• Milt Jackson Sextet: Invitation

    Milt Jackson Sextet: Invitation

    Once in while, an audiophile reissue can make the listener realize that what seemed like a good, solid record is better than that. If I had been asked to evaluate Invitation before hearing this release, ...
  • The Spanish Masters

    The Spanish Masters

    For the first release on their own label, the wizards at Zenph Sound Innovations reanimate primitive recordings by three preeminent Spanish composer/pianists. Isaac Albéniz was a child prodigy, a seasoned performer by mid-adolescence. The New ...
  • Gulfstream: American Chamber Music

    Gulfstream: American Chamber Music

    Three superb quartets for clarinet, violin, cello, and piano, and the Copland Sextet (adding a violin and viola). Libby Larsen’s Rodeo Queen of Heaven depicts a painting of the Madonna and Child in Western dress; ...
  • Music for a Time of War

    Music for a Time of War

    Examining this SACD’s program, the shrink-wrap still in place, the connection among the four 20th Century works programmed by Oregon Symphony music director Carlos Kalmar seemed apparent. But hearing the music several times through left ...
  • Hank Williams: The Legend Begins

    Hank Williams: The Legend Begins

    Invaluable to Hank Williams completists and music historians, The Legend Begins: Rare and Unreleased Recordings, a handsomely packaged three-CD set, meticulously annotated by the ubiquitous Colin Escott, does indeed contain genuine, previously unheard rarities on ...
  • Moreland and Arbuckle: Just a Dream

    Moreland and Arbuckle: Just a Dream

    On its fourth and finest album, the Kansas hill-country blues duo of Aaron Moreland and Dustin Arbuckle stages a compelling coming of age party. All the elements defining the group’s astonishing 1861 (2008) and powerhouse ...
  • Chris Isaak: Beyond the Sun

    Chris Isaak: Beyond the Sun

    Chris Isaak grew up in blue-collar Stockton, California, pantomiming Elvis to the radio. He became a pop star and heartthrob, crooning lonesome laments laced with twangy rockabilly guitar and Roy Orbison-inspired vocal vibe. The press ...
  • Coldplay: Mylo Xyloto

    Coldplay: Mylo Xyloto

    Coldplay powers up a big pop sound and pays tribute to New York City graffiti artists and resistance movements on this latest collaboration with producer Brian Eno, who also produced the band’s 2008 multi-Grammy-winning hit ...
  • Tom Waits: Bad as Me

    Tom Waits: Bad as Me

    Tom Waits’ Bad As Me picks up where the inimitable singer/songwriter left off in with his rowdy Real Gone (2004) and lurid Blood Money/Alice (2002). The hiatus certainly hasn’t blunted Waits’ ironic brand of gallows ...
  • Shelby Lynne: Revelation Road

    Shelby Lynne: Revelation Road

    Revelation Road, Shelby Lynne’s alt- country-rock album, is about as personal as a one-woman show can get. She wrote, performed, recorded, and produced the album herself. Her choice of instrumentation—guitar, mandolin, and light percussion—is simple ...
  • The Grateful Dead: Live Dead

    The Grateful Dead: Live Dead

    Deadheads rejoice! The band’s seemingly bottomless archival treasure chest keeps on giving. Last summer, the band’s Web site quickly sold out of Europe ’72: The Complete Recordings, a 72-CD, $450 behemoth devoted to what many ...
  • Keith Jarrett: Rio

    Keith Jarrett: Rio

    Aside from Miles Davis’ 1959 masterpiece, Kind of Blue, Keith Jarrett’s landmark 1975 recording, The Koln Concert, is probably the one album by a jazz artist that most non- jazz fans own. While hardly a ...
  • Weather Report: Heavy Weather

    Weather Report: Heavy Weather

    Where some album titles seem like an afterthought, Heavy Weather and its surreal cover art match the music perfectly. Less groove-oriented and more atmospheric than previous Weather Report records, it sounds like the soundtrack to ...

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