Archive for October, 2008

Deep Cuts: Herbie Hancock, "All Apologies" (1996)

Deep Cuts: Herbie Hancock, "All Apologies" (1996)

by Nick DeRiso Herbie Hancock almost didn’t pull off “The New Standard.” This High Concept offering from 1996 found Hancock, with varying degrees of success, adapting songs by popular artists like Peter Gabriel, The Eagles’ Don Henley, Paul Simon, The Beatles and Prince. You had to give him credit — again — for sticking his thumb in the eye ofRead More

Susan Tedeschi – Back To The River (2008)

by S. Victor Aaron With her strong blues foundation and pliable, slightly raspy croon, Susan Tedeschi is always going to be compared to Bonnie Raitt. However, she’s yet to achieve that crossover blockbuster success of a Nick Of Time. That isn’t for a lack of quality material, though, as with Back To The River, Tedeschi continues to stay true toRead More

The Red Garland Trio – Groovy [Rudy Van Gelder Remaster] (1957)

The Red Garland Trio – Groovy [Rudy Van Gelder Remaster] (1957)

As we like to note here so many times, there’s a lot of Miles Davis sidemen who have gone on to have notable careers of their own. Just among keyboardists, you’ve got your Bill Evans, Wynton Kelly, Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea. There’s another fine piano player who belongs in that exalted group, too: a smooth character fromRead More

Movies: Frank Zappa – The Torture Never Stops (2008)

Movies: Frank Zappa – The Torture Never Stops (2008)

What better way to spend Halloween than with (as it’s lovingly referred to in the liner notes) “this thing“? “The Torture Never Stops” — a 24-song, two-hour blast of almost indescribably brilliant/crazy rock from an Oct. 31, 1981 concert by the equally brilliant/crazy Frank Zappa — affords us a unique opportunity to experience one of popular music’s most original guitarists,Read More

Sonny Rollins – Road Shows Vol. 1 CD; In Vienne DVD (2008)

Sonny Rollins – Road Shows Vol. 1 CD; In Vienne DVD (2008)

by Nick DeRiso Funny what an early end does to a legacy. Doomed geniuses are always better off, accolade-wise. They make their mark, even if it is ever so fleeting, and that moment is examined by fans-turned-archaeologists for generations. Pity the poor soul, then, who keeps at it. Who remains vital, unparalleled and upright. Jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins is thatRead More

Deep Cuts: Heart, "Love Alive" (1977)

Deep Cuts: Heart, "Love Alive" (1977)

by Pico That classic album rock group Heart never really left us, but lately the Wilson sisters have reconnected with what made it such a great band back in the seventies. The vintage sounding all-new CD Jupiters Darling (2004) and last year’s live DVD Dreamboat Annie Live meant that the “old” Heart—not the undistinguished adult contemporary eighties Heart—had returned. BackRead More

The Stryker-Slagle Band – The Scene (2008)

The Stryker-Slagle Band – The Scene (2008)

by Pico At this time last year the sizzling straight-jazz band headed up by guitarist Dave Stryker and saxophonist/flautist Steve Slagle had a record out that we were making hay over, entitled Latest Outlook. The boys are back already with another batch of mostly original tunes called The Scene. And like before, they brought in that titan of the tenorRead More

Ry Cooder – The UFO Has Landed (2008)

Ry Cooder – The UFO Has Landed (2008)

An underrated artist with an eye for the offhand gem, Ry Cooder remains an all-but-anonymous, genius-grade poet in the American vernacular of brown bottles, trailer parks, stray dogs and rascals. Give Cooder a guitar, and he becomes this sweep-the-kitchen pot of bubbling gumbo, too, mastering everything from blues to dust-bowl folk, Tex-Mex to soul, gospel to mid-century rock. He’s alsoRead More

Esbjörn Svensson Trio – Leucocyte (2008)

Esbjörn Svensson Trio – Leucocyte (2008)

by S. Victor Aaron It feels strange to evaluate a talented musician’s latest output knowing that he will have no more new recordings forthcoming. That was the situation last year when I took a gander at Michael Brecker’s last CD, Pilgrimage. Sadly, we’re here again, as Esbjörn Svensson died this past June 14 in a diving accident near his nativeRead More

Boz Scaggs – Speak Low (2008)

Boz Scaggs – Speak Low (2008)

There’s a reason it took Boz Scaggs five years to complete the follow up to “But Beautiful,” a terrific, small-group collection of American songbook classics that debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard jazz charts in 2003. Scaggs aimed to add more instrumental complexity to his next recording, but was sensitive to the pitfalls associated with using a post-Connick, perhapsRead More