Archive for December, 2011

One Track Mind: Nancy Wilson, "What Are You Doing New Year's?" (1963)

A lot of singers have sung this one, from Nat “King” Cole and Johnny Mathis to Diana Krall and the Orioles, the post-war R&B vocal quartet. For me, though, Nancy Wilson’s has always been the definitive reading.

Southside Johnny with LaBamba’s Big Band – Grapefruit Moon: Songs of Tom Waits (2008)

There are times when a person experiences moments of such extreme happiness that it’s difficult to contain the emotion. I suspect that even the most curmudgeonly people have them. I should know, because I have my moments of curmudgeon on a daily basis. Anyway…for me, this “super-happy” can feel like the top of my head popped off, letting a streamRead More

Jimmy Owens – The Monk Project (2012)

I was struck, time and again, by the considered, almost slow-motion attention to detail here, as trumpeter Jimmy Owens and Co. tease out every blues-soaked nuance from the oft-heard music of Thelonious Monk.

On Second Thought: Led Zeppelin – How The West Was Won (2003)

It is impossible to deny Led Zeppelin their right to the moniker “kings of rock ‘n roll.” Twenty-plus years after their demise, all they had to do was release a giant new live box.

Readers' Top 10 for 2011: Favorites included Jethro Tull, Transatlantic, Paul Motian

Time to let you have your say. We made a series of lists, checked them twice, then published our best-ofs. But what better way to end things than with the annual SER Readers’ Top 10? Here are your albums of the year

Jeremy – Guitar Heaven (2011)

At this point, Jeremy Morris probably needs no introduction, as he has been incredibly active in music for 30 long years. There’s no doubt he’s one of the most prolific artists around.

Aimee Mann – @#%&*! Smilers (2008)

Few can make the state of human despondency sound quite as lush and beautiful as Aimee Mann, there is no doubt about that.

Half Notes: Jennifer Cuttings' Ocean Orchestra – Song of Solstice (2011)

An uplifting shard of Celtic sunlight amidst the shivery glimmerings of winter, Jennifer Cutting’s rousing Song of Solstice is garland of emerald-island legacy pieces, serenely beautiful carols and majestic folk songs — all performed with age-old instrumentation of accordion, fiddle, whistle and bagpipes. Themes focus not just on the joys and disappointments of the holiday seasons (“Voici la Noel,” “ChristmasRead More

The Friday Morning Listen: Pat Metheny Group – Imaginary Day (1997)

I’m one of those people who tend to not remember their dreams. Most mornings, I have a feeling that some dreams have come to pass, but couldn’t tell you about any of them in much detail.

Something Else! sneak peek: Martin Sexton – Fall Like Rain (2012)

Not so much so-called “new folk” as an interesting distillation of country, blues, gospel and soul, Martin Sexton since his out-of-nowhere self-produced 1991 cassette debut has become the very definition of modern-day troubadour.