Archive for February, 2011

Something Else! Featured Artist: Grover Washington Jr.

by Something Else Reviews Credit, or discredit, the late Grover Washington Jr. with setting the template for the whole smooth jazz thing. There was always more to him than that. Really.

Deep Cuts: Ray Charles, "Am I Blue" (1959)

“Am I Blue” is a largely forgotten argument for Ray Charles’ striking ability to synthesize jazz, blues, country and gospel into music with a broader appeal. That’s saying something, considering that it appears on The Genius of Ray Charles, a half-big band/half-strings Atlantic release that became one of his most celebrated efforts. Charles effortlessly melds both the secular and sacredRead More

Gary Sellers – Soul Apparatus (2011)

Gary Sellers – Soul Apparatus (2011)

Photo from Gary Sellers’ website by Nick DeRiso Blues guitarist Gary Sellers has a depth of passion, and a delicate touch at melding styles, that belies his youth. Whatever grade he’s in, though, Sellers has done his homework. Listening to his new recording Soul Apparatus, you hear Gregg Allman in Sellers’ vocal delivery, and a playing style that melds bothRead More

Something Else! sneak peek: Paul Simon, "The Afterlife" (2011)

Something Else! sneak peek: Paul Simon, "The Afterlife" (2011)

Photo by Mark Seliger by Nick DeRiso “The Afterlife,” featured on Paul Simon’s forthcoming album So Beautiful or So What, is pulsing and sinewy — almost like a lost track from Graceland. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. See, Simon has said the premise of this new recording was to get away from the rhythmic focus he’d had sinceRead More

Gregg Rolie – Five Days EP (2011)

Gregg Rolie – Five Days EP (2011)

Photo from Gregg Rolie’s website by Nick DeRiso Gregg Rolie, a founding member of Santana and then Journey, is probably best remembered as this tiny speck playing keyboards in a sold-out arena. That makes the deeply introspective new EP Five Days, recorded live with just piano and vocals, an unexpected and intimate revelation.

The Friday Morning Listen: Christine Hayward – Live at E.F. Lane (2009)

The Friday Morning Listen: Christine Hayward – Live at E.F. Lane (2009)

by Mark Saleski In the past handful of years, I have jettisoned a few distractions: namely, sports and television, which are sort of related. Rounding out the list is politics. I have decided that, because my thoughts on “the right thing to do” are so far outside of the mainstream, it’s just not worth bothering with the daily catfights, arrogantRead More

Bones And Tones – Bones And Tones (2011)

Bones And Tones – Bones And Tones (2011)

by S. Victor Aaron A marimba, a vibraphone, a stand-up bass, percussion and a little kora. A little bit of American jazz, a dash of Caribbean and a side of African folk music, but not quite like any of the three. How sweet the sound. That’s the kind of sound coming from this one-of-kind quartet Tones And Bones. A crewRead More

A Fragile Tomorrow, “I Just Never Said Enough” (2010): One Track Mind

A Fragile Tomorrow, “I Just Never Said Enough” (2010): One Track Mind

Photo from A Fragile Tomorrow’s ReverbNation page by Nick DeRiso A Fragile Tomorrow builds out from the country-rock synthesis of pathfinders like the Band and the Byrds, starting with the new-wave attitude and propulsive rhythms of descendent bands like R.E.M. and the dBs. But there’s something else, lodged in amidst the brailing mandolin and stamping beat, this heartfelt gravitas. TurnsRead More

Ella Fitzgerald and Oscar Peterson – Ella and Oscar (1975, reissue)

Ella Fitzgerald and Oscar Peterson – Ella and Oscar (1975, reissue)

by Nick DeRiso Though not the hoped-for third-act triumph, Ella and Oscar still has its enduring charms. See, Oscar Peterson, a hard-banging piano genius as bluesy as he was inventive, should have made the perfect foil for Ella Fitzgerald on this stripped-down date, set for reissue on March 15 by Concord. It seems that too much time, however, had passedRead More

Many Arms – Missing Time (2010)

Many Arms – Missing Time (2010)

photo from philadelphiaweekly.com by S. Victor Aaron One of Frank Zappa’s latter day live documents is called Make A Jazz Noise Here. Anyone who’s followed Zappa knows that while Zappa rarely really played jazz as we tend to think of jazz, a lot of his music adopted the exacting, open-ended construction of jazz, especially avant-garde jazz. When you peel awayRead More

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