• Alex Hoffman: Dark Lights

    Alex Hoffman: Dark Lights

    As the liner notes point out, tenor saxophonist Alex Hoffman is a perfect fit for the hard-swinging, no-nonsense style of modern jazz that Smalls Records has been presenting over the past eight years. If I ...
  • Superheavy

    Superheavy

    Super groups are a stock-in-trade in the rock world but seldom live up to their billing. That’s the case with Superheavy. Producer and ex-Eurhythmic Dave Stewart built this East meets West band in 2009 around ...
  • Steve Cropper: Dedicated

    Steve Cropper: Dedicated

    Steve Cropper, Grammy-nominated Rock Hall of Fame guitarist, recorded Dedicated as a heartfelt tribute to fellow guitarist Lowman “Pete” Pauling and his pioneering 50s R&B group, The 5 Royales. Cropper was the house guitarist of ...
  • Imelda May: Mayhem

    Imelda May: Mayhem

    Its heyday had about the lifespan of a mayfly but rockabilly has had a habit of cropping up in slightly altered form throughout every rock ’n’ roll era. Ireland’s fetching cool kitty Imelda May Higham ...
  • Samantha Fish: Runaway

    Samantha Fish: Runaway

    Hailing from Kansas City, 23-year-old Samantha Fish is the latest in an emerging generation of young female blues singers- songwriters-guitarists who learned their blues from Muddy Waters and Stevie Ray Vaughan and their songwriting angles ...
  • Davy Graham: Folks, Blues and Beyond

    Davy Graham: Folks, Blues and Beyond

    There’s almost nothing in the music of Pentangle, Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention, or any of the members of those groups that wasn’t directly inspired by one larger-than-life guitarist named Davy Graham. As the young man ...
  • Shore: The Lord of the Rings Symphony

    Shore: The Lord of the Rings Symphony

    Howard Shore’s many high-profile film scores include most of David Cronenberg’s movies, The Silence of the Lambs, and The Aviator. His grandest achievement, however, is his music for The Lord of the Rings—this earned him ...
  • Mackey: Lonely Motel

    Mackey: Lonely Motel

    For his hour-long song cycle, Steven Mackey’s protagonist is a “lovelorn psychologist”; 200 years ago, this sensitive soul would have been a poet. He’s holed up in a seedy motel, remembering, grieving, and mentally unraveling. ...
  • Rameau: Suties d'Orchestra

    Rameau: Suties d'Orchestra

    The almost suspiciously prolific Jordi Savall has delivered another brilliant program of some of the most interesting Baroque music ever written, four suites from Rameau’s ballets and operas. It’s raucous, it swings, it woos, it ...
  • Other Love Songs: Prince Consort

    Other Love Songs: Prince Consort

    Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzer (“Love-Song Waltzes”) evoke the peasant’s slower ländler rather than the Viennese waltz, suiting Brahms’s temperament better. The superb notes point out that listening to 18 brief waltzes in a row can be ...
  • Anthony Wilson: Campo Belo

    Anthony Wilson: Campo Belo

    Composer and guitarist Anthony Wilson has a probing musical curiosity. He’s a longtime cornerstone of Diana Krall’s quartet; his composition Virgo was commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and debuted in 2008; and we named ...

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