jazz Archive

Hundred-word Reviews for November 2020, Part Two

Here’s five more quick reviews. Powerpop, ambient, jazz and more. Nick Frater – Fast & Loose The title might lead the uninitiated to suspect that Nick Frater’s album is something along the lines of the Stooges. Well, it’s not. Instead, it’s melodic, tuneful and highly appealing rock that has the best elements of subgenres (classic-,

30 Day Out, November 2020 #1: JJ Grey & Mofro, Russ Wilson, Empire Strikes Brass, Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band

Is it November already? How did that happen? Things aren’t much better with regard to the pandemic, but we’re all continuing to find our way forward with regard to things like live music. The four artists covered below – two local to Asheville, two actually on tour – have found ways to bring live music

Album Review: The Greyboy Allstars — Como De Allstars

The Greyboy Allstars released their debut, West Coast Boogaloo, in 1994. That album, a collaboration with the great Fred Wesley, was reissued on vinyl this year. Now – more than a quarter century later, a period that included a seven-plus year break for the soul jazz ensemble – they return with their sixth album, Como

Album Review: Chris Stamey & the Fellow Travelers – A Brand-New Shade of Blue

Chris Stamey first earned well-deserved fame for launching Car Records, the label that released Chris Bell’s solo single. His work with The dBs is, of course, extraordinary. His solo body of work, equally so. As a key part of the Big Star tribute concerts, he shone brightly as well. But with few exceptions, all of

Album Review: The Greyboy Allstars with Fred Wesley — West Coast Boogaloo

The Greyboy Allstars have a rich history. Funded more than 25 years ago, the soul jazz group came together originally to work as a backing band for DJ Greyboy, a major figure in the deep groove scene. The band continues to this day – with nearly the same personnel as when it began – and

Adi the Monk: The ‘Cosmic Thread” Running Though His Music

Asheville’s music community features an impressive number of unique personalities. But it’s safe to say that only one has a personal history that includes a period spent as a Vaishnava monk. Ādi Puruṣa Das performs and records as Adi the Monk, making instrumental music that – on the surface at least – has little to

Album Review: Chick Corea – Chick Corea Plays

The pandemic and its resultant shutdowns may have (for a time) put a stop to live music performances, but after a brief pause in March and April, it seems to have done little to slow the release of new material. The manner in which albums can be created outside a traditional studio (and often by

Album Review: Louis Armstrong – Live in France

One of the most important and influential figures in the music of the 20th century, Louis Armstrong had a recording career that spanned from the early 1920s through 1970, the year prior to his passing. His winning and distinctive personality was a major component of his appeal, but his music remains at the center of

Album Review: Wolfgang Lackerschmid and Chet Baker – Ballads for Two

In an odd way, it’s entirely fitting that nowhere on the sleeve or label does Ballads for Two indicate when the album was recorded or originally released. It’s fitting because there’s nothing about this album that ties it to a particular place or time. The record is comprised of eight cuts featuring nothing more than

30 Days Out, September 2020 #1: Alien Music Club, Hard Rocket, Firecracker Jazz Band, Modern Strangers

For this edition of “30 Days Out,” it’s all local acts from here in Asheville. And two of the four shows are (socially-distanced) in-person shows. As in, live in real time without the use of a computer or smartphone. What a concept! There’s an admission fee for those, which is only fair. For the other