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One Track Mind: David Allan Coe, "You Never Even Called Me By My Name" (1975)

Funny that most people finish their thoughts on outlaw country with Willie and Waylon. Because if you’re talking outlaw — real outlaw; as in your basic leather-wearing, bad-attitude-having, stringy-hair-hanging, tat-sporting, law-breaking (did I mention, bad-attitude-having?), six-gun-waving, hog-riding, too-country-for-country-radio singing outlaw — David Allan Coe is your prototype. He’s the kind of crazy-ass tough guy who would name an album “DavidRead More

Manhattan New Music Project – Jazz Cycles (2007)

by S. Victor Aaron Orchestral jazz seem to be a dying art these days. Oh sure, there are Ellington, Monk and Mingus tribute bands, but there seems to be a dearth of composers creating new works. Well OK, maybe that’s a little dramatic. In reality, such jazz composers still do exist today, but they toil in relative obscurity. One ofRead More

Christopher Caouette – Ring of Dragons (1999)

by Nick DeRiso Like “alternative” before it, the term new-age music has been stretched out of shape by the varied and interesting voices that have gotten involved over the years. But you’ve got to have a label for the bins at those mall record stores. And, so it goes. Peek inside, though, and you’ll find several different layers. Take ChristopherRead More

One Track Mind: Ornette Coleman "Voice Poetry" (1975)

by Pico From 1950 to 1975 Harmolodics has always existed in my writing and playing. Yet I did not have a Harmolodic Band to compose and perform with as a working band. I often speak about being a composer that performs without prejudice of environment.–Ornette Coleman, from the Body Meta liner notes. “Harmolodics,” a conception of Coleman’s regarding a basicRead More

Max Roach (1924-2007): An Appreciation

Max Roach, a drummer both of unparalleled force and towering intellect, has passed. A New York Times obit talks about the dramatic scope of his life’s work: Mr. Roach’s death closes a chapter in American musical history. He was the last surviving member of a small circle of adventurous musicians – among them Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk andRead More

Willie Kent – Too Hurt to Cry (1994)

It’s uncommon to find a blues recording with so much originality and verve. Willie “Sugar Bear” Kent, already memorable (as with, say, Willie Dixon) for being the rare leader who plays bass, dared take the music to a new place on this one. Featured is trumpeter and arranger Malachi Thompson, whose idea of jazz mixes the Jelly Roll Morton/Buddy BoldenRead More

California Transit Authority – Full Circle (2007)

Full Circle isn’t not so much about a CD than it is a story of a certain musician’s redemptive long journey back from personal tragedies. And his new band is a musical group led by a man who sought to provide a willing public the soulful, energetic free wheeling style of seventies rock that’s missing so much on the musicRead More

Gary P. Nunn – Totally Guacamole (1993)

NICK DERISO: Man, this is something else. Adamantly not Nashville, for one. (Which is still saying a lot.) Adamantly retro. (Not as unique, but still just fine.) And completely Gary P. Nunn — one of a series of former Jerry Jeff Walker sidemen to step out into their own spotlight. “Totally Guacamole” works as a microcosm for Nunn’s outlaw image,Read More

Something Else! Featured Artist: The Platters

NICK DERISO: Though ever-changing subsequent lineups weakened the Platters’ considerable impact, the fact is — they still matter. The first rock band to have a Top 10 album, these 1990 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame appeared in the initial motion picture based around this then-new music, “Rock Around the Clock.” The Platters perform “Only You (andRead More

One Track Mind: Scorch Trio – "Kjøle Høle" (2004)

by S. Victor Aaron When talking about notable adventurous jazz of any sort that’s being made these days, it’s hard not to mention the Scandinavians. You’ve got your Esborn Svennson Trio (EST), Jaga Jazzist, Bugge Wesseltoft, Nils Petter Molvær, and even old stalwarts like Terje Rypdal and Jan Garbarek who remain vital to the scene. A few years ago, oneRead More