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.

Half Notes: Paul Simon – Surprise (2006)

by Tom Johnson “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 lyricRead More

Forgotten series: Alice Cooper – Brutal Planet (2000)

by Fred Phillips As I await next month’s release of Alice Cooper’s latest record Welcome 2 My Nightmare — with much more anticipation, I might add, now that I’ve heard some samples — I decided to revisit my favorite of his more modern efforts.

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.