Hip Hop

Bryan Murray – Balto! (2014)

Bryan Murray – Balto! (2014)

Bryan Murray’s nutty but endearing hip hop/jazz hybrid ‘Balto!’ is a homegrown concoction worth checking out.

D’Angelo and the Vanguard – Black Messiah (2014)

D’Angelo and the Vanguard – Black Messiah (2014)

With D’Angelo’s pertinent message, color-blurring harmonics and a total lack of slickness, ‘Black Messiah’ is a worthy successor to ‘Voodoo.’

Body Count – Manslaughter (2014)

This long-awaited follow up is, in some ways, superior to their debut album.

One Track Mind: Body Count, “Talk Sh*t, Get Shot” from Manslaughter (2014)

There’s little, if any, redeeming value to the message. And yet I can’t get the song out of my head.

Ozomatli – Place In The Sun (2014)

I can say without reservation that the Los Angeles-based Ozomatli puts on the best live show I’ve ever experienced. The term “show” doesn’t do the band’s live gigs justice since the audience can’t help but be caught up in the “Ozobeat.” There’s no passive involvement in an Ozomatli concert.

Brad Mehldau and Mark Guiliana – Mehliana: Taming the Dragon (2014)

Forget everything you know about Brad Mehldau, who rose to fame via contemplative classical-leaning reimagingings of pop songs at an acoustic piano. This isn’t that. It isn’t even jazz

Beyonce – Beyonce (2013)

Beyonce – Beyonce (2013)

Beyoncé’s eponymous fifth album took many by surprise with its release on December 13 via iTunes without any hype or promotion, but perhaps what’s most surprising – and exhilarating – about this release is the actual music

Jaimeo Brown – Transcendence (2013)

Jaimeo Brown’s work on the forthcoming Transcendence reflects the stirring continuity of traditions, as Deep South gospel is melded with blues is melded with jazz is melded with rock is melded with hip hop is melded with electronica.

‘The major rip-off of all time': The Police’s Andy Summers is still fuming over Puff Daddy sample

‘The major rip-off of all time': The Police’s Andy Summers is still fuming over Puff Daddy sample

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyAcS6ajrKQ&w=500&h=355] Imagine guitarist Andy Summers’ surprise when he heard his iconic riff from the Police’s “Every Breath You Take” for the first time as part of a Puff Daddy song — on his kid’s radio.

The Friday Morning Listen: The Roots – The Roots Come Alive (1999)

Ah, the year’s end approaches and I’m sitting here thinking about coming up with some cohesive statement about the 365 days gone by. Or rather, I’m actually at a remove…thinking about the person in his chair who’s struggling to figure out what goes in box. The truth is, that person is very, very tired. By the events of the year?Read More