Articles by: S. Victor Aaron

Lists: Underrated jazz pianists Michael Wolff, Hampton Hawes, Monty Alexander, Sonny Clark, Joe Sample

by S. Victor Aaron Piano records are tough to pick, because there’s always the temptation to include records by Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea and Bill Evans: 1) The Michael Wolff Trio; Jumpstart (1995)Before this guy was twenty, he was already good enough to be playing in Julian “Cannonball” Adderley’s band. For this session, he employs Christian McBride and Tony WilliamsRead More

Steely Dan – Everything Must Go (2003)

by S. Victor Aaron After pulling off what could pass as one of the most improbable comebacks in rock history, Steely Dan re-emerges a mere three years later with another serious effort, Everything Must Go. SD modified its approach to this album somewhat to set it apart from the prior, Grammy-winning Two Against Nature, by going back to analog recordingRead More

Maceo Parker – Roots Revisited (1990)

By S. Victor Aaron Call this one, Mo’ Maceo. If you like Maceo Parker, get your hands on Roots Revisited; good, organic funky soul covering classic tunes by giants like Ray Charles (“Them That Got”), Charles Mingus (“Better Get Hit In Yo’ Soul”) and Sly Stone (“In Time”). “Children’s World”, a slight reworking of James Brown’s “It’s A Man’s World”,Read More

John Scofield – Überjam (2002)

Much as Neil Young was the elder godfather to the grunge bands of a decade ago, guitarist John Scofield now enjoys a similar stature among the numerous funk-jazz jam bands that have sprouted up in the wake of the emergence of Medeski, Martin and Wood in the mid-nineties. Many of these young guns found inspiration in Scofield’s funky offerings fromRead More

Lists: Jazz rhythm standouts Peter Erskine, Christian McBride, Tony Williams, Dave Holland

by S. Victor Aaron PETER ERSKINE, Sweet Soul (1991) I’ve got scads of records led by John Abercrombie that show Erskine’s prowess on the skins better than this record. But here, Erskine does such a great job leading an ensemble that shifts from track to track. On some, we are treated to Kenny Werner’s inspired keyboard work and on others,Read More

Lists: Blues harmonica players Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Paul Butterfield

1) Little Walter, “His Best”First gaining fame as a member of Muddy Waters band, Marksville, La.-native Little Walter pioneered the amplified harp sound that is often imitated but has not since been duplicated. Chess Records (now part of MCA) released a “Best” series that rank as one of the best compilation projects in the history of the blues. Walter’s setRead More

Gimme Five: Funky records from Herbie Hancock, Jeff Lorber, Grover Washington Jr., The Crusaders, David Sanborn

This time we look at albums with grooves in the pocket even if they weren’t much in the press: 1) Herbie Hancock, Mr. Hands (1980)The seventies began very creatively for HH, first with the space funk Mwandishi albums followed by the better-known Head Hunters period that firmly eastablished Herbie’s pre-eminance in synthesized instrumental funk. But as the decade wore on,Read More

Something Else! sneak peek: Miles Davis – The Complete 'In a Silent Way' Sessions (2001)

by S. Victor Aaron On the Columbia re-release of Miles Davis’ “The Complete In a Silent Way Sessions” … This 3 cd set covers Miles Davis’ recoding sessions from September, 1968 to February, 1969, chronicalling the line of demarcation between “acoustic Miles” and “electric Miles”. It is an important piece of work for historical reasons, making the listener a flyRead More

Steely Dan – Two Against Nature (2000)

Steely Dan – Two Against Nature (2000)

Twenty years is a long time to go without a proper studio album, but long-suffering fans of Steely Dan finally got relief in February of 2000.

Something Else! Featured Artist: Steely Dan

by S. Victor Aaron 1) Aja (1977)Strong set of songs + note perfect production + top notch musicianship = masterpiece. High point: The Wayne Shorter and Steve Gadd exchange during the extended instrumental passage of the title cut. Low point: Didn’t come with a second LP.

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