Articles by: S. Victor Aaron

One Track Mind: Allan Holdsworth, "The Drums Were Yellow" (2000)

photo: Genevieve Ruocco Of all the rock or fusion guitarists out there, there’s none out there who possesses the most pleasing tone, amazing technique and exceptional phrasing all wrapped up into one than the Brit Allan Holdsworth. He’s is a guitarist’s guitarist, having influenced everyone from Eddie Van Halen to Greg Howe. Holdsworth had been a journeyman for many years,Read More

Guilty pleasures: Gino Vannelli, Michael Franks, Hall & Oates, Jeff Lorber

by S. Victor Aaron Guilty pleasures. Admit it, we’ve all got ’em when it comes to music. For some time, now, I’ve been meaning to put a list together for everyone’s amusement. I was reminded of that half-serious promise I made to myself when I came across Rolling Stone Magazine’s back-handed compliment piece listing 25 “undisputed” guilty pleasure bands. Yeah,Read More

Chicago, “A Hit By Varèse” from Chicago V (1972): Deep Cuts

Chicago, “A Hit By Varèse” from Chicago V (1972): Deep Cuts

Fewer bands in rock have been more unjustly maligned than Chicago. Now, I’m no fan of the David Foster years, but being responsible for some of the shlockiest pop of that era doesn’t diminish the more innovative and ambitious output of the seventies, especially those first five albums.

One Track Mind: Anders Osborne "Boxes, Bills and Pain" (1999)

by Pico One of the coolest things about being a music fan is that no matter how much music you’ve already listened to, you can always discover great new talent that will sound fresh and exciting to your ears. Even if the talent has been around a while and is only “new” to you. Recently, I’ve been exploring the musicRead More

Herbie Hancock – Fat Albert Rotunda (1969)

The period in Herbie Hancock’s work between the landmark Maiden Voyage of 1965 and the funk-jazz classic Head Hunters eight years later contains some of Hancock’s least understood and most overlooked recordings of his career. It took quite a voyage to get from “Dolphin Dance” to “Chameleon” and as is often said, the journey itself is often more interesting thanRead More

Billy Martin/John Medeski – Mago (2007)

For well over a decade, Medeski, Martin and Wood (henceforth referred to as “MMW”) has been to acid jazz what Crosby, Stills & Nash is to folk-rock. A group at the top of the heap consisting of three extraordinary talents, and whose main releases are richly supplemented with temporary configuration change-ups and notable side projects. Heck, MMW even have theirRead More

Something Else! Interview: Vocalist Heidi McCurdy

A little more than a month ago I covered a self-released album by a Vancouver, British Columbia-based jazz-pop vocalist by the name of Heidi McCurdy. Heidi’s music is a prime example of the great singing and composing talent out there still unsigned and undiscovered by a record company. Fickle Mind is a fine document of such talent, a document thatRead More

One Track Mind: Lizz Wright, "Trouble" (2005)

by Pico In the last three or four years, Georgia native Lizz Wright has created a stir in the same folk-jazz circles that Cassandra Wilson, Nina Simone and Oleta Adams have made their names in, but with her 2005 release Dreaming Wide Awake, she moved further into Sarah McLachlan territory. The Wilson connection became stronger with the recruitment of Cassandra’sRead More

Umphrey's McGee, The Bottom Half (2007)

Photo credit: Danny Clinch by Pico Nothing screams “non-hardcore fans need not apply” than a collection of outtakes, unfinished tracks and main release rejects. But today (April 3), jam band Umphrey’s McGee is introducing such an album, The Bottom Half to the public, and I’m happy to report that that this sextet has plenty of the good stuff leftover forRead More

One Track Mind: Jaco Pastorius Big Band, "Barbary Coast" (2003)

by Pico The first time I heard “Barbary Coast” was when I got halfway through the second side of a vinyl copy Weather Report’s Black Market I had just purchased, and I wasn’t terribly impressed with it then. In this rendering, it was a three minute one-chord bass riff decorated with Joe Zawinul’s chintzy synthesizers. It was also Jaco’s firstRead More

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