Archive for May 9th, 2011

Claire Ritter – The Stream of Pearls Project (2011)

There is a sensuous, lush quietude to this recording, which notes on the front that it was “inspired by water.” Ritter’s playing — trickling and ruminative one moment, bubbly and adventurous the next — certainly echoes the theme.

Half Notes: Artie Shaw – More Last Recordings (1993)

Even if he wouldn’t have established so many jazz standards, Artie Shaw would have still been famous for his blaze-of-glory exit.

TV On The Radio – Nine Types Of Light (2011)

by Tom Johnson It’s hard not to wonder how bassist Gerard Smith’s fight with cancer during the recording of Nine Types of Light affected the group. After all, the end result is a decidedly different affair than past TV On The Radio efforts, sounding all the more mature and, admittedly, somewhat somber. Light is darker and quieter than some TVRead More

Half Notes: Steve Khan – Parting Shot (2011)

My first encounter with the musicianship of fusion guitarist Steve Khan came from Billy Joel’s 1978 album 52nd Street. I still remember a studio picture of Khan in the vinyl record’s sleeve, big black hair, mustache, guitar and all. These days, Khan doesn’t have the big black hair anymore, but he still sports a ‘stache and is still usually seenRead More

Forgotten series: Blue Murder – Blue Murder (1989)

After spending the last couple of weeks with the new records from Whitesnake and King Kobra, it’s only natural that I’d eventually turn to the album where the two factions met, 1989’s self-titled debut from Blue Murder. When John Sykes was ousted from Whitesnake, along with most of the band that recorded 1987’s self-titled megahit record, he was offered aRead More

Half Notes: Robert Cray – Twenty (2005)

by Tom Johnson My dad introduced me to Robert Cray long ago and, even into a new century, little had changed with Cray: He was still putting out dependable, if unspectacular, albums of his smooth brand of blues — a sound that fills in that overlooked category of music that can be played in the background for pretty much anyoneRead More

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