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Bill Evans, Everybody Digs Bill Evans (1958)

by S. Victor Aaron The classic record showcasing the masterful piano of a just-maturing Bill Evans is back. More to the point, it returns in 24-bit remastered form as part of Orrin Keepnews’currently running “Keepnews Collection” reissue campaign, straight from the original producer of such notable jazz records by Chet Baker, Art Blakey, Joe Henderson (which was recently covered here),Read More

Sam Yahel Trio, Truth And Beauty (2007)

by Pico Joey deFrancesco. Tony Monaco. Larry Goldings. Barbara Dennerlein. All at the forefront of the current generation of jazz organists and heirs to the mantle of Jimmy Smith, Charles Earland and Jack McDuff. Oh yeah, there’s one more notable: Sam Yahel. But with the release this week of his fourth effort Truth And Beauty, Yahel is making the caseRead More

Something Else! Interview: Swamp pop legend Tony Joe White

ยท Nick’s note: Tony Joe White, of “Poke Salad Annie” and “Rainy Night in Georgia” fame, played the most recent New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival — just months after issuing a well-received new CD in late 2006. Eight years in the making, “Uncovered” included seven new cuts as well as reworked versions of “Rainy Night in Georgia,” “Taking theRead More

Lil' Ed and the Blues Imperials – Rattleshake (2006)

Ed Williams, a good-time throwback, is as much bluesman and blue blood — his uncle and musical mentor was the great slide guitarist J.B. Hutto — so it’s certainly no surprise that he strikes a determined retro stance on “Rattleshake.” What’s cool is that he keeps pulling it off. Mature and easy going, Williams’ band was perhaps framed up bestRead More

Deep Cuts: Aerosmith, "Seasons Of Wither" (1974)

Familiar band, not-so-familiar song. But perhaps it should be more familiar. Sinister, sophisticated and beautiful in a evocative way, “Seasons Of Wither” represented a major advancement in the maturation of the then-fledgling band. In a time dominated by the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith served notice that they’ll tip their hat to those superstar bands of gritty rock, butRead More

Journey, “Don’t Stop Believin'” (1981): One Track Mind

Tony Soprano tucked into a booth at a New Jersey diner, one of those old-time places with a selection of jukebox tunes right at the table. He considered, briefly, something by Tony Bennett, then went with Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin,’” and the final, controversial, moments of HBO’s “The Sopranos” — one of television’s most challenging series — began to unfold.

Forgotten series: Bernie Worrell – Blacktronic Science (1993)

NICK DERISO: From the trembling strains of the first harpsichord notes here, to the rappy backbeat that follows, to the bubbling funk from later on, to the hard jazz moving through this album after that, it’s clear … Bernie Worrell — the original keyboardist with Parliament-Funkadelic— is crazy. But in a good way. And we were only on track four.Read More

Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets – Blast Off (2006)

NICK DERISO: The Rockets were an undeniably crisp, hard-working blues band in the early 1980s, respectable if a little nondescript. Darrell Nulish handled vocals and harmonica, fronting a group led by the unusually named, and just as unusually talented, guitarist Anson Funderburgh. The basis for “Blast Off,” a 1992 retrospective called “Thru The Years” on Black Top Records, actually devotedRead More

Michael Brecker – Pilgrimage (2007)

photo by Darryl Pitt by S. Victor Aaron Michael Brecker’s untimely passing at age 57 last January was, to me at least, one of the bigger blows to jazz music in a long time. But this piece isn’t going to be a eulogy to him because we’ve covered that already. Instead, it’s a celebration of some terrific music he posthumouslyRead More

Porcupine Tree, “Fear Of A Blank Planet” (2007): One Track Mind

I tried but, damnit, I just couldn’t ignore Fear Of A Blank Planet any longer. Whenever someone asks me who among the current crop of prog rock bands they should explore, Porcupine Tree is always on the top of my list. While I enjoy Yes-reincarnated outfits like Spock’s Beard, PT seems to be one of the few earnestly trying toRead More

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