review Archive

Album Review: The Explorers Club — s/t

In my previous review I, um, explored To Sing and Be Born Again, the new all-covers album from Jason Brewer’s The Explorers Club. The group isn’t exactly what one would call prolific, having maintained a consistent pace of a new album every four years since 2008’s Freedom Wind. But as 2020 has come around, the

Album Review: The Explorers Club — To Sing and Be Born Again

For more than a decade now, The Explorers Club have been bringing their brand of ear candy pop to listeners. Essentially a vehicle for songwriter, musician, arranger and producer Jason Brewer, the EC’s lineup has been fluid. Originally a band based in Charleston, today The Explorers Club is the creative product of Brewer and whomever

Album Review: Miles Davis – Music From and Inspired by ‘Birth of the Cool’

There’s a trend in recent years: when releasing a film’s companion audio, the CD is sometimes branded as “Music From and Inspired By…” That gives to compiler of the audio document a freer hand to include material that is conceptually relevant even if it didn’t feature in the film itself. Such releases can’t strictly be

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: Ella 100 – Live at the Apollo!

The First Lady of Song, Ella Fitzgerald was among the most influential vocalists of the 20th century. Her distinctive voice, her seemingly effortless and natural delivery and her winning personality combined to great effect. April 2017 marked the 1200th anniversary of her birth, and to commemorate her life and work, an all-star lineup of musicians

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

Album Review: The Corner Laughers — Temescal Telegraph

Based in Redwood City, The Corner Laughers craft a brand of pop that’s sophisticated, clever, erudite and memorable – one that follows in the proud tradition of great songwriting artists like Carole King and Paul McCartney. Across the group’s several singles, EPs and albums, a love of wordplay combines with subject matter beyond the simple

Album Review: Bonniwell Music Machine

There’s an esteemed list of albums from the 1960s that didn’t get their due the first time around; the era was so rich with gems that plenty of great albums slipped by the public’s notice. For every Pet Sounds, Revolver and Days of Future Passed there’s an obscurity that – while it may not have

Album Review: Andrew Gold — Something New: Unreleased Gold

Andrew Gold’s name has been circulating quite a bit of late, at least in music nerd circles. And that’s pretty remarkable considering that he passed away just about nine years ago. The first instance of his name popping up on my radar screen was around the time that Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice

Album Review: Four Early Allman Brothers-related Titles

A group as great as The Allman Brothers Band doesn’t simply burst forth fully formed. There has to be a back story. And while it’s true that the greatest bands are so often more than the sum of their parts, the creative artistry of Duane and Gregg Allman cannot be denied. Some years ago, the