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

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

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

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

One Track Mind: Tab Benoit "Fever For The Bayou" (2005)

One Track Mind: Tab Benoit "Fever For The Bayou" (2005)

by Pico As audacious as the claim might sound, Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s own Tab Benoit is the Bayou State’s answer to Stevie Ray Vaughan. It’s a feeling I’ve had from the time I discovered his well-received debut Nice And Warm from 1992 and haven’t wavered on that after about an album a year since then. He’s got all the rightRead More

McCoy Tyner – Guitars (2008)

McCoy Tyner – Guitars (2008)

by Pico As far as jazz pianists go, McCoy Tyner is the living patriarch. As a member of John Coltrane’s seminal band of the sixties, a sideman on so many key recordings and, of course, a leader with his own substantial solo career, Tyner has long ago secured a significant place in the history of jazz. The one thing thatRead More

Forgotten series: Sam Cooke – Sam Cooke's Night Beat (1963)

Forgotten series: Sam Cooke – Sam Cooke's Night Beat (1963)

NICK DERISO: Sam Cooke, for all his power and grace as a singer, established this strikingly brief legacy during the time of the Hit Single. Which meant Cooke’s most well-known albums of the early 1960s were often dotted with dated filler, tunes in the Broadway style of the day or so-called standards that didn’t properly showcase his direct, emotional range.Read More

Enrico Rava – The Pilgrim And The Stars (1975)

Enrico Rava – The Pilgrim And The Stars (1975)

by S. Victor Aaron Last year we gave a testimonial to a new small-group Carla Bley album that featured a uber-talented Italian trumpeter by the name of Paolo Fresu. But as good as Fresu is, he’s not yet the king of Italian trumpeters. That’s because Enrico Rava is still wearing the crown. Like Fresu, Rava has played for Bley—as wellRead More

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