• Gregory Spears: Requiem

    Gregory Spears: Requiem

    Spears is no compositional Caspar Milquetoast; he writes biting, exotic harmonies and, like Stravinsky, draws forth a beauty at times rough-hewn or violent. If I had to make a comparison, I’d say his Requiem is ...
  • Handel: The Eight Great Suites

    Handel: The Eight Great Suites

    Handel isn’t known these days as a keyboard composer, but far more copies of his keyboard works were in circulation during his life than copies of Bach’s or Scarlatti’s. These suites are in fact similar ...
  • Vijay Iyer Trio: Accelerando

    Vijay Iyer Trio: Accelerando

    Pianist Vijay Iyer, bassist Stephan Crump, and drummer Marcus Gilmore trade intricate rhythms like The Flying Karamazov Brothers toss juggling pins back and forth across the stage. The action seems effortless, nearly telepathic, and relies ...
  • George Russell

    George Russell

    George Russell’s contribution to jazz theory is so formidable that his own recordings seem to lag behind in recognition, which makes this nine-CD set of mid-career material from 1968 to 1982 all the more welcome. ...
  • Steve Lacy: The Sun and Avignon and After

    Steve Lacy: The Sun and Avignon and After

    The UK-based Emanem label has gathered recordings from 1969-74 by soprano saxophonist supreme Steve Lacy, from various group and solo sessions, on two well organized CDs of exceedingly generous length (74 and 79 minutes). Some ...
  • Kate Bush: 50 Words for Snow

    Kate Bush: 50 Words for Snow

    The muses are often fickle, and continually wooing them back has perplexed even the most gifted pop musicians. Nonstop touring can stifle creativity, but so can long periods away from the star-maker machinery—and that would ...
  • Nick Lowe: The Old Magic

    Nick Lowe: The Old Magic

    As a member of the seminal pub-rock scene that spawned the punk movement in the mid-70s and saw the rise of his sometime collaborator Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe pretty much dropped from sight in 1990 ...
  • Beach Boys: The Smile Sessions

    Beach Boys: The Smile Sessions

    Recorded in 1966 and ’67, and guided by songwriters Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks, the unfinished Smile album is often considered just as innovative as the Beatles’ 1967 game changer Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts ...
  • Carolyn Wonderland: Peace Meal

    Carolyn Wonderland: Peace Meal

    Co-produced with a roaring, richly textured sonic backdrop by Ray Benson, Larry Campbell, and Mike Nesmith, Peace Meal finally captures on disc all the fire, fury, and soulfulness of Texas blues dynamo Carolyn Wonderland’s live ...
  • Ruthie Foster: Let it Burn

    Ruthie Foster: Let it Burn

    Ruthie Foster’s celebrated 2009 LP, The Truth According To Ruthie Foster, was recorded in Memphis; for Let It Burn she migrated south to New Orleans. Working with producer John Chelew and a tight combo of ...
  • Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here

    Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here

    Multichannel treatments of older rock recordings that truly serve the musical essence of the original are rare. Here’s one that does. The “You” of Wish You Were Here, Pink Floyd’s ninth studio album, is Syd ...
  • Marianne Faithfull: Strange Weather

    Marianne Faithfull: Strange Weather

    I recently heard Marianne Faithfull in an intimate venue with great acoustics, and was mesmerized from start to finish. Not only by that one-of-a-kind, sandpaper-and-velvet voice but also by what she put into every song, ...

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