Archive for May, 2011

Tommy Shaw – The Great Divide (2011)

This was one of those records that I didn’t expect to like, maybe didn’t even want to like. Bluegrass, I like. Tommy Shaw, I like. You couldn’t help but wonder how this thing would ever come together.

Half Notes: Dave Glasser – Evolution (2010)

by Mark Saleski Sax, piano, bass and drums — staples in the jazz world. Sometimes, that combination can be bland. If the players don’t add a little spice to the proceedings, you quickly realize that you’ve been here before. (“What? Intro-head-solos-head again?!”) Thankfully, Dave Glasser knows how to apply the leverage to that alto and his band knows how toRead More

Manu Katché – Neighbourhood (2006)

by Mark Saleski Ever stumble into one of those snotty Internet arguments tugging back & forth about the capabilities of musicians? Specifically, the old “Is it possible for player X (an expert in genre A) to cross over to the land of genre B?” “Well, of course he can.” “He’s a master!” “No he can’t.” “This music has nothing toRead More

Half Notes: Corinne Bailey Rae – Live In London and New York (2007)

By Tom Johnson Corinne Bailey Rae is one of those unexpected interests for me, a pop-chanteuse making the kind of music I typically wouldn’t really find much interest in. But, for some reason, I fell for her simple, emotive voice. My only problem with her eponymous debut album was that it became a playground for her producers, rather than aRead More

One Track Mind: ANT-BEE, featuring Peter Banks, "Endless Journey" (2011)

“Endless Journey,” a thrilling little space-rock number by ANT-BEE, begins appropriately enough: With a countdown and then a rocket launch. The unmistakable tone of Peter Banks’ guitar floats by next

Half Notes: Earl MacDonald – Re: Visions (2010)

By Mark Saleski Subtitled “Works for Jazz Orchestra,” this album showcases the arranging talents of Earl MacDonald as well as a stellar cast of cohorts. I have to be honest here and say that big-ish bands are not usually my thing. That is, unless they’re doing something “odd” (see: Carla Bley, The Either Orchestra). This recording grabbed me from theRead More

Something Else! Interview: 10cc cofounder Kevin Godley

Kevin Godley, as a co-founder of 10cc, helped propel “I’m Not In Love” to No. 2 on the U.S. charts in the summer of 1975, before leaving the band with fellow co-founder Lol Creme. They scored a Top 20 hit in the mid-1980s

Half Notes: Jessie Marquez, "La Herida (The Wound)" (2011)

Listening, you’d be hard pressed to place Jessie Marquez, a sensual American singer with Cuban roots, anywhere near her hometown of Eugene, Ore. There is something so otherworldly, so richly textured, so intimate and humid and spicy about tracks like “La Herida.” Written by Gustavo Rodriguez, this redemptive tune is part of Marquez’s new release All I See Is Sky,Read More

Sheryl Crow – C'mon C'mon (2002)

by Derrick Lord Old sayings get to be old sayings for a reason: There is usually a good bit of truth in them. I gave Sheryl Crow’s album C’mon, C’mon a spin based on the single “Steve McQueen” and I thought: “Yup, the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree.”

Half Notes: Charles Evans/ Neil Shah – Live at Saint Stephens (2009)

by Mark Saleski Baritone sax (Evans) and piano recorded live at a church. The room gave just the right amount of natural reverb, which is a great thing because too much echo can muddy all of those wonderful details my ears parts expect from the bari sax: clacking valves, breathy passages. The improvisations range from simple call and response motifsRead More