jazz Archive

Victory Boyd: From Subway to Festival Stage

Victory Boyd was “discovered” busking Stevie Wonder songs on the streets and in the subway stations of New York City, and that discovery led to a recording contract not only for her, but for her entire family including her father and eight siblings. The singer-songwriter was a featured performer at the fourth annual LEAF Downtown

Album Review: Richard Shulman Trio — Turned Into Lemonade

Conveying a spirit of hope and optimism without the use of words is a challenging goal. But on Turned Into Lemonade, the latest from the prolific jazz/orchestral/new age composer (he’s released more than two dozen albums), that ambitious goal is realized. This all-original jazz outing is credited to the Richard Shulman Group: Shulman plays acoustic

Hundred-word Reviews for September 2018

Time once again for some 100-word reviews. Please note that I receive many albums each day for review consideration; even when allowing for the fact that 80-90% of them don’t make the cut for coverage/review, there are still far too many to cover. What that means in practical terms is twofold: (1) the only way

Album Review: Iceberg Slim — Reflections

If I told you that a key inspiration for the slice-of-street hip-hop of Ice-T was an earlier recording artist going by the name of Iceberg Slim, you’d likely develop some immediate preconceptions as to what the earlier iceman sounded like. But I’m here to tell you that you’d probably be way off base. Iceberg Slim

Hundred-word Reviews for August 2018, Part 2

Herewith are ten more 100-word reviews of recent new releases. As they used to say, “Collect ‘em all, kids!” Denny Seiwell Trio — Boomerang Rock fans of a certain age may recognize Seiwell’s name; he was (for a time) the drummer in a ‘70s British group called Wings. That background has nearly zero to do

Hundred-word Reviews for August 2018, Part 1

Time for some more hundred-word reviews. These days, I’m busier than I’ve ever been, so the only albums to make the cut for review are ones I consider remarkable, special in some significant way. So please consider all of these as recommended titles. Oytun Ersan — Fusiolicious When a release explicitly advertises itself as fusion,

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

EP Review: Sister Ivy – Plecia

Sister Ivy is an Asheville-based project, the nom de musique of Rachel Waterhouse. Sister Ivy has had a relatively lengthy gestation period: the group played its first gig some three years ago at the old Sherwood Music. But quality takes time, and the refined, sultry character of Waterhouse’s original music has surely benefited from the

Fifty-word Reviews for July 2018, Part 2

Here’s ten more quick reviews of new music worth your time. Beth McKee — Dreamwood Acres This lovely clutch of original songs features the sultry, soulful vocals of McKee, and the rich instrumentation is built around McKee’s classic electric piano (Wurlitzer, Rhodes), which she plays in a straightforward, non-fussy manner. Imagine Bonnie Raitt playing keys

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