jazz Archive

Justin Ray: Singing and Swinging

Asheville-based trumpeter Justin Ray has been a member of pop singer Michael Bublé’s band for 15 years. After a long string of tours around the world, Ray decided that he’d create some new arrangements of classic tunes from the big band era, with the ultimate goal of getting Bublé to use those arrangements in his

Album Review: Empire Strikes Brass — Brassterpiece Theatre

Some creative projects are the result of a carefully thought-out plan. Others happen through a special combination of good fortune and the participants’ openness to whatever develops. The latter is the case for Asheville’s Empire Strikes Brass. The group came together in 2012 for what was planned as a one-off event. Founder and saxophonist Paul

Russ Wilson: It’s All About the Music

Russ Wilson is one of the busiest musicians in Western North Carolina. Leading or playing in no less than nine bands, the singer and multi-instrumentalist has still found time to compile an album of songs that showcase the breadth of his musical vision. And for the sixth year in a row, he was set to

Deliciousness: Frank Zappa’s ‘Hot Rats’ at 50

By the time of the release of Hot Rats, his second solo album, Frank Zappa was well established as an important force in pushing the boundaries of pop music. Not that much of what Zappa was doing could reasonably be termed “pop,” but his work flirted with the fringes of the pop world. The debut

Musoscribe’s Best of 2019: Reissue/archival Releases

2019 was another great year for reissue and archival releases. A few stood out as especially noteworthy; those are listed and briefly described) below. More details (my reviews, interviews … that sort of thing) can be found by clicking the links below each. The Black Watch – 31 Years of Obscurity I wasn’t familiar John

Hundred-word Reviews for December 2019, #3

Here’s the final installment of the year (and the decade!) of my quick, condensed album reviews. Ten titles, 100 words each. Seven are new releases; the remaining three are archival and/or reissue releases. There are some SERIOUS gems in here. Sweet Lizzy Project – Technicolor When most people think of Cuban music, their thoughts turn

Hundred-word Reviews for December 2019, #2

With the end of 2019 on the horizon, I figure now’s as good a time as any to bring things up to date with another batch of quick reviews. In this edition: all new music, ten titles. Blues, powerpop, jazz and more. All worth your time. Maybe even a Great Gift Idea™. Happy holidays! Coco

Free Planet Radio: In Pursuit of Modern Jazz

When Free Planet Radio debuted in 2001, the Asheville-based trio was often described as a world music group. And while by definition that label casts a wide net, it was never quite expansive enough to get to the heart of what Free Planet Radio does. The three creatively adventurous musicians have always explored many styles,

Holiday Music for 2019

‘Tis the season for holiday music. It’s a genre that often gets a bad rap, for good reason: a lot of it is pretty dire. Though there are classics (like Roy Wood’s “I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day,” ELP’s “I Believe in Father Christmas” and the Kinks’ rocking “Father Christmas”) it remains a

Hundred-word Reviews for December 2019, #1

As 2019 heads toward its end, there’s time for one more house-cleaning set of quick reviews. Here’s a look at notable new releases in jazz, blues rock and even country. Junior Watson – Nothin’ to it But to Do it Let’s not hold it against the artist that the cover art for this album is