Tag: albums

Desert Island Discs — Willie Nelson, Yesterday’s Wine

Desert Island Discs — Willie Nelson, Yesterday’s Wine

Music
I've toyed with the idea of writing a post about country music that even country music haters can appreciate. If and when I ever get around to it, Yesterday's Wine is absolutely going on the list. I have no idea if Willie Nelson ever performs material from the album in his concerts, but I would pay big money to watch him play it all the way through. If this album came out today it would be labeled "alt-country," for it bears little resemblance to the type of slick, radio-friendly music Nashville has been pumping out for decades. Yesterday's Wine is a deeply personal record, rooted in traditional sounds. It's warm and intimate, and suffused with a deep spirituality that always seems genuine. Oh yeah, and it's a concept album. Nelson assumes the role of an "Imperfect Man" who ha
CD Giveaway: Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play the Blues

CD Giveaway: Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play the Blues

Music
So what happens when one of rock's most legendary figures -- that would be Eric Clapton -- teams with one of jazz's most prolific and controversial figures -- that would be Wynton Marsalis -- for an evening of vintage-style blues and jazz? Why you get the fantastic new CD/DVD Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play the Blues: Live From Jazz at Lincoln Center, that's what happens! And because I'm such a generous guy, I'm offering you the chance to win a copy of this excellent CD/DVD set, courtesy Rhino Records. Ain't I swell? To win your very own copy of Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play the Blues, all you need to do is send me an email with the subject line "Send Me the Blues!". I'll pick a winner at random some time in the near future. As long as the email link in this post is
Sunday Jazz: Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey’s ‘Race Riot Suite’

Sunday Jazz: Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey’s ‘Race Riot Suite’

Music, Sunday Jazz
I don't want to give away too much of the Best Music of 2011 list that will run in December, but I can say with confidence that the latest album from Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey -- Race Riot Suite -- will be included. Race Riot Suite -- composed by Chris Combs, the group's lap steel player -- draws deeply from the well of pre-Swing jazz, but incorporates it into a series of distinctly modern arrangements. It's a remarkable achievement in modern jazz, even without the tragic back story. But once you know the story behind the music, its power is increased tenfold. In 1921, Tulsa was home to a powerful and affluent African-American community. In one of the largest racial conflicts and cover-ups in American history, massive race riots resulted in the death of hundre...
My favorite music: 1983

My favorite music: 1983

Music
If there's one thing the internet lacks, it's pointless music lists. So to fill that void, here's a sampling of my favorite albums from some random year. Let's say, 1983. (Spotify users, check out the accompanying playlist and subscribe!) Robert Plant, The Principle of Moments -- While I would in no way claim that Robert Plant's solo output bests Led Zeppelin's music, a lot of times I simply prefer to listen to Plant. In fact I'd say that Plant has enjoyed one of the most artistically rewarding solo careers of any artist who was part of a popular band that I can think of. The Principle of Moments is probably my favorite Plant solo effort (next to Fate of Nations) -- he sounds freed from the constraints of creating larger-than-life rock and the music just crackles with energy. "In the...
Sunday Jazz: Warren Wolf debuts on Mack Avenue

Sunday Jazz: Warren Wolf debuts on Mack Avenue

Music, Sunday Jazz
I'm happy to report that, despite what many think, jazz is indeed alive and well. Further proof of that can be found in the new, self-titled album from vibraphonist Warren Wolf (out now on Mack Avenue Records). After just one listen I knew this was a lock for my year-end best of list. Do yourself a favor and pick up Wolf's album today. But if you're one of those cautious types who needs a little proof, I've got you covered. Follow this link to SoundCloud to hear two tracks from the album -- "427 Mass Ave." and "Señor Mouse." "427 Mass Ave." puts me in mind of the Modern Jazz Quartet -- and it's no surprise that Wolf cites Milt Jackson as an influence -- but there's nothing retro or backward-looking about it. "Señor Mouse" is a Wolf solo showcase and as you might expect, it sports a s
Cross-pollination: Beyond the Wonder (Right Said Fred) on Popdose

Cross-pollination: Beyond the Wonder (Right Said Fred) on Popdose

Blogstuff
It feels like it's been ages since my last entry in the Beyond the Wonder series, which covered Bertie "Key Largo" Higgins' debut LP. In fact, I had a piece for Right Said Fred's 1992 debut album -- Up -- in draft status but kept putting it off forever. Dance pop isn't really my thing so I didn't want to judge the record too prematurely. I'm glad I waited, as it turns out it was better than I thought on first listen. Well, parts of it were anyway. It seems that Up is a strange hybrid of canned, forgettable dance pop (minus the immortal "I'm Too Sexy" of course) and surprisingly decent mainstream pop. But you can read all about that on Popdose now. In the meantime, let's get sexy! Related articles Cross-pollination: My favorite instrumentals (on Popdose) (grayflannelsuit.net) ...
Pop Culture Capsule — July 20-26, 1986

Pop Culture Capsule — July 20-26, 1986

Capsules, History
Here's a look at America's top movies, music, and books for the week of July 20-26, 1986. TV was in summer rerun mode, but it was pretty much all about The Cosby Show anyway. I remember most of these things (except the books), but I had no idea Patti LaBelle hit #1 over Janet Jackson and Peter Gabriel. Good for her! Top 10 Movies 1. Aliens 2. The Karate Kid Part II 3. Ruthless People 4. Top Gun 5. Back to School 6. About Last Night... 7. Ferris Bueller's Day Off 8. Legal Eagles 9. Running Scared 10. The Great Mouse Detective Top 10 Albums 1. Patti LaBelle, Winner in You 2. Janet Jackson, Control 3. Peter Gabriel, So 4. Top Gun soundtrack 5. Genesis, Invisible Touch 6. Billy Ocean, Love Zone 7. Whitney Houston, Whitney Houston 8. Bob Seger, Like a Rock 9. The Moody Blue...
Prepare for a funky summer from the New Mastersounds

Prepare for a funky summer from the New Mastersounds

Music
Unless you're a connoisseur of modern-day funk and soul you likely haven't heard of the New Mastersounds. That's a shame, because for more than a decade this Leeds-based outfit has been churning out some of the tightest, most hip-shaking grooves around. The quartet is currently touring the United States and recording their upcoming album here (Tornillo, Texas to be precise) -- a first for them. In another change, the band will be adding vocals to their previously instrumental attack. To give fans a preview of what's to come, the New Mastersounds recently released a cool behind-the-scenes video for the making of the album, Breaks From the Border. Check it out: Related articles The New Mastersounds: Spring Tour (jambase.com)
New Adventures in Hi-Fi: My Journey Into R.E.M., Part 4

New Adventures in Hi-Fi: My Journey Into R.E.M., Part 4

Music
When I started this series I honestly had no idea R.E.M. was on the threshold of releasing yet another studio album, Collapse Into Now. And as much as I would love to check out the new album, I think I'm going to hold off for a bit. I'd like to continue down the path I started in order to get a better perspective of their output so I can approach the new record with more than an outsider's mindset (unlike what I had when I reviewed Accelerate). We're up to album number five, Document. It's the last studio disc R.E.M. released on the I.R.S. label, and it is the group's first major commercial hit. My first thought as "Finest Worksong" got underway -- HELLO big rock production! My second thought -- Hey, so that's what Michael Stipe sounds like when he faces the microphone! Document ...