Album Review: No. 2 – First Love

First things first: this band isn’t thenewno2, Dhani Harrison’s project named after the succession of characters who portrayed the mysterious leader in The Prisoner. No, this No. 2 has been around a bit longer than Harrison’s group, so one might think of it as the “old” No. 2. But hey, they’re new to me, and

Album Review: BakerzMillion – Live in Racine

While it is unlikely ever again to have a fan base on par with its 1950s-’60s heyday, hard bop jazz remains very much alive. And even with all manner of recording technology advancements, the way to hear hard bop is live and in person. There’s a thrilling interactivity that comes with experiencing the music as

Real People, Great Radio (Part 2)

Continued from Part One… Community perspective on community radio Volunteer-driven and nonprofit, AshevilleFM was launched to offer a non-commercial, community-focused listening option for Asheville radio listeners. The station’s mission statement emphasizes its goal of “keep[ing] thriving by producing diverse and eclectic programming that inspires our listeners to build connections across our communities and to discover

Real People, Great Radio (Part 1)

AshevilleFM curates all-local project spotlighting Asheville music When the internet developed to the point at which it could support high quality audio and video, pundits prognosticated the imminent death of terrestrial radio. But in the same way that streaming music hasn’t spelled the end of vinyl records, FM radio remains a creative medium, and a

Album Review: Ella Fitzgerald – Ella at the Hollywood Bowl

The pros far outweigh the cons on this thrilling set. First, the good news. According to the one-sheet (which I trust), until now there’s never been a live Songbook from Ella Fitzgerald. And this set of songs from classic American composer Irvin Berlin is filled with tunes both well-known (“I’ve Got My Love to Keep

Album Review: Junior Wells – Blues Legend

On first hearing of this release, my initial reaction was to shudder. While Cleopatra Records and its associated imprints have been responsible for many fine releases, there have been some notable exceptions. And those exceptions often come in the form of releases by legacy artists (i.e. dead ones), cases in which session tapes have been

Album Review: Eric Slick – Palisades

A former student (alongside his sister Julie Slick) at the Paul Green School of Rock Music, Eric Slick was catapulted to well-deserved fame when Adrian Belew chose him and Julie to work as his rhythm section in the Adrian Belew Power Trio in the mid- to late 2000s. From there, Eric joined Dr. Dog as

EP Review: Salim Nourallah – See You in Marfa

Salim Nourallah is from Texas, but for See You in Marfa, his project collaborator is the great Marty Willson-Piper, former guitarist for The Church and a superb musician, singer and composer in his own right. The album was recorded in Nashville, with Willson-Piper’s guitars (on two tracks) cut in the southwest of England. The five

Album Review: Mark Duda – Bodega Flowers

I’ll be honest: this one confused me. From the Halloween-themed font to the woman on the cover (is that Mark Duda?) And the Japanese(?) lettering, I had no idea at all what to think about this CD. So of course I did what one should do in such cases: play the thing. Thank goodness. It’s

Ringo Starr, Session Man

Ringo Starr celebrated his 82nd birthday on July 7 in his customary “peace and love” style. The former Rory Storm and the Hurricanes drummer joined the Beatles in 1962, taking over from Pete Best; the rest, as they say, is history. But even beyond his work with The Beatles and his subsequent solo career, the