• Etta James: The Dreamer

    Etta James: The Dreamer

    There’s a dark pall cast over The Dreamer. The album cover depicts her wan face cloaked in a black shroud-like hood. It’s to be Etta James’ last—she’s been diagnosed with dementia and her 50- year ...
  • The Wronglers: Heirloom Music

    The Wronglers: Heirloom Music

    When not Flatlanding or being a mesmerizing solo artist Jimmie Dale Gilmore has found a compatible home with the Wronglers, an assured old- timey sextet founded by Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival financier/banjoist Warren Hellman. With ...
  • Janis Ian: Between the Lines

    Janis Ian: Between the Lines

    Janis Ian first appeared on the music scene as a preternaturally mature thirteen-year-old singing “Society’s Child,” a tale of an inter-racial romance that was swiftly banned on radio stations due to its perceived incendiary content. ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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; ...
  • Dave Douglas: Three Views

    Dave Douglas: Three Views

    Trumpeter Dave Douglas, who outpaces most of his contemporaries as a prolific bandleader, project developer, and composer, is now at the vanguard of independent music distribution. While hardly the first prominent jazz figure to form ...
  • Chick Corea: Further Explorations

    Chick Corea: Further Explorations

    Celebrating the great pianist Bill Evans last year at New York’s Blue Note nightclub, Chick Corea recruited two former members of the Evans trio—drummer Paul Motian and bassist Eddie Gomez. Those recorded-live performances are now ...
  • Wayne Shorter: The Soothsayer

    Wayne Shorter: The Soothsayer

    Blue Note recorded this terrific Wayne Shorter session in 1965 but delayed its release for 14 long years—go figure. Unlike most Shorter dates from the 60s, Soothsayer breaks the quartet mold with the addition of ...
  • 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, ...

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