instrumental Archive

Album Review: The Radam Schwartz Organ Big Band — Message from Groove and GW

Situating a Hammond organ out in front of a big band is a splendid idea; the verve and energy of the keys plays off well against the muscular, thrilling backdrop of a massive instrumental aggregation. Organist Radam Schwartz plays that organ, and writes most of the tunes on Message from Groove and GW. Using an

Album Review: Dreamroot – Phases

This Durham, North Carolina group combines neo-soul, jazz and spoken word in a style that seems incredibly natural and effortless. Joe MacPhail’s piano runs are lyrical and accessible, and Lynn Grissett’s trumpet is soulful and heartfelt. The combination of jazz vocals and spoken bits works quite well; it’s closer to Anita Baker than Gil Scott-Heron,

Album Review: Purdie Fabian Oswanski – Move On!

Bernard Purdie is one of the most influential drummers in music; his style has made a serious impression on players well outside his chosen genres of jazz and funk. And while at age 81 he has long since passed the nothing-left-to-prove milestone, here he is with two younger players, making an album of high-energy organ

Album Review: Sonar with David Torn — Tranceportation (Volume 2)

In my April 2018 review of Vortex, the first collaboration between Sonar and guitar master David Torn, I likened the music to ‘80s-period King Crimson at its most accessible, citing Crim’s “The Sheltering Sky” instrumental as a useful reference point. Between then and now I seem to have missed an album by this aggregation, because

Album Review: Vito Dieterle and Joel Forrester – StatusSphere

Jazz fans are likely to pick up on the in-joke of this album’s cover art immediately. It’s a visual homage to the 1957 LP Monk’s Music. And the two round objects in the wagon are a nod to Thelonious Monk’s nickname, “Sphere.” StatusSphere is, then, a fitting name for a Monk tribute. Vito Dieterle plays

Album Review: David Cross and Peter Banks — Crossover

David Cross came to fame as member of King Crimson during the band’s first run of incarnations; he played violin on Larks Tongues in Aspic and Starless and Bible Black. Peter Banks was the original guitarist in Yes. Both musicians continued to work after their most high-profile turns, often drawing on assistance from their former

Outrageous: The Mind Excursions of Dennis Coffey (Part Two)

A look back at the renowned guitarist’s Sussex Records years Continued from Part One … Goin’ for Myself (1972) On its initial release, Evolution didn’t sell. “The album was out there,” Coffey recalls, “but for a year, it did nothing. So, Mike and I said, ‘Well, maybe the people aren’t interested in the guitar band

Outrageous: The Mind Excursions of Dennis Coffey (Part One)

A look back at the renowned guitarist’s Sussex Records years Dennis Coffey made his name among musicians as an in-demand session guitarist in Detroit. Coffey played on literally hundreds of sessions; that’s him you hear laying down the memorable guitar parts on the Temptations’ “Psychedelic Shack” and “Just My Imagination,” Edwin Starr’s “War,” Freda Payne’s

30 Days Out, June 2020 #1: TAUK, Ben Folds, Vancouver Electronic Ensemble, John Prine Tribute

In recent weeks I’ve conducted interviews with a number of professions whose businesses involve servicing the music community in various ways. A consensus seems to be forming – and this isn’t likely to come as any surprise to you, I suspect – that widespread live concerts aren’t likely to return until 2021. Festivals and small

Album Review: Fernando Perdomo – Out to Sea 3

To the list of artists who release stunning amounts of material – Robert Pollard, R. Stevie Moore – we must now add Fernando Perdomo. The guitarist-producer has been on quite a tear since relocating from southern Florida to Los Angeles some years back. In addition to producing other artists, engaging in tribute and collaboration projects