Archive for November, 2008

Umphrey's McGee's Masterful Marketing of Mantis

Umphrey's McGee's Masterful Marketing of Mantis

by Pico With a review in April of last year, another one this past July, and an entry in my year-end “best of” list, I could be accused of being a shill for big fan of Umphrey’s McGee, but there’s few bands in rock who combines musicianship, melody and humor as well as these guys from Chicago. If you’re aRead More

One Track Mind: Ethan Keller "Emmanuel" (2008)

One Track Mind: Ethan Keller "Emmanuel" (2008)

by Pico Now with Thanksgiving and and that bloody shopping ritual called Black Friday behind us, the Christian season of Advent has begun. For the Catholic faith at least, it starts this Sunday, and lasts until Christmas Eve. This observation of the impending birth of Christ (and his second coming) has it’s own subset of Christmas carols and probably theRead More

Quickies: Charlie Hunter, Martin Urbach, Andy Scherrer, New York Electric Piano

Quickies: Charlie Hunter, Martin Urbach, Andy Scherrer, New York Electric Piano

It’s Thanksgiving, y’all, and while I don’t have a Thanskgiving-themed record or song with which to celebrate this national holiday, we can always be thankful of fresh new tunes by talented musicians. In the case of this chapter of “Quickies,” it’s all talented jazz musicians. For those not so inclined, don’t fret; I have some more mainstream sounds lined upRead More

Tim Finn – Before and After (1993)

The finest of the tracks here point to a musical sensibility that’s a touch too ribald for Crowded House. Tim Finn, who had recently left after a short association with brother Neil’s band, experiments with a number of far-out sounds: A processed background vocal on “Can’t Do Both”; the fuzzy bassline, and crazy keyboard counterpoint, on “I Found It”; aRead More

Van Morrison – Down the Road (2002)

Van Morrison – Down the Road (2002)

NICK DERISO: “Whatever happened,” Van Morrison, erstwhile pop singer, old-soul blues gypsy, entertainer-slash-provocateur, sings here, “to the way it’s supposed to happen? And whatever happened to me?” Much, in fact, has happened. Morrison, it’s worth noting, could have settled in as a fixture on pop music’s hit-machine dead end after scoring big with “Brown Eyed Girl” and the still-scrappy “Gloria,”Read More

Gimme Five: Hall and Oates

Gimme Five: Hall and Oates

by Nick Deriso Hall and Oates are, of course, the poster boys for what happens when hair gel meets R&B. Funny thing is, they were originally anything but polished. Hall had reportedly been in an early Philly band with Thom Bell, later a central figure in that city’s R&B legacy. Along the way, H&O tried out an acoustic bent onRead More

Paul Bley Quintet – Barrage (1964)

Paul Bley’s sixty year career has been primarily one where he’s worked with some of the biggest names in the vanguard of jazz in the quest for experimentation and many times he’s marched to the beat of his own drummer. For a good part of that career, it was also about him playing to the brilliant but often quirky songsRead More

Crescent City Gold – The Ultimate Session (1994)

Crescent City Gold – The Ultimate Session (1994)

NICK DERISO: “The Ultimate Session” might not completely live up to the billing. Forgive us, however, if we cherish its sense of hip-shaking fun, anyway. Assembled are a who’s-who group of New Orleans musicians who played nearly five decades before with the likes of Little Richard, Fats Domino and Professor Longhair. Fronted by familiar performers Dr. John and Allen Toussaint,Read More

One Track Mind: The Fireman, "Nothing Too Much Just Out Of Sight" (2008)

“Just reading those lines (of the Townshend interview) fired my imagination. I thought, Right, they’ve done what they think was the loudest and dirtiest; we’ll do what we think. I went into the studio and told the guys, ‘Look, I’ve got this song but Pete said this and I want to do it even dirtier.’ It was a great briefRead More

Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra – We Are MTO (2008)

Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra – We Are MTO (2008)

by S. Victor Aaron Trumpeter and arranger Steven Bernstein might be the hardest working man in music these days. Just these last few years he has garnered a Grammy nomination (for Sexotica by his band Sex Mob) and a Annie nomination for scoring a children’s TV series; released an album under John Zorn’s Tzadik label; scored some Laurel & HardyRead More

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