Post Tagged with: "new release"

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

Scott Fisher & 1am Approach, Step Into The Future (2007)

by Pico On the radio they don’t play no rebel music. A few months ago we bemoaned the dearth of talent promoted by record labels while there’s an abundance of it out there unsigned, and put forth Vancouver’s own Heidi McCurdy as an example of overlooked artistry. About three hundred miles south in Portland, Oregon is yet another diamond inRead More

Jean-Luc Ponty – The Acatama Experience (2007)

Back in January we covered two of JLP’s albums from the early eighties at once, to examine a turning point in this French violinist’s approach to jazz-rock. This time around, there’s a brand new release to examine and twenty-five years later, Ponty is still effectively leveraging much of the same ideas he came up with then, and at other pointsRead More

Joel Frahm – We Used To Dance (2007)

by Pico Sometimes a record doesn’t smack you across the head on the first listen but at some point…maybe that 3rd or 4th listen…it hits you: “Damn! This is some well made, well played music!” That’s how it was with me for Joel Frahm’s new release, We Used To Dance. Frahm isn’t a guy who isn’t writing a new chapterRead More

Robin Eubanks & EB3 – Live, Vol. 1 (2007)

by S. Victor Aaron Since the mid-sixties, jazz musicians have sought to combine electronic instruments with jazz to create something new and fresh sounding. The most obvious result of this mix is called fusion, but others have managed to do it taking different approaches that uses these instruments to actually expand their musicianship, instead of watering it down. The latestRead More

Mavis Staples – We’ll Never Turn Back (2007)

In anybody else’s hands, this new Mavis Staples album would have been a museum piece, interesting but ultimately dust-covered and remote. Not that “We’ll Never Turn Back” (to be issued on Tuesday by Anti- records) doesn’t have plenty of right things to say, and certainly plenty of righteous things, in melding well-known “freedom songs” of the Civil Rights movement withRead More

Billy Martin/John Medeski – Mago (2007)

For well over a decade, Medeski, Martin and Wood (henceforth referred to as “MMW”) has been to acid jazz what Crosby, Stills & Nash is to folk-rock. A group at the top of the heap consisting of three extraordinary talents, and whose main releases are richly supplemented with temporary configuration change-ups and notable side projects. Heck, MMW even have theirRead More

Umphrey's McGee, The Bottom Half (2007)

Photo credit: Danny Clinch by Pico Nothing screams “non-hardcore fans need not apply” than a collection of outtakes, unfinished tracks and main release rejects. But today (April 3), jam band Umphrey’s McGee is introducing such an album, The Bottom Half to the public, and I’m happy to report that that this sextet has plenty of the good stuff leftover forRead More

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

The Who – Endless Wire (2006)

In the brilliant, circular overture of synthesizer and riff that opens 2006’s “Endless Wire” we find a triumph for what’s left of the Who. “Fragment,” as a tune, is everything this band should have been doing instead of slowly but surely turning itself into a too-old streetwalker with its faded party hat on crooked. It’s simultaneously familiar, yet utterly newRead More

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