It’s Still About Chemistry: A Conversation with Semisonic’s Jacob Slichter

In my last feature, I shared bonus content from my interview with Semisonic’s Dan Wilson. That piece featured parts of our conversation that didn’t make it into the story I wrote for Goldmine Magazine. Today it’s more bonus content: the best bits from my conversation with Semisonic drummer (and keyboardist) Jacob Slichter. – bk Your

DVD Review: Jaco

I’m not sure that the casual music fan even knows who the hell Jaco Pastorius was. Certainly among musicians, his is a name that’s revered: even if you’re not into jazz per se, if you’re a player, you know that Jaco was something special, the sort of person who comes along once in a lifetime

Album Review: Jaco Pastorius – Modern American Music…Period! The Criteria Sessions

This week, I’m quite busy attending Moogfest 2014 here in Asheville NC, the adopted of hometown of both myself and the late Dr. R.A. Moog, for whom the five day event is named. I hope and plan to bring extensive coverage to this blog very soon. In the meantime, here are some shorter-than-usual reviews. Please

Acoustic Syndicate’s Natural Crossover

Since forming in 1992, North Carolina quartet Acoustic Syndicate has cultivated and developed a musical style that draws from a wide array of genres and styles; the band has never allowed itself to be hemmed in by preconceived notions about what is or is not bluegrass. Or Americana. Or rock, or any number of other

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

Album Review: Chillingsworth Surfingham

Instrumental surf rock is a beloved sub-style in some quarters of the rock universe. And I proudly reside in one of those corners. Especially when it’s done with equal parts humor and instrumental power/finesse, it can be a truly rewarding listening experience. And that recipe is the one employed by the playfully-named Chillingsworth Surfingham. The

Virtuosity on display: Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers

In the classic music idiom, concert violinist Anne Akiko Meyers is the equivalent of a rock star. Debuting onstage when she was only 7 years old, she has gone onto international acclaim, crossing into other genres while maintaining the rigor and finesse of her classical training. Meyers has been featured on more than 30 albums;

Album Review: Sonny Rollins – Rollins in Holland

There are people out there doing important archival work. Dedicated music lovers like Zev Feldman connect with archivists, collectors, fans and like-minded individuals across the globe, seeking to unearth previously-unheard recordings by some of the most important figure in jazz. And every so often, we hear these stories of unmarked boxes on dusty shelves, found

The Chris Brubeck Interview, Part Two

Continued from Part One. In this segment of my conversation with Chris Brubeck, he reflects on what he learned from his famous father, and his rather unusual choice of instrument. What would you say are some of the most important musical values that you learned from your father? I think, like for me, it’s kind

Kronos Quartet on Thelen’s “Circular Lines” and Kronos’ 50 for the Future

Zürich, Switzerland composer Stephan Thelen has composed four new modern classical works, collected on a new album, World Dialogue. Three of the string pieces are performed by Polish all-female ensemble the Al Pari Quartet. One of those pieces, “Silesia,” was composed expressly for the Al Pari Quartet. The other track on World Dialogue, “Circular Lines”