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Noah Haidu, “They Who??” from Infinite Distances (2017): Something Else! exclusive stream

Noah Haidu, “They Who??” from Infinite Distances (2017): Something Else! exclusive stream

The graceful finesse that Haidu has mastered from countless gigs and mentoring from the likes of Kenny Barron and David Hazeltine bear sweet fruit on his composition “They Who??”.

Fred Phillips’ Best Hard Rock and Metal of 2016: Anthrax, Testament, Rob Zombie, Dead Daisies

Fred Phillips’ Best Hard Rock and Metal of 2016: Anthrax, Testament, Rob Zombie, Dead Daisies

As you go through my Best Hard Rock and Metal of 2016 list, you’ll see why I’m calling it the year of the classic thrash band.

Dave Holland, Chris Potter, Lionel Loueke, Eric Harland – Aziza (2016)

Dave Holland, Chris Potter, Lionel Loueke, Eric Harland – Aziza (2016)

Across four careers that leave nothing left to prove, Holland, Potter, Harland and Loueke look to each other for further inspiration on ‘Aziza.’

Richard Pinhas, Tatsuya Yoshida & Merzbow – Process & Reality (2016)

Richard Pinhas, Tatsuya Yoshida & Merzbow – Process & Reality (2016)

On the powerful and unrelenting ‘Process and Reality’, Yoshida’s thunderous drums provide the adrenaline as Pinhas and Merzbow supply the clinical soul.

Fred Phillips’ Best Country and Southern Rock of 2016: Jackson Taylor, Hank Jr., Whiskey Myers

Fred Phillips’ Best Country and Southern Rock of 2016: Jackson Taylor, Hank Jr., Whiskey Myers

A very topical album, a group of overlooked Southern rockers and the return of a country legend highlight this Best Country and Southern Rock of 2016 list.

Richard Pinhas & Barry Cleveland (feat. Michael Manring & Celso Alberti) – Mu (2016)

Richard Pinhas & Barry Cleveland (feat. Michael Manring & Celso Alberti) – Mu (2016)

Lush, attenuated and unpredictable soundscapes by looping and effects guitar masters make ‘Mu’ a major entry in the celebrated catalogs of both Pinhas and Cleveland.

Alphonse Mouzon (1948-2016): Tribute to an Endlessly Versatile Fusion Legend

Alphonse Mouzon (1948-2016): Tribute to an Endlessly Versatile Fusion Legend

Alphonse Mouzon was a seminal force in the birth of fusion, and also had a notable impact on rock.

Preston Frazier’s Best Jazz of 2016: Marquis Hill, Dave Stryker, Manu Katche + others

Preston Frazier’s Best Jazz of 2016: Marquis Hill, Dave Stryker, Manu Katche + others

Preston Frazier’s Best Jazz of 2016 list crosses a striking number of musical boundaries from straight-ahead jazz to vocalists to fusion.

The Band’s ‘Christmas Must Be Tonight’ Remains an Unjustly Overlooked Holiday Classic

The Band’s ‘Christmas Must Be Tonight’ Remains an Unjustly Overlooked Holiday Classic

The Band’s perhaps too ambitious “Christmas Must Be Tonight” never became the seasonal favorite it should have been.

Happy Place – Northfield (2016)

Happy Place – Northfield (2016)

The music from Happy Place’s ‘Northfield’ wouldn’t readily be described as cheerful, but it’s intended as a cathartic release, and that’s just what it achieves.