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Derrick Gardner And The Jazz Prophets – A Ride To The Other Side (2008)

by Pico The title A Ride To The Other Side isn’t intended to mean anything deep, but nevertheless the music is a thrill ride to the side of that soulful funky acoustic jazz of the sixties. Trumpet player Derrick Gardner is firmly behind the wheel driving that bus. Derrick Gardner, the forty-two year-old son of accomplished musicians with PhD’s, earnedRead More

Forgotten series: Hip Linkchain – Airbusters (1989)

NICK DERISO: To put it bluntly, you need to get hip to Linkchain — a player/singer gone too soon, but not before leaving one final blast of brilliance. “Airbusters,” which included his final recordings, jumped off with a rocking barrelhouse number. (Of course, it did: That was ‘Barrelhouse Chuck’ on piano!) It was just the beginning, though, of a stomp-downRead More

Walter Becker, “Door Number Two” from Circus Money (2008): One Track Mind

Walter Becker, “Door Number Two” from Circus Money (2008): One Track Mind

I’m a little biased when it comes to Steely Dan. But my biases can’t shield me from the realization that this is a mediocre Walter Becker song.

Jordan Zevon – Insides Out (2008)

by Pico When Julian Lennon unfurled his debut Valotte back in 1984 about four years following his father’s untimely death, it gave John Lennon fans hope that the offspring could pick up where his Dad left off. We know now that the expectations were unrealistic and try as he might on later releases, Jules just couldn’t make a go atRead More

Pete Robbins – Do The Hate Laugh Shimmy (2008)

by S. Victor Aaron Let’s get this out of the way first: “Do The Hate Laugh Shimmy” is a title that the artist took from an e.e.cummings poem. Don’t ask me what it means (even the artist is not entirely sure), but it’s sounds stylin’ all the same. The stylin’ music contained in Do The Hate Laugh Shimmy is easierRead More

Po’ Henry and Tookie, Louisiana country blues duo: Something Else! Interview

Po’ Henry and Tookie, Louisiana country blues duo: Something Else! Interview

They grew up, practically, as neighbors in Louisiana. But strangers, all the same. Here’s how they became the country blues duo Po’ Henry and Tookie.

David "Fathead" Newman – House of David (1993)

NICK DERISO: Take some time with this one, which underscores the impressive contributions of a guy who first blew us away backing up with bluesman ZuZu Bollin, later came to fame playing a sideman’s role with Ray Charles, made some bold moves in jazz — then settled into R&B and pop-influenced fusion. This two-disc anthology does a good job ofRead More

Duke Ellington – The Great London Concerts (1963)

NICK DERISO: When Duke Ellington strolled out on stage for this 1958 date, it had been 25 years since he’d previously appeared in Europe. Still, though he was kept away by a war and a drawn-out dispute between the U.S. and Brit’s musicians unions, you could say Ellington had made quite an impression with that earlier 1933 show in London.Read More

Marcin Wasilewski Trio – January (2008)

From time to time I’ve mused about reviewing one of John Abercrombie’s best latter ECM recordings called November from 1992. I may still tackle that one, but I need to put that write-up aside for now to muse about another, brand-new, ECM release titled after the name of a month. In this case, it’s January by Polish pianist Marcin Wasilewski,Read More

Michael Doucet – From Now On (2008)

Recorded live — and I do mean live, with no rehearsals and no overdubs — this new release from Cajun master fiddler Michael Doucet possesses a passionate immediacy. And not just in the playing. Once on an academic career track, the LSU graduate long ago (as he once famously said) “traded Blake for Balfa,” but Doucet never gave up onRead More

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