divided to before April 8, 1982, and after. That’s when they released ‘Toto IV,’ still the biggest album of their lengthy career.

Percy Sledge may have been a one hit wonder, but what a hit it was

Percy Sledge may have been a one hit wonder, but what a hit it was

April 14, 2015

Percy Sledge has died at 73 having long been dubbed a one hit wonder. But that one hit – “When a Man Loves a Woman” – was a wonder, indeed.