Archive for August 23rd, 2011

Roland Hanna – Colors from a Giant’s Kit (2011)

Why wasn’t Roland Hanna, a first-rate piano improviser and brilliant accompanist, more famous? Newly unearthed sessions for the IPO Recordings release Colors From a Giant’s Kit, again first-rate, again brilliant, don’t do anything to solve the riddle.

Paul Simon – Surprise (2006): Half Notes

“Surprise” is right: Sounding more like a spiritual and sonic brother to 1990’s fantastic Wrong Way Up, by Brian Eno and John Cale, Surprise hardly sounds like a Simon album at all. And that’s what seemed to have long-time fans scratching their heads — the odd instrumentation and textures, not to mention Simon’s take on modern lyric writing, didn’t addRead More

Alice Cooper – Brutal Planet (2000): Forgotten series

Alice Cooper – Brutal Planet (2000): Forgotten series

What a record we got after a long layoff for Alice Cooper: ‘Brutal Planet’ was a gut-punch.

Half Notes: Miguel Zenon – Alma Adentro: The Puerto Rican Songbook (2011)

You’ll have little difficulty in finding jazz recordings that seek to transform popular songs into standards. That’s been part and parcel of the tradition from the very beginning. More unusual, however, is someone like saxophonist Miguel Zenon, who so personalizes the shopworn idea on Alama Adentro. Each of the tunes on this forthcoming Marsalis Music release, due Aug. 30, wasRead More

John Hiatt – Dirty Jeans and Mudslide Hymns (2011)

Productive and consistently good are two attributes that don’t usually go together in the record making business, but it’s been John Hiatt’s hallmark for a while, now.