compilation Archive

Album Review: Bill Evans — The Complete Fantasy Recordings

Bill Evans was a singular figure in the world of music, and even more so within the context of the jazz idiom. His music could never quite be described as inviting; most all of his piano compositions and recordings have an insular quality. Listening to Evans, a listener might even experience a feeling of unease,

DVD Review: Escala Musical TV 1966-67

I took three years of Spanish in high school – seemingly a thousand years ago, more like thirty – and to this day I can correctly pronounce the items on a Mexican restaurant menu and/or say things that will get my face slapped (though hopefully not at the same time). That’s about my skill level.

Bill Dahl and I Discuss “Groove & Grind: Rare Soul ’63-’73”

From a critical perspective, there’s not a whole lot to be said or written about Groove & Grind: Rare Soul ’63 – ’73. One either gets it, or doesn’t. Suffice to say that if you would enjoy hearing the contents of a jukebox in a 1960s African American juke joint, or if you dig the

Album Review: Marshall Crenshaw — #392: The EP Collection

For better or worse (actually, for better and worse) things used to be different: recording artists focused on their music, and the record company – or at least artist management – tended to business matters. Today that paradigm rarely exists: the artist is expected – no, s/he is all but required – to give time

Album Mini-review: The Jean-Paul Sartre Experience — I Like Rain

File Next to: The Chills, The Clean, Straitjacket Fits Sporting a playful name (eventually shortened in response to lawsuits) that had less than nothing to do with their sound, this New Zealand band was a prime exponent of the Flying Nun Records sound and aesthetic. With a DIY production approach and relatively unadorned arrangements, the

Album Review: Thelonious Monk — The Complete Riverside Recordings

In my final year of college, I was exceedingly fortunate to have signed up for a course called American Popular Music History: Stephen Foster to the Present. There were only six of us in the class, and our professor was one Murray Silver; he had just co-authored Myra Lewis‘ book, Great Balls of Fire. But

Album Review: Yes — Progeny: Seven From Seventy-Two

It was just a bit more than three years ago today that I got the opportunity to speak with Chris Squire of Yes. Though he was never put forth as the “leader” of the group – more than most any other group of the era, Yes never really seemed to have one out-front, in-charge member

Album Review: Little Richard — Directly From My Heart

For music lovers of a certain age range, the work of Richard Penniman is the sort of music that one might only rarely make an effort to hear. The name and image of Little Richard is a virtual shorthand for some of the best qualities music has to offer: excitement, bravado, melody, energy, skill, humor…on

Album Review: Wes Montgomery — The Classic Recordings 1958-1960

The world’s a much smaller place today than it was a quarter century ago. When I frequented record stores – even once the CD era began – import albums were pricey. They simply weren’t in the budget of the average music consumer in the United States. Things are very different now, thanks in no small

Album Review: The Complete Stax Soul Singles Vol 3: 1972-1975

Nearly a quarter century ago (April 30, 1991 to be exact), a lavish, 9CD set called The Complete Stax/Volt Singles: 1959-1968 was released. Housed in a large box and featuring liner notes in book form, the set provided a handy (and nearly exhaustive) chronicle of the Memphis label’s output from its beginnings up through the