compilation Archive

My Favorite Year: ‘Coltrane ‘58: The Prestige Recordings’

1958 was a landmark year for saxophonist John Coltrane, and by extension for jazz as a whole as well. Coltrane had made his first recordings (in Hawaii with fellow Navy servicemen) some 12 years earlier, and played as a sideman with Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk in the middle 1950s. and didn’t begin recording under

Album Reviews: Two Alex Chilton Compilations

Editor’s Note: Today’s something of a milestone: my 3,000th post. As a general matter, I make a point of not writing reviews that are a response or rebuttal to other views. In fact, for the most part, I avoid even reading other reviews, at least until after I’ve filed mine. But I have been struck

EP Reviews: Two from the Koko Mojo Label

Larry Williams – Short Fat Fanny EP Today, the name Larry Williams is largely known once removed, as the American rhythm and blues artist who wrote and recorded songs that would be revived by the Beatles, the Who and others. Their covers are now more well-known than Williams’ originals, but it’s worth going back to

He Comes From Planet Jarre, Part Three

Continued from Part Two … Because a great deal of your work is instrumental, I’m curious about the inspiration for the pieces. Do you start with a non-musical concept, such as an emotion or story idea that serves as a catalyst for the song? Or do you start instead with a melody or a melodic

He Comes From Planet Jarre, Part Two

Continued from Part One … This may be a difficult question to answer. What do you see as uniquely French characteristics in your work? I think it’s maybe not that difficult. We should not forget that electronic music had nothing to do with the U.S. at the beginning. It has nothing to do with jazz,

He Comes From Planet Jarre, Part One

Last fall I had the honor of interviewing Jean-Michel Jarre for the second time (the two features based on our 2017 conversation are here and here). This second interview again resulted in two separate features; one ran in Stomp & Stammer; the other on Rock and Roll Globe. Here now is the full 2018 interview,

Album Review: R.E.M. — The Best of R.E.M. at the BBC

There was a time – a pretty long time, actually – during which R.E.M. was among the most popular groups on the planet. Without being pretentious or self-important (I’m lookin’ at you, U2), the foursome from Athens, Georgia did things its own way, uncompromisingly. Over the course of the band’s history – 1983 to 2011

Album Review: The Zombies — Greatest Hits

The Zombies have a sterling and well-deserved reputation. That reputation is built primarily on three things: a couple of early singles, a final album of staggering quality, and a latter-day, 21st century renaissance in which the group finally capitalizes on those first two things, while proving it has plenty more to offer. And its that

Album Review: John Wesley Harding – Greatest Other People’s Hits

Nearly everything one first learns about John Wesley Harding suggests the man is a smart-aleck. A folky troubadour transplanted long ago from Hastings, England to the U.S., the man born Wesley Stace adopted a stage name taken from one of Bob Dylan’s most celebrated releases. (Some years ago he also released an album that waggishly

Multiple Discs, Multiple Artists (Part 1 of 2)

It’s purely happenstance, but at the moment I have two discs each of archival/reissue/compilation music from seven acts. (Actually, I have three discs each by three of those, but I’m trying to shoehorn these reviews into a theme, so work with me here.) These diverse releases cover a lot of stylistic ground, and they’re all