instrumental Archive

Liner Notes News

I’ve been extraordinarily busy lately. After devoting a large chunk of 2017 to the writing of my first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon, in 2018 I’ve been focusing on writing liner note essays for albums. Here’s a summary of recent and upcoming releases with which I’ve

Album Review: Tashi Dorji & Tyler Damon — Leave No Trace: Live in St. Louis

By its very nature, instrumental music is challenging for both musician and listener. The listener has to lend greater concentration to the music, since the absence of lyrics makes the conveyance of overt, direct messages all but impossible. And for the musician, she or he must rely completely on the instrumentation to put across whatever

Album Review: Disaster Relief — s/t

Nominally classified as jazz, the Detroit and Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Disaster Relief occupies a musical space halfway between Leeds and New Orleans. The Leeds connection is the band’s funky like-mindedness to New Mastersounds, reliable purveyors of soulful boogaloo. The Crescent City vibe comes from the group’s deep-groove jazz sensibility. Honking saxophone dialogue atop a rubbery

Album Review: Wulijimuren — Sun of UTC+8

Music truly is the universal language. A good example of this axiom is Sun of UTC+8, the new album from Mongolian-born guitarist Wulijimuren. There’s not much explicitly Eastern in the guitarist’s work; instead he crafts a highly melodic electric guitar sound that owes some stylistic debt to Mark Knopfler, Ry Cooder, Eric Johnson, David Gilmour

Album Review: Adi the Monk

In the current music marketplace – a world in which many of the barriers to entry have, for better and worse, been removed – it never hurts to have an interesting back story. Asheville-based Adi the Monk certainly has his bases covered in that respect. He’s likely the only musician working in Western North Carolina

Album Review: Joan Torres’ All is Fused — Of the Musical

The golden age of jazz-rock fusion was a relatively brief period; arguably it began with Miles Davis’ In a Silent Way, released in 1969. The new form enjoyed a number of highlights: Davis’ Bitches Brew and Jack Johnson, Larry Coryell’s albums with Eleventh House, as well several albums from Chick Corea’s Return to Forever, Weather

Album Review: Sun Ra — Standards

Jazz great Sun Ra (born Herman Blount) has an imposing reputation as the iconoclastic purveyor of wildly unusual and unconventional music. His influence is felt far beyond the confines of jazz, and that influence encompasses more than music: his attitude, his onstage sartorial choices and his self-mythologizing were all part of what made Sun Ra

Hundred-word Reviews: New Releases

There’s quite a massive stack of new (or at least new-when-I got-’em) releases here at Musoscribe World HQ. Time to review them. 6-String Drag – Top of the World (Schoolkids Records) This Raleigh-based group was at the forefront of the Americana scene, back when it didn’t even have a name (some called it alt-country). After

Seven Jazz Archival/Reissue Releases

Monty Alexander – Here Comes the Sun (MPS) Jamaican pianist Alexander has a bright, flowing and lyrical approach to his instrument. Originally released in 1971, Here Comes the Sun was Alexander’s sixth album. Working with three other musicians (bass, drums and percussion), the pianist is at the center of the arrangements on all seven of

Album Review: Ryan Summers — ii

Picture this scene in your mind’s eye: a desolate, windswept landscape, mostly monochromatic and largely devoid of detail, yet with ominous pockets of darkness that suggest an unknown danger lurking just out of sight. What might the soundtrack for that scene be? Ryan Summers’ ii provides one possible answer. A collection of synthesizer-based instrumentals, ii