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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

One Track Mind: Mike Keneally "Draconian Blump" (1999)

Mike Keneally is one of those quirky, super-talented guitarists who can be creative in just about any setting. Part of a line of Frank Zappa inspired axe men that includes the likes of Buckethead, the late Shawn Lane and Steve Vai, Keneally also excels on keyboards and percussion…and even sings. His instrumental Nonkertompf album of 1999 is a real jerky,Read More

Gimme Five: Five fantastic debut albums of jazz

by Pico A while back we looked at some of jazz’s most notable swan songs, a short, but certainly not complete list of the best last recordings of some jazz greats. So, what about some of the best beginnings? Here I will list five of what I’d consider some of the finest debut albums in jazz. As before, this isn’tRead More

Heidi McCurdy, "Fickle Mind" (2006)

by Pico Out of the vibrant music community of greater Vancouver, British Columbia, the same scene that gave the world Diana Krall and Sarah McLachlan, is another female vocalist who’s been influenced by both but has forged a style of her own. And unlike the other two, she is waiting to be discovered. Her name: Heidi McCurdy. Heidi is aRead More

Forgotten series: Johnnie Johnson – Blue Hand Johnnie (1987)

Many is the legend with a forgotten sideman who helped make him great. Count among them Johnnie Johnson, the sleeper pick’s sleeper. See, you’ve been listening to him for years, as the barreling bar-room pianist in those old Chuck Berry records. Do yourself a favor, if you love that early rockin’-88 style of pop music: Pick up this release onRead More

Machine & the Synergetic Nuts – Leap Second Neutral (2005)

by Pico “Machine & the Synergetic Nuts”. What kind of music does that band moniker conjure up in your mind? New wave? Neo-prog? Goth metal? Vintage psychedelic rock? How about avant jazz-rock? At least that’s the closest I can come to describing this compelling instrumental music. This isn’t the first time this space was used to pimp an album thatRead More

Donald Fagen – Kamakiriad (1993)

*** STEELY DAN SUNDAY INDEX *** NICK DERISO: I was a huge Steely Dan fan, so I once bought even the individual releases, pining for those lost moments of the 1970s. Meaning: I was ready to love Fagen’s second solo album. Bought it out of the box, hoping for “Aja” with a ’90s spin. What I got was the sameRead More

One Track Mind: Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, "Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World" (1993)

by Pico I’ve never been much of a movie watcher, and less of a fan of movie soundtracks. But back in 2000 I rented the then-new release Finding Forrester, a movie that featured Sean Connery. And while the movie itself was good, I couldn’t help but to notice what an outstanding and adventurous collection of songs chosen to adorn theRead More

The Soft Machine – Middle Earth Masters (2007)

One of the greatest unheralded rock bands to come out of the UK in the sixties was a group of musical misfits called The Soft Machine. This combo was among the earliest and most influential bands from Britain’s Canterbury Scene in the middle of the decade; a loose fraternity that also provided the genesis for Gong, Caravan and Henry Cow.Read More

Something Else! Guide: Mardi Gras in New Orleans

NICK DERISO: As Mardi Gras dawns in a reborn New Orleans, we provide your cool-rocking road map to some recommended local hot spots. Now, most will say Preservation Hall, next to Pat O’s. But that’s overrated, and too crowded for our tastes. A sampling from elsewhere — though the list is by no means complete: 1: DONNA’S BAR AND GRILL.Read More

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