Susan Tedeschi’s Varied ‘Back to the River’ Set the Stage for Greatness

Susan Tedeschi’s Varied ‘Back to the River’ Set the Stage for Greatness

October 31, 2018

Released 10 years ago this week, ‘Back to the River’ once again blended blues, R&B, gospel and rock. But Susan Tedeschi was headed toward something big.

Lucas Lee Dives Deeper Into ‘Lowered Expectations’: ‘One Way of Maintaining Sanity’

Lucas Lee Dives Deeper Into ‘Lowered Expectations’: ‘One Way of Maintaining Sanity’

November 9, 2018

Lucas Lee discusses working with Marco Minnemann, his personal creative arc and stand-out album tracks from ‘Lowered Expectations.’

Johannes Wallmann, “Nocturne” from ‘Day and Night’ (2018): Sneak Peek

Johannes Wallmann, “Nocturne” from ‘Day and Night’ (2018): Sneak Peek

October 24, 2018

Johannes Wallmann and a group of old musical friends are set to breathe life into an album of mostly standards, beginning with “Nocturne.”

Christian Scott Confirmed His Vision for Jazz With ‘Live at Newport’

Christian Scott Confirmed His Vision for Jazz With ‘Live at Newport’

November 4, 2018

Released 10 years ago today, Christian Scott’s ‘Live at Newport’ bravely fought back against the treatment of jazz as an academic affair.

Colin Edwin and Lorenzo Feliciati – ‘Twinscapes Vol. 2: A Modern Approach to the Dancefloor’ (2018)

Colin Edwin and Lorenzo Feliciati – ‘Twinscapes Vol. 2: A Modern Approach to the Dancefloor’ (2018)

October 27, 2018

Colin Edwin and Lorenzo Feliciati once again find simpatico instead of redundancy on their second collaboration.

Roscoe Mitchell Sextet – ‘Sound’ (1966; 2018 reissue)

Roscoe Mitchell Sextet – ‘Sound’ (1966; 2018 reissue)

September 22, 2018

Before any of those seminal recordings by the AACM family could happen, Roscoe Mitchell’s ‘Sound’ needed to.

Chicago, ‘Ain’t It Time’ from ‘Hot Streets’ (1978): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, ‘Ain’t It Time’ from ‘Hot Streets’ (1978): Saturdays in the Park

November 10, 2018

Donnie Dacus clearly felt his moment had arrived after moving from largely uncredited work with Stephen Stills to the spotlight as Chicago’s new guitarist.

Lucas Lee Dives Deeper Into ‘Lowered Expectations’: ‘One Way of Maintaining Sanity’

Lucas Lee Dives Deeper Into ‘Lowered Expectations’: ‘One Way of Maintaining Sanity’

November 9, 2018

Lucas Lee discusses working with Marco Minnemann, his personal creative arc and stand-out album tracks from ‘Lowered Expectations.’

Alestorm / Gloryhammer, September 11, 2018: Shows I’ll Never Forget

Alestorm / Gloryhammer, September 11, 2018: Shows I’ll Never Forget

September 19, 2018

If you pull your kid out of school and drive five hours to see Alestorm and Gloryhammer at a club, you may have a metal problem. It was more than worth it.

Toto, “The Road Goes On” from ‘Tambu’ (1995): Toto Tuesdays

Toto, “The Road Goes On” from ‘Tambu’ (1995): Toto Tuesdays

November 6, 2018

“The Road Goes On” works like a crescendo, providing the exclamation mark that Toto’s ‘Tambu’ was always building toward.

Eric Bibb – ‘Global Griot’ (2018)

Eric Bibb – ‘Global Griot’ (2018)

October 31, 2018

Eric Bibb bites off a lot on ‘Global Griot,’ but if there’s anyone who can pull all of this together, it’s this guy.

Ross Hammond – ‘Riding Dragons in Winter’ (2018)

Ross Hammond – ‘Riding Dragons in Winter’ (2018)

November 8, 2018

Yes, Ross Hammond’s ‘Riding Dragons in Winter’ is relatively simple but when life gets too noisy and complimented, it’s time to return to elemental things.

Cypress Hill – ‘Elephants on Acid’ (2018)

Cypress Hill – ‘Elephants on Acid’ (2018)

October 1, 2018

Ultimately, Cypress Hill’s ‘Elephants on Acid’ is a good record, but not the great one that I hoped for after hearing its opening salvo.

Tracy Chapman Smartly Updated Her Approach on ‘Our Bright Future’

Tracy Chapman Smartly Updated Her Approach on ‘Our Bright Future’

November 11, 2018

Tracy Chapman stayed true to her narrative vision on ‘Our Bright Future,’ issued 10 years ago today. She just added a few intriguing musical wrinkles.

Yes, “Endless Dream” from ‘Talk’ (1994): YESterdays

Yes, “Endless Dream” from ‘Talk’ (1994): YESterdays

October 30, 2018

The final song on 1994’s ‘Talk’ became a ’90s-style progressive epic, creating a lasting legacy for the Trevor Rabin era of Yes.

Walter Becker, “She Was Good” (early 1990s): Steely Dan Sunday

Walter Becker, “She Was Good” (early 1990s): Steely Dan Sunday

August 12, 2018

Walter Becker’s estate drops another ’11 Tracks of Whack’ outtake that continues the decades-old theme of falling for a prostitute.

The Beatles, “I’m Looking Through You” from ‘Rubber Soul’ (1965): Deep Beatles

The Beatles, “I’m Looking Through You” from ‘Rubber Soul’ (1965): Deep Beatles

October 22, 2018

“I’m Looking Through You” paints a vivid picture of a troubled relationship, but another muse may have inspired this Beatles track: Bob Dylan.

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, “The Road Goes On” from ‘Tambu’ (1995): Toto Tuesdays

Toto, “The Road Goes On” from ‘Tambu’ (1995): Toto Tuesdays

November 6, 2018

“The Road Goes On” works like a crescendo, providing the exclamation mark that Toto’s ‘Tambu’ was always building toward.

(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, ‘Ain’t It Time’ from ‘Hot Streets’ (1978): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, ‘Ain’t It Time’ from ‘Hot Streets’ (1978): Saturdays in the Park

November 10, 2018

Donnie Dacus clearly felt his moment had arrived after moving from largely uncredited work with Stephen Stills to the spotlight as Chicago’s new guitarist.

Dave Meder, “The Old Rugged Cross” from ‘Passage’ (2018): Something Else! video premiere

Dave Meder, “The Old Rugged Cross” from ‘Passage’ (2018): Something Else! video premiere

October 26, 2018

This gospel tune has been covered by countless artists, but Dave Meder’s jazzier treatment shows just how transcendent “The Old Rugged Cross” really is.

Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band, September 22, 2018: Shows I’ll Never Forget

Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band, September 22, 2018: Shows I’ll Never Forget

September 24, 2018

When Ringo Starr sits behind the drums and shakes his head to the beat, time temporarily turns back to 1964.

Tracy Chapman Smartly Updated Her Approach on ‘Our Bright Future’

Tracy Chapman Smartly Updated Her Approach on ‘Our Bright Future’

November 11, 2018

Tracy Chapman stayed true to her narrative vision on ‘Our Bright Future,’ issued 10 years ago today. She just added a few intriguing musical wrinkles.

Long Songs by Led Zeppelin, the Temptations, Yes, Iron Butterfly + Others: Odd Couples

Long Songs by Led Zeppelin, the Temptations, Yes, Iron Butterfly + Others: Odd Couples

July 15, 2018

Rock ‘n’ roll has always been considered music of the moment. Then bands like Led Zeppelin and Yes decided they wanted that moment extended.

The Rascals – ‘The Island of Real’ (1972): Forgotten Series

The Rascals – ‘The Island of Real’ (1972): Forgotten Series

November 8, 2018

‘The Island of Real’ catches a fun, cosmopolitan groove, but sales were weak and it somehow became the the last-ever album released by the Rascals.

Iron Butterfly, UFO, Humble Pie, Kansas + Others: Lost Hard Rock / Prog Recordings

Iron Butterfly, UFO, Humble Pie, Kansas + Others: Lost Hard Rock / Prog Recordings

June 15, 2018

The list is by no means exhaustive or definitive: Most people have their own personal choices for what they consider to be great lost recordings.

Conversation with Billy Cobham, Part 2: Brian Gruber and Ronnie Scott’s

Conversation with Billy Cobham, Part 2: Brian Gruber and Ronnie Scott’s

September 7, 2018

Billy Cobham is joined by Brian Gruber in a talk with Mike Tiano that delves into the output and impact of many of the drummer’s contemporaries.

John Lennon – ‘Gimme Some Truth’ and ‘Imagine’ (2018): Movies

John Lennon – ‘Gimme Some Truth’ and ‘Imagine’ (2018): Movies

October 26, 2018

Younger generations who think Beyoncé invented the visual album should be shown the conceptual film John Lennon and Yoko Ono co-directed in 1971.

How Paul Allen Saved the Seattle Cinerama

How Paul Allen Saved the Seattle Cinerama

October 16, 2018

In memory of Paul Allen, we’re returning to Mike Tiano’s examination of the late Microsoft co-founder’s role in preserving the Seattle Cinerama Theater.

Mystery Discs by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Fleetwood Mac, INXS + others: Gimme Five

Mystery Discs by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Fleetwood Mac, INXS + others: Gimme Five

March 25, 2018

I found a bunch of albums – including Lynyrd Skynyrd, INXS and others – that I didn’t know I had. In fact, I can’t say why I wanted them in the first place.