Articles by: S. Victor Aaron

Studebaker John – Between Life And Death (2004)

by Pico When you look at the blues scene today, some of the best out there can do one or two things well. Studebaker John, however, is a quadruple threat. He can compose, sing, play guitar and play blues harp, and do all of these things better than most. The only other bluesman I can think of with that muchRead More

One Track Mind: North Mississippi Allstars, "51 Phantom" (2001)

by Pico Much like jazz, most young people get introduced to the blues from artists who mix it with a more mainstream type of music, which usually means rock. Twenty years ago Stevie Ray Vaughan’s music was the gateway to the straight blues while the young Jonny Lang led the way there near the turn of the millennium. Today’s bluesRead More

Mr. Mister – Welcome To The Real World (1985)

Love is so strangeHow we change from day to nightLove is so strangeHow we change from black to white The music of our childhood and early adulthood…it seems that no matter how crappy the music is of the time, there’s still a strong, lasting connection to it. Recently I’ve been listening to some of the albums I’ve used to blastRead More

One Track Mind: Robben Ford, "Lovin’ Cup" (1999)

Poor Robben Ford, he’s just too dadgummed good for his own good. Both a versatile and virtuosic guitar player, Ford can sound at home in so many different styles that he’s often struggled to find one that would give him an identifiable imprint. To be sure, everyone who knows guitar knows that Robben is a god, but is he aRead More

Soulive – Break Out (2005)

> by Pico Jam bands seem to come in all kinds of flavors. The Allman Brothers took blues-rock, mixed it with soul and jazz and stretched it out. Grateful Dead was into a psychedelic kind of folk while Phish was known for their eclecticism and thrived on absurdity. Virtuosos Derek Trucks and Jonas Hellborg use the extended form as aRead More

One Track Mind: Ray Charles, "Night Time Is the Right Time (Live)" (1958)

by Pico Ray Charles had been such a fixture on the American music scene for so long, it’s still hard to reconcile the fact that he’s been gone for over two years, now. True, it’s been a long time since he had a bona fide hit but his presence permeated our culture through the music of others. But y’all alreadyRead More

Laura Nyro – Live at the Bottom Line (1988)

by S. Victor Aaron Ever put in a CD for the first time not expecting any fireworks from the music contained within and find yourself surprisingly blown away by it? That’s how it was for me the first time I listened to Laura Nyro’s Laura: Live At The Bottom Line. Now, my expectations weren’t low because I had some lukewarmRead More

One Track Mind: Papa Mali & The Instagators, "Man Of Many Words"

by Pico It was a tough call to make: do I pimp Papa Mali’s entire 1999 release Thunder Chicken or just quickly gush over just one of the tracks? There’s certainly enough tasty bits in Chicken to justify the full unpaid advertisement (and come to think of it, I already wrote the first review of it in Amazon more thanRead More

Freddie Hubbard – Red Clay (1970)

Whenever the topic of discussion is a major work of early jazz fusion led by a trumpeter who’s already of renown in the straight jazz arena, most anybody would immediately think of the Prince Of Darkness. But Miles wasn’t the only cat on the horn making the successful transition from acoustic to electric jazz without loss of integrity. Before hisRead More

One Track Mind: Nels Cline, "Compulsion" (2006)

by S. Victor Aaron Heavy metal is not the kind of music I get into that much, but combine it with avant garde jazz and it’s often a whole ‘nother story. Caspar Brotzmann, The Scorch Trio, parts of The Vandermark 5; these guys have a way of making two seemingly incompatible worlds collide but the two genres are probably closerRead More

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