Archive for March, 2016

Hiromi – Spark (2016)

Hiromi – Spark (2016)

‘Spark’ is Hiromi’s fourth go aorund with a formula that might get a little tiresome by now if she wasn’t so danged daring and exuberant in how she goes about it.

Rob Mazurek Quintet’s hypnotic, diverse Sound Is rewarded close listens

Rob Mazurek Quintet’s hypnotic, diverse Sound Is rewarded close listens

‘Sound Is,’ released in March 2009 by the then-newly formed Rob Mazurek Quintet, remains a treat for those with big, open ears.

Toto, “I Won’t Hold You Back” from Toto IV (1982): Toto Tuesdays

Toto, “I Won’t Hold You Back” from Toto IV (1982): Toto Tuesdays

Up until ‘Toto IV,’ the vast majority of Toto ballads had been written by David Paich. Steve Lukather’s “I Won’t Hold You Back” changed the paradigm.

The Beatles, “Piggies” from The White Album (1968): Deep Beatles

The Beatles, “Piggies” from The White Album (1968): Deep Beatles

As politics continues to dominate the news in this U.S. election season, the Beatles’ “Piggies” resonates stronger than ever.

Chicago, “Introduction” from Chicago Transit Authority (1969): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, “Introduction” from Chicago Transit Authority (1969): Saturdays in the Park

Today, we begin a multi-writer, song-by-song examination of the music of Chicago, and where better to launch than the aptly named “Introduction” from their debut release, ‘Chicago Transit Authority’?

Supersonic Blues Machine – West of Flushing, South of Frisco (2016)

Supersonic Blues Machine – West of Flushing, South of Frisco (2016)

The all-star Supersonic Blues Machine invited famous friends like Billy Gibbons and Warren Haynes over for the sizzling debut ‘West of Flushing, South of Frisco.’

David Fiuczynski – Flam! Blam! Pan-Asian MicroJam (2016)

David Fiuczynski – Flam! Blam! Pan-Asian MicroJam (2016)

Once you accept the weird, wonderful microtonal world of David Fiuczynski, the universe gets much, much bigger. And better, too.

The People Band – Live at Cafe Oto (2016)

The People Band – Live at Cafe Oto (2016)

Audiences have finally caught up with the People Band, and ‘Live at Cafe Oto’ is the perfect road map to guide them forward.

Vijay Iyer and Wadada Leo Smith – a cosmic rhythm with each stroke (2016)

Vijay Iyer and Wadada Leo Smith – a cosmic rhythm with each stroke (2016)

Iyer and Smith’s ‘a cosmic rhythm with each stroke’ is an encounter of two distinct voices from two distinct generations but of a single, spiritual mind.

Yes, “Heart of the Sunrise” from Fragile (1971): YESterdays

Yes, “Heart of the Sunrise” from Fragile (1971): YESterdays

Is “Heart of the Sunrise” about the power of the sun – or being lost in a city? Whatever the concept, this represents Yes at the peak of their powers.