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Bob Dylan – The Bootleg Series, Vol. 1-3 (1991)

Filled with outtakes, rarities and in-studio goof-offs, this is more revealing, even, than the sprawling 50-something track “Biograph” set. And, in fact, loaded with more songs.

Bob Dylan – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963)

As I continue digesting downloaded snippets from the soon-to-be-released Bob Dylan record Modern Times (which was “leaked” by Sony on Friday), I got to digging through the old stuff. Thought I’d pass along the occasional thought until Dylan’s first CD in five years is officially distributed on Aug. 29 …

Miles Davis – The Complete ‘In A Silent Way’ Sessions (1968-69)

Miles Davis – The Complete ‘In A Silent Way’ Sessions (1968-69)

‘In a Silent Way’ is the demarcation line between Miles Davis’ acoustic, straight-jazz era and the electric jazz-rock fusion sound to come.

Pharoah Sanders – Journey To The One (1980)

By S. Victor Aaron When Nick’s article on that badass Idris Muhammed started name-checking all the jazz heavyweights that this great dummer had been associated with, I then realized how many records with his imprint that are among some of my all time favorites. It would easy to launch into a gush-fest over John Scofield’s Groove Elation, but Sco’ hasRead More

'Sweet' Sam Myers (1936-2006): An Appreciation

by Nick DeRiso Throat cancer got Sam Myers today, all the sadder since he was nothing if not this throaty, memorable blues singer and harpist. A towering, nearly blind seer, Myers (almost always with Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets as his accompaniment) used to practically burn down the stage at a club I once owned, smoking both literally and figuratively.

Forgotten series: Idris Muhammad – Power of Soul (1974)

by Nick DeRiso Was grooving to a 2002 reissue of the titanic groovefest ‘Power of Soul’ tonight, and got to thinking about Idris Muhammad – a funk and jazz drummer of the first order, born in New Orleans as Leo Morris. He started out, of course, playing in soul bands, and some great ones – with Larry Williams and JerryRead More

Aaron Neville, indefinable Louisiana legend: Something Else! Interview

Aaron Neville, indefinable Louisiana legend: Something Else! Interview

It’s hard to put a label on Aaron Neville’s music. Even, as we saw in this interview, for Aaron Neville himself.

Peter Gabriel – Us (1992)

by Nick DeRiso “Us” was a cool blending of Peter Gabriel‘s 1986 hit “So” and “Passion,” his 1989 soundtrack for Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ.” But even though that is certainly welcome, “Us” was no step backward. Save for “Fourteen Black Paintings” — the only song here that touches on Gabriel’s penchant for the political — “Us” findsRead More

Rhino's DiY series; Husker Du – Zen Arcade; and Rollins Band – The End of the Silence

by Nick DeRiso A pair of early 1990s Rhino compilations, all punky guts and art-rock pretention – without being pretentious – showed how the Do It Yourself aesthetic was given great depth by the almighty hook. Taken together, they’re a nice overview of the British punk explosion and the last days of the UK power-pop days. There’s some overlap, tooRead More

Forgotten series: Shines and Lockwood – Johnny Shines and Robert Lockwood (1993)

by Nick DeRiso While the performances on “Johnny Shines and Robert Lockwood,” from Shreveport, Louisiana’s Paula Records, are first-rate, unfortunately the sound quality early on is spotty. Some of the source material was slightly damaged on the Shines sides, resulting in a couple of gurgly spots where the sound falls out completely. Sit tight, however, This eventually works out.