Archive for June 16th, 2011

Something Else! sneak peek: Ry Cooder, "No Banker Left Behind" (2011)

Tough times call for angry protest records, for political records, for records that produce rueful smiles. Ry Cooder has done that and more with “No Banker Left Behind,” a tart treatise on the recent financial meltdown

Half Notes: Mike LeDonne – The Groover (2010)

by Mark Saleski From swing (“Bopsolete”) to smokey blues (and what self-respecting organ ensemble would sidestep the blues? Check out “Deep Blue,” killer guitar solo by Peter Bernstein on this one), this group knows how to have a good time. The title track gets in that groove and burns. And speaking of fun, there’s always the swingin’ cover of MichaelRead More

Adrian Belew on songs from King Crimson, his Power Trio and the Bears: Gimme Five

Discover why Adrian Belew likes working with younger musicians (no mortages or spouses to lure them out of the studio!), and how he’d like to push Crimson’s double-trio format even further out. Reminesce on Belew’s criminally underappreciated side project the Bears, and find just how relieved he remains that “Oh Daddy,” his late-1980s novelty favorite, didn’t become a bigger hitRead More

Half Notes: Farmers By Nature – Out Of This World Distortions (2011)

Three of the most gifted improvisers in free jazz today released this week a studio follow-up from their well-received 2009 live debut. As fellow giants of the NYC downtown scene, William Parker, Craig Taborn and Gerald Cleaver know each well musically and personally (as noted before, Cleaver and Taborn go way, way back). That means that whenever they put theirRead More

Metallica – Death Magnetic (2008)

Not that long ago (well OK, maybe it was…), when the roots of my inner music nerd/writer were being put in place (1978, Creem magazine), there were several bands whose records were in heavy rotation on my turntable: Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Bad Company, Black Sabbath, Ted Nugent. At the time, these artists were revered.

Half Notes: Ziggy Marley – Dragonfly (2003)

by Tom Johnson Bob Marley’s son did this one without the Melody Makers to make an album less about being reggae and more about music. Ziggy seems to find some influence in the Dave Matthews Band, as many songs feature passages that could easily have been played by the DMB and would easily appeal to fans of their laid-back groove.Read More