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Monthly Archives: July 2008

Michael Brecker – Pilgramage

 

Jazz lost a major figure this past winter with the death of tenor-sax giant Michael Brecker, who died of a blood-marrow disorder. Yet as his health deteriorated last year, he still found the strength to record this album, which also features a “dream team” of instrumentalists – guitarist Pat Metheny, pianists Herbie Hancock and Brad […]

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Ian Hunter – Shrunken Heads

 

Ian Hunter’s latest is straightforward, nuts-and-bolts rock and roll. The writing is fueled by personal and real politics, and the sound of the band and Ian’s voice are perfect. Some credit must go to co-producer Andy York (the Mellencamp-band veteran), who played guitar on the disc, along with Jack Petruzzelli and James Mastro, who supply […]

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Larry Carlton – Live in Tokyo

 

Larry Carlton and Robben Ford share a special relationship. Carlton helped the young blues-slinger learn some of his licks and techniques when he got the gig backing Joni Mitchell. As he writes in the liner notes, “He had a unique approach to playing the blues (mixing bebop notes and phrasing). Man, could that kid swing!” […]

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Commander Cody – Live at Armadillo HQ

 

A disc of outtakes from the classic Live From Deep In the Heart of Texas makes for a fine live record on its own, especially fun to again hear a young Bill Kirchen as he makes his way through the mix of country, rock, swing, and everything in-between. As they were wont to do, the […]

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Chuck Berry – Johnny B. Goode: His Complete ’50s Chess Recording

 

The best way to avoid people second-guessing your selections is to issue an artist’s work in its entirety. Not only are there no “glaring omissions,” there are no omissions at all. In the case of Chuck Berry, this is definitely the right call, since, even in cases of tracks that are somewhat substandard, this is […]

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Dwight Yoakam – Sings Buck

 

When Yoakam put the twang back into country music in the mid ’80s, his mere existence was a tribute to his chief influence, Buck Owens. And in 1988 he brought the then-retired Owens back to live performing – and, with their duet on “Streets Of Bakersfield,” the top of the charts. That Yoakam would record […]

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Bruce Springsteen – Magic

 

Advance word on this album centered on its anti-war lyrics, but its true focus is on the return of the E Street Band and Springsteen’s classic signature sound. “In the Future” does discuss events in America the past few years, set to a rollicking Jersey sound that calls to mind “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out.” “Magic” […]

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Stamey & Holsapple – Mavericks

 

It’s nice to see this 1991 classic re-released, hopefully to a bigger audience than it did on its original release. In the 1980s, Holsapple and Stamey were charter members of the db’s, which recorded some of the finest music of that era. “Angels,” with its jangly guitars, pop/rock melodies, and incredible hook is one of […]

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Stevie Ray Vaughan and Friends

 

Years ago, in a BBC documentary about his former bandleader, bassist Noel Redding held up all the albums that Jimi Hendrix released during his lifetime (five, not counting Cry Of Love, which he was working on at the time of his death) alongside a huge stack of posthumous releases of varying quality and provenance – […]

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Dr. Dog – We All Belong

 

Dr. Dog is five guys from Philly who’ve listened to more than their share of Beatles and Beach Boys. It’s not a bad thing. In the context of the band, their names are Tables, Taxi, Text, Triumph, and Thanks (no, really!) so identifying who’s playing what is challenging. This is hard music to describe. Songs […]

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