Album Review: The Oscar Peterson Trio – Walking the Line

Recorded in MPS Records’ Villingen, Germany studio over four days in November 1969 (and released the next year), Walking the Line features pianist Oscar Peterson joined by bassist Jiri Mraz and drummer Ray Price. Peterson is absolutely on fire from the very start, with a reading of Cole Porter‘s “I Love You.” There’s a sense

Album Review: Baden Powell – Images on Guitar

This 1973 album for MPS is listed on Wikipedia as a live recording; it’s “live” only in the sense that it was cut that way in the studio. Recorded October 1971 at MPS’ Black Forest studio, Images on Guitar features Brazilian guitarist Powell (born Baden Powell de Aquino) backed by Ernesto Gonsalves (bass), Joaquim Paes

Album Review: Freddie Hubbard – The Hub of Hubbard

Don’t let the relatively generic cover art of The Hub of Hubbard dissuade you from checking out this 2016 reissue of an album originally released in Germany in 1970 (and in the US two years later). Cut in the Black Forest for the German MPS label, this four-tune set features trumpeter Hubbard blowing impressively while

Album Review: Joe Henderson et. al. – Mirror, Mirror

Joe Henderson – tenor saxophone Chick Corea – piano Ron Carter – bass Billy Higgins – drums One of the most consistently thrilling qualities of jazz is the manner in which artists team up in different combinations, often just for a single session. Whether onstage or within the confines of the recording studio, the result

Album Review: Monty Alexander Trio – Montreux Alexander

Alexander’s seventh release for MPS, Montreux Alexander is a document of the pianist’s trio live at the Montreux, Switzerland Jazz Festival in June 1976. As the liner notes explain, neither Alexander nor his rhythm section – bassist John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton on drums – had any advance idea of what songs they would perform.

Situation Critical: “Code Red” Compilation Supports the ACLU

To many observers, statements by presidential candidate (and now President-elect) Donald Trump during the 2016 election cycle raised serious concerns. The reality TV star and purported billionaire made many public pronouncements that suggest a hostility toward free speech and civil liberties. From calling for bans on Muslim immigrants to “open[ing] up our libel laws so

Album Mini-review: Mike Watt — “Ring Spiel” Tour ’95

File next to: Meat Puppets, Mission of Burma, Sugar Gravelly-voiced bassist Watt first made his name as the bassist in The Minutemen, and after that group’s end in the wake of D. Boon‘s untimely death, with Firehose. Eventually he embarked on a solo career; his first solo tour – in support of 1995’s Ball-Hog or

Album Mini-review: Love and Rockets — Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven (Blu-Ray)

File next to: Siouxsie and the Banshees, Psychedelic Furs One of the problems with hit records is that they’re often too representative of the era in which they were made. Whether it’s production values, instrument choices or general approach, too many songs all but scream “1980s!” when they’re played decades later. It’s the rare release

Album Review: Seven Simons — Post

Athens, Georgia was fertile musical ground in the 1980s. Looking beyond the biggest names – R.E.M., the B-52s, Pylon and (briefly) Matthew Sweet – one could discover a vibrant music scene. Some of it was chronicled in Tony Gayton‘s 1987 documentary, Athens, GA: Inside/Out. But even that film didn’t cover all the worthy music coming

Trampled By Turtles’ Two Daves Take it Slow and Steady

Trampled By Turtles is a darling of the Americana scene and the festival circuit. And while the Minneapolis-based group played a number of shows this summer – including sold-out performances at Red Rocks – they’re currently on hiatus, and their future is uncertain. All five members are busy with other musical projects, and two members