Articles by: S. Victor Aaron

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

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

Close