Archive for June, 2013

Nick DeRiso’s Mid-Year Best Of 2013 (Live and Reissues): Ringo Starr, Otis Redding, ELO, Greg Lake

Nick DeRiso’s Mid-Year Best Of 2013 (Live and Reissues): Ringo Starr, Otis Redding, ELO, Greg Lake

The standard for making this list is that these projects — some lavish remastering jobs, others new live interpretations — illuminate corners of an artist’s work that we’d never noticed before.

Forgotten series: Hardin and York – The World’s Smallest Big Band (1970)

This two-man band’s second album from 1970, featuring ex-Spencer Davis Group members Eddie Hardin (vocal/organ) and Pete York (drums/percussion), somehow managed to fill out the sound together.

Kim Kalman – At Last (2013)

Kim Kalman, whose grandfather was mid-century big band leader George Kindler, reconnects with the sounds and styles of that bygone era on At Last – and reanimates some shopworn classics along the way.

Steely Dan Sunday, “Sign In Stranger [Live]” (1995)

Steely Dan Sunday, “Sign In Stranger [Live]” (1995)

<<< BACKWARD (“Kid Charlemagne [Live]”) ||| ONWARD (“Aja [Live]”) >>> *** STEELY DAN SUNDAY INDEX *** How do you follow-up an iconic rock, funk rave-up like “Kid Charlemagne”?

Syrinx Effect – gnarly & sweet (2013)

As members of Seattle’s vibrant, underrated improvised music scene, Kate Olsen and Naomi Siegel are rising stars there who have pooled their creative talents into the project Syrinx Effect. Olson plays soprano sax and Siegel the trombone, but there’s more to this duo than just two horns.

S. Victor Aaron’s Mid-Year Best of 2013  (Non-Jazz): Harper/ Musselwhite, Robben Ford, Tommy Malone

S. Victor Aaron’s Mid-Year Best of 2013 (Non-Jazz): Harper/ Musselwhite, Robben Ford, Tommy Malone

If you were to go back and check the choices I made at the middle of 2012 for non-jazz albums released the first six months of that year, you’d find the artists being awarded were among the biggest hitmakers

On Second Thought: Wye Oak – Civilian (2011)

Baltimore-based Wye Oak took their name from a majestic 460-year-old tree that was finally felled by a lightning in 2002. Playing off their namesake, drummer Andy Stack and guitarist/vocalist Jenn Wasner make music that is sturdy and resilient

One Track Mind: Ironing Board Sam, “Nothing But Your Butt” from Double Bang (2013)

Deliriously unself-conscious, and funky as hell, “Nothing But Your Butt” rumbles out like a throwback, sex-obsessed ’70s soul number — right down to Ironing Board Sam’s recitation of his love interest’s physical dimensions.

(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny, “Sirabhorn” (1976)

(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny, “Sirabhorn” (1976)

Only the 2nd tune in the Metheny catalog and we already have an example of Pat’s Midwestern sound. The chiming opening bars have that open, pastoral sound that Metheny has said is rooted in his Missouri upbringing.

Fred Phillips’ Mid-Year Best Of 2013 (Hard Rock and Metal): Tom Keifer, Black Sabbath, Skid Row

Fred Phillips’ Mid-Year Best Of 2013 (Hard Rock and Metal): Tom Keifer, Black Sabbath, Skid Row

It’s been a really solid year for hard rock and metal so far. At six months, I’m often adding mediocre albums that I know won’t make the final list to get to 10. This year, I actually had to make a tough call or two.