Articles by: S. Victor Aaron

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

Dave Liebman – Back On The Corner (2007)

by Pico Ever since Miles Davis passed away in 1991, there’s been endless Miles tribute albums by artists influenced by him whether by listening to him or even by playing with him. More recently, tribute albums have focused more on the enigmatic electric period and we even covered a few of them already, such as one by David Stryker. JazzRead More

One Track Mind: Larry Young, "The Moontrane" (1965)

by S. Victor Aaron Yesterday I was struggling to nail down a One Track Mind track to cover when Larry Young's Lawrence of Newark came up on the Pico Pod. Then I realized how much the organ players have been neglected from this series. If we're going to make amends here, then there's probably no better choice for highlight aRead More

Gimme Five: Say what?!? Jazz’s most surprising albums

“Jazz is the sound of surprise”–jazz critic Whitney Balliett, 1926-2007 Sometimes you think you know a musician and his tendencies, or that he’s always played the kind of music you’ve known him to play. Over the course of pursuing my curiosity about certain artists, I’ve stumbled upon some rather peculiar recordings that went totally against my preconceptions of the artistRead More

One Track Mind: McCoy Tyner "Once I Loved" (1975)

by Pico Back when I was a young man in my twenties, I had frequent cravings for testosterone-driven jams—just like any young man does. But while some of my buds got their fix through the likes of Van Halen, AC/DC or Metallica, I often turned to McCoy Tyner. McCoy Tyner? Absolutely, why not. He’s brash, in-your-face, and percussive, just likeRead More

Julie Dexter/Khari Simmons Moon Bossa (2007)

by Pico Ever since Stan Getz, João Gilberto and Charlie Byrd have introduced American audiences to the Brazilian-flavored cool-jazz sounds of Antonio Carlos Jobim, bossa nova has assumed a permanent and prominent place in jazz history. For generations now, people have danced, swayed and just chilled out to the distinctive, 8/4 time and romantic vibe. But the sub-genre has beenRead More

One Track Mind: Mike Keneally "Draconian Blump" (1999)

Mike Keneally is one of those quirky, super-talented guitarists who can be creative in just about any setting. Part of a line of Frank Zappa inspired axe men that includes the likes of Buckethead, the late Shawn Lane and Steve Vai, Keneally also excels on keyboards and percussion…and even sings. His instrumental Nonkertompf album of 1999 is a real jerky,Read More

Gimme Five: Five fantastic debut albums of jazz

by Pico A while back we looked at some of jazz’s most notable swan songs, a short, but certainly not complete list of the best last recordings of some jazz greats. So, what about some of the best beginnings? Here I will list five of what I’d consider some of the finest debut albums in jazz. As before, this isn’tRead More

Heidi McCurdy, "Fickle Mind" (2006)

by Pico Out of the vibrant music community of greater Vancouver, British Columbia, the same scene that gave the world Diana Krall and Sarah McLachlan, is another female vocalist who’s been influenced by both but has forged a style of her own. And unlike the other two, she is waiting to be discovered. Her name: Heidi McCurdy. Heidi is aRead More

Machine & the Synergetic Nuts – Leap Second Neutral (2005)

by Pico “Machine & the Synergetic Nuts”. What kind of music does that band moniker conjure up in your mind? New wave? Neo-prog? Goth metal? Vintage psychedelic rock? How about avant jazz-rock? At least that’s the closest I can come to describing this compelling instrumental music. This isn’t the first time this space was used to pimp an album thatRead More