instrumental Archive

Album Review: Man or Astro-Man? – Defcon 5…4…3…2…1

I often enjoy what one might call “high concept bands.” Our friends at open-source Wikipedia define the term this way: “…a term used to refer to an artistic work that can be easily pitched with a succinctly stated premise.” Examples might include a band that plays twangy instrumental surf-rock while wearing Mexican wrestling masks, doing

Album Review: Johnny Lytle — The Soulful Rebel / People & Love

Growing up, I heard a lot of music in my home. My parents were in those days big music fans, even though neither could carry a tune. They knew what they liked: show tunes, light classics, a bit of Sinatra. But they knew what they didn’t like, too: British accents (that copy of Meet the

Album Review: Various Artists — The Birth of Soul Jazz

Early on into my jazz odyssey* of discovery, I found that although I very much enjoyed bop, swing, free and fusion, the style of jazz that resonated most for me was soul jazz. In my unschooled manner, I tried to articulate what exactly it was about soul jazz that made it work for me in

Album Review: Oscar Pettiford — Baden-Baden 1958/1959

Not for the first time, Music Hound: Jazz has let me down. Jazz novitiate that I am, I was unfamiliar with the name Oscar Pettiford. So to that weighty tome I went, in hopes of gathering a bit of background to assist in my understanding of another in Jazzhaus‘ Lost Tapes series, Baden-Baden 1958/1959. Seeing

Album Review: Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective

Seven CDs represents quite a lot of music. And all of the music on Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective was recorded in the space of six and half year years. The earliest tracks date from spring 1965, and the latest cuts were recorded in fall 1971. But the 129 tracks span an impressively wide stylistic

Album Review: Jutta Hipp – The German Recordings 1952-1955

Had the life and career of Jutta Hipp not happened, pop culture might have had to fabricate them. Hers is such a unique, compelling, mystifying and ultimately frustrating story that it begs for a Hollywood treatment (one wonders why this hasn’t happened). In the 1950s, there were precious few female jazz pianists. Even fewer of

Capsule Reviews: March 2013, Part 1

Here’s another in my occasional series of capsule reviews; once again I had a huge stack of CDs deserving of review, but time doesn’t allow for full-length reviews of everything, and these were in danger of gathering dust. They deserve better. My self-imposed limit for this particular exercise is 150 words on each album. Deni

Album Review: Huw Lloyd-Langton – Rare & Unreleased Anthology 1971-2012

You could be forgiven if, upon seeing the cover of Rare & Unreleased Anthology 1971-2012 for the first time, you chuckled and thought it sported a photo of Spinal Tap‘s Nigel Tufnel. Huw Lloyd-Langton‘s golden tresses may well have served as the inspiration for Christopher Guest‘s immortal character. But this compilation – actually in the

Album Review: Bobbi Humphrey – Dig This!

Some jazz purists might look down their noses and sniff at the style known as soul jazz. And wile I don’t share their point of view, I understand where they’re coming from. Often as not, soul jazz is (or was, during its late 60s -to-early 70s heyday) a case of ace jazz cats making music

Album Review: Duke Ellington Orchestra – Big Bands Live

Duke Ellington is one of the most important figures in American music, let alone within the jazz idiom. Bandleader, arranger, pianist, composer, popularizer of jazz…Ellington’s influence is incalculable. His vast catalog of work is filled with essential gems. My own first conscious/intentional exposure to his work was via a used vinyl copy of Ellington at