Articles by: S. Victor Aaron

Pat Metheny Group – Offramp/ First Circle (1982/1984)

Whenever you examine a great band that’s been going on as long as The Pat Metheny Group has, you can usually look back and find a period where they reached a crucial turning point in their development. They found some initial success with their original sound but after a few years felt themselves growing stale and before the public startedRead More

Build An Ark – Peace With Every Step (2003)

by Pico There’s a good reason why we’re looking at this record on this day. In the wake of the tragic events of September, 11, 2001 and it’s aftermath, L.A. producer Carlos Nino cobbled together a collective of about 20 local area musicians he named Build An Ark with the intent of spreading a message of peace, love and harmonyRead More

One Track Mind: Al Jarreau, "Rainbow In Your Eyes" (1977)

Al Jarreau has found a good measure of success from applying his unique weave of octave shifting singing and jazz scatting to a wide array of songs ranging from jazz standards to r&b to straight pop. And like Linda Ronstadt and Robert Palmer, he’s had a knack for finding someone else’s nugget that few have heard of and making itRead More

Kim Wilson – Lookin’ For Trouble (2003)

If you recall how the Fabulous Thunderbirds sounded early on, before “Tuff Enuff” and all that, they were a throwback to the vintage blues-rock bands. Not of the sixties, mind you, but of the fifties. Back in the day when rock ‘n’ roll had just spun off of the electric blues but the differences between the two were still barelyRead More

One Track Mind: Jerry Garcia/David Grisman, "The Thrill Is Gone" (1991)

by Pico OK, I’ll say it up front: I’ve never been a fan of The Grateful Dead. Don’t know for sure why; after all, I love extended improvisations and the confluence of different styles. And it’s not that I don’t like jam bands; I can listen to the Allman Brothers and Umphrey’s McGee all day. I dunno, maybe it’s becauseRead More

The Crusaders – The 2nd Crusade (1973)

by Pico This selection goes back a ways with me; I’ve saved only a handful of vinyls from my once somewhat-vast collection and this vintage ABC-Blue Thumb double LP was spared from that dreaded garage sale. It’s also one of the few expensive import CD’s I was begrudgingly willing to ante up for (note the Japanese script on the leftRead More

Something Else! Featured Artist: Dave Holland Quintet

For me, Dave Holland is one of those guys who has stood for excellence in almost four decades of recording, dating back to the In A Silent Way recordings and before. Yup, it’s time to devote space giving him mad props. Put on your raincoat and rain boots, ‘cos I’m gettin’ ready to slobber and gush. In My Humble Opinion,Read More

One Track Mind: Ben Folds Five, "Jane" (1999)

Like last week’s OTM, we’re profiling a song played by a pianist whose preferred method of attack is the trio format. Aside than that, there’s nothing that could be more different about today’s flavor, as we go from a twenty-six minute long cerebral jazz track to a three minute pop tune. And since it’s pop, I’m not going to botherRead More

David Stryker – Shades Of Miles (1998)

by Pico Lately it seems every other article I write has some sort of Miles Davis connection to it (and I have yet another piece about a Davis sideman sitting in the pipeline). But as a lover of the early style of fusion as well as just about any form of adventurous jazz, it’s hard to ignore the man’s vastRead More

Gov't Mule – High And Mighty (2006)

by Pico Whoa, what’s this? A review on a hot-out-of-the-oven release of a rock record by a well known band…from this site? We’re supposed to stick with old records and/or out of the mainstream stuff, right? Hey, we like our rock ‘n’ roll too, and there’s even a few guys on today’s scene we follow. Especially guys like Gov’t Mule.Read More