NRBQ: the Unity of Man (and of former members), Part 2

Continued from Part One … From NRBQ‘s start, jazz pianist Thelonious Monk was a hero to Terry Adams and his band mates. “The music of Thelonious had a big impact on me when I was a teenager,” he says. “I took a lot in, and heard him live many times, and needed to give it

NRBQ: the Unity of Man (and of former members), Part 1

Longtime critics’ darlings NRBQ has kept the music going in one form or another since before recording and releasing its self-titled debut album in 1969. While sales figures of NRBQ’s more than 30 albums haven’t made the group a household name, the Q’s rich blend of American musical forms – rock, jazz, blues, rockabilly and

Hundred-word Reviews for Nov./Dec. 2016, Part 10 of 10

Two weeks of capsule reviews wrap up today with the final five. The Well Wishers – Comes and Goes Style: powerpop Jeff Shelton is the Well Wishers. And he’s quite prolific: I think I’ve seen at least four of his albums come across my desk. He’s part of that breed that writes and plays everything

Hundred-word Reviews for Nov./Dec. 2016, Part 9 of 10

Gary Ritchie – Poptimistic Style: powerpop Melodic, good-natured powerpop is the order of the day on Ritchie’s new album. Musical touchstones include the obvious ones (Beatles, Raspberries, Romantics) and some perhaps less obvious ones (he reminds me a good bit of Donnie Iris). There’s always room on my shelf for some quirk-free rock ‘n’ roll,

Hundred-word Reviews for Nov./Dec. 2016, Part 8 of 10

Manu Katché – Unstatic Style: jazz This is an album of tasty mostly-instrumental jazz that sometimes – but not always – leans in an Afro-Cuban direction. Luca Aquino’s trumpet is often the lead instrument, but there is plenty else going on throughout. The overall vibe is more subtle than fiery, but there’s some fascinating interplay

Hundred-word Reviews for Nov./Dec. 2016, Part 7 of 10

Farewell Milwaukee – FM Style: heartland jangle-rock Jangling guitars, good-timin’ harmonica, well-worn chord changes … those are the key ingredients in the musical recipe for this album. Familar echoes of John Mellencamp, R.E.M., Gin Blossoms are found throughout the thirteen tracks. But there’s more at work, too: “Figure You out” has a nice southern soul

Hundred-word Reviews for Nov./Dec. 2016, Part 6 of 10

All through last week, I plowed through my to-be-reviewed CD shelf, covering 50 discs (45 CDs, 5 DVDs) in five days. All of the music was reissues, compilations and/or archival releases. This week the march toward a clean shelf continues, with the focus now on new (as in, released in 2016) CDs. Off we go!

Hundred-word Reviews for Nov./Dec. 2016, Part 5 of 10

Today I take a look at five DVDs, all of which should be of interest to aficionados of 1960s pop culture, and all available only from The Video Beat. National Bandstand & Dig We Must (DVD) These two programs were broadcast on Australian TV in November 1965 ( the 48-minute National Bandstand, subtitled “The New

Hundred-word Reviews for Nov./Dec. 2016, Part 4 of 10

Happy Thanksgiving. Here are five more quick reviews. Today it’s all jazz. John Surman et. al. – Morning Glory If your tastes extend toward free and modal jazz – think Ornette Coleman, for example – then a new reissue of this 1973 live album may be just the thing for you. Alternating between high-flying musical

Hundred-word Reviews for Nov./Dec. 2016, Part 3 of 10

Five more quick reviews of archival/reissue material. Three of today’s five are from Grammy-award winning label Omnivore Recordings. One of these days I’ll write liner notes for one of their fine releases; I just know it. Meantime, I’ll review the ones that I dig (which, as it happens, is nearly all of ’em). The Beach