Al Jarreau (1940-2017): Our Essential Playlist

Al Jarreau (1940-2017): Our Essential Playlist

February 19, 2017

Al Jarreau’s distinctive singing style crossed boundaries, encompassing jazz, pop, R&B, funk, gospel, and even world music.

Nick Finzer’s Thoughtful ‘Hear and Now’ Also Honors Duke Ellington: Something Else! Interview

Nick Finzer’s Thoughtful ‘Hear and Now’ Also Honors Duke Ellington: Something Else! Interview

February 2, 2017

Trombonist Nick Finzer discusses the impetus for his new album ‘Hear and Now,’ a sweeping new tour and the importance of jazz education.

Blackfield, “From 44 to 48” from Blackfield V (2017): Something Else! sneak peek

Blackfield, “From 44 to 48” from Blackfield V (2017): Something Else! sneak peek

February 10, 2017

Today marks the worldwide release of ‘Blackfield V,’ the fifth installment of the Aviv Geffen/Steven Wilson collaboration – except in North America.

Al Jarreau (1940-2017): Our Essential Playlist

Al Jarreau (1940-2017): Our Essential Playlist

February 19, 2017

Al Jarreau’s distinctive singing style crossed boundaries, encompassing jazz, pop, R&B, funk, gospel, and even world music.

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, “The Reckoning” from Ruler Rebel (2017): Something Else! sneak peek

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, “The Reckoning” from Ruler Rebel (2017): Something Else! sneak peek

February 19, 2017

“The Reckoning” track has just been released as a stream and is the opening salvo in this latest campaign by Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, from the upcoming first leg of the trilogy ‘Ruler Rebel’.

Mary Halvorson and Sylvie Courvoisier – Crop Circles (2017)

Mary Halvorson and Sylvie Courvoisier – Crop Circles (2017)

January 21, 2017

A mere two months following yet another highly thought-of ensemble record, guitarist/composer Mary Halvorson has returned.

Vangelis – Delectus (2017)

Vangelis – Delectus (2017)

February 17, 2017

If you’re a progressive rock fan, the question is whether you should splurge on the new 13-CD box set from Vangelis. Here’s your answer.

Vangelis – Delectus (2017)

Vangelis – Delectus (2017)

February 17, 2017

If you’re a progressive rock fan, the question is whether you should splurge on the new 13-CD box set from Vangelis. Here’s your answer.

Fred Phillips’ Best Hard Rock and Metal of 2016: Anthrax, Testament, Rob Zombie, Dead Daisies

Fred Phillips’ Best Hard Rock and Metal of 2016: Anthrax, Testament, Rob Zombie, Dead Daisies

January 2, 2017

As you go through my Best Hard Rock and Metal of 2016 list, you’ll see why I’m calling it the year of the classic thrash band.

Al Jarreau (1940-2017): Our Essential Playlist

Al Jarreau (1940-2017): Our Essential Playlist

February 19, 2017

Al Jarreau’s distinctive singing style crossed boundaries, encompassing jazz, pop, R&B, funk, gospel, and even world music.

Wilko Johnson – I Keep It To Myself: The Best of Wilko Johnson (2017)

Wilko Johnson – I Keep It To Myself: The Best of Wilko Johnson (2017)

February 2, 2017

This generous two-disc set is packed with recently recorded Wilko Johnson goodies, including re-workings of several Dr Feelgood favorites.

The Band’s ‘Christmas Must Be Tonight’ Remains an Unjustly Overlooked Holiday Classic

The Band’s ‘Christmas Must Be Tonight’ Remains an Unjustly Overlooked Holiday Classic

December 25, 2016

The Band’s perhaps too ambitious “Christmas Must Be Tonight” never became the seasonal favorite it should have been.

Mavis Staples goes behind the scenes at the Band’s Last Waltz: ‘It wasn’t rehearsed to go like that’

Mavis Staples goes behind the scenes at the Band’s Last Waltz: ‘It wasn’t rehearsed to go like that’

November 24, 2016

Mavis Staples joined the Band on “The Weight” after their famous ‘Last Waltz’ concert on Thanksgiving 1976 – and something amazing happened.

Ross Hammond – Follow Your Heart (2017)

Ross Hammond – Follow Your Heart (2017)

February 15, 2017

A back-to-basics record that flows forth with natural ease, ‘Follow Your Heart’ is Ross Hammond practicing what he’s preaching with the title.

Yes, “Onward” from Tormato (1978): YESterdays

Yes, “Onward” from Tormato (1978): YESterdays

February 7, 2017

If you have written off Yes’ ‘Tormato’ by now, go back and listen to “Onward,” a moment of tranquillity and beauty in the midst of our hectic lives.

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, “You Like Me Too Much” from Help! (1965): Deep Beatles

The Beatles, “You Like Me Too Much” from Help! (1965): Deep Beatles

February 4, 2017

While it may not match his other Beatles masterpieces, “You Like Me Too Much” marks another turning point in George Harrison’s artistic development.

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, “Fahrenheit” from Fahrenheit (1986): Toto Tuesdays

Toto, “Fahrenheit” from Fahrenheit (1986): Toto Tuesdays

February 14, 2017

Steve Porcaro was already creating synth orchestrations and introductory motifs for Toto’s live show, but “Fahrenheit” took things to another level.

(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, “Dialogue (Part I) and (Part II)” from Chicago V (1972): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, “Dialogue (Part I) and (Part II)” from Chicago V (1972): Saturdays in the Park

February 11, 2017

“Dialogue (Part I)” and “(Part II)” further cemented my view that Robert Lamm was – and is – Chicago’s greatest writer.

Steve Hackett, “In the Skeleton Gallery” from The Night Siren (2017): One Track Mind

Steve Hackett, “In the Skeleton Gallery” from The Night Siren (2017): One Track Mind

February 10, 2017

Former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett’s “In the Skeleton Gallery” arrives in advance of ‘The Night Siren’ with a hint of the familiar – at least at first.

Kanye West, November 17, 2016: Shows I’ll Never Forget

Kanye West, November 17, 2016: Shows I’ll Never Forget

November 29, 2016

By now, you think you know what happened at Kanye West’s Nov. 17, 2016 concert at San Jose, California. You probably do not.

Olympics Tribute with Velvet Underground, Eric Clapton, Harry Nilsson + others: Odd Couples

Olympics Tribute with Velvet Underground, Eric Clapton, Harry Nilsson + others: Odd Couples

August 11, 2016

Performance enhancers became an early story line in the 2016 Rio Olympics. But which drug-related rock song provides the best soundtrack?

Celtic Frost – Cold Lake (1988): Metal Meltdowns

Celtic Frost – Cold Lake (1988): Metal Meltdowns

November 20, 2016

Celtic Frost was one of the pioneering bands of what would become death and black metal. Then came 1988’s ‘Cold Lake.’

Bruce Springsteen Finds Darkness on the River: Shadows in Stereo

Bruce Springsteen Finds Darkness on the River: Shadows in Stereo

November 13, 2016

Bruce Springsteen has always been dogged by rumors of versions of albums that differed markedly from what became the commercial release.

‘Rockin’ the City of Angels’: Inside Douglas Harr’s Great New Book

‘Rockin’ the City of Angels’: Inside Douglas Harr’s Great New Book

January 27, 2017

I wrote ‘Rockin’ the City of Angels’ as homage to rock music of the ‘70s — in concert and on film.

Heart – Live at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (2016)

Heart – Live at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (2016)

December 23, 2016

Heart’s ‘Live at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’ shows a jubilant band obviously thrilled at the prospect of performing in such a storied venue.

Al Jarreau (1940-2017): Our Essential Playlist

Al Jarreau (1940-2017): Our Essential Playlist

February 19, 2017

Al Jarreau’s distinctive singing style crossed boundaries, encompassing jazz, pop, R&B, funk, gospel, and even world music.

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.