omnivore recordings Archive

Hundred-word Reviews for September 2016, Part 5

My week-long barrage of brief reviews wraps up with these last five. Look for more soon. Professor Longhair – Live in Chicago In 1976, New Orleans legend Professor Longhair played at the University of Chicago Folk Festival. This high-quality recording documents that show, and the acoustic piano is captured wonderfully. The nuances of Longhair’s work

Hundred-word Reviews for September 2016, Part 4

Five more quick ones. All these albums bear further investigation. Wild Man Fischer – An Evening with Wild Man Fischer Conventional wisdom holds that while Gail Zappa was alive, she prevented reissues of many albums originally released on Frank’s Bizarre/Straight labels. Whether that’s true or not, Gail’s gone now and we finally have a legit

Hundred-word Reviews for September 2016, Part 3

Cutting a swath through the pile of CDs in my inbox, here I present five more quick reviews. Maynard Ferguson – Complete High Voltage The 1980s aren’t generally thought of as a fertile period in the jazz idiom. Fusion had had its moment, and what most people though of jazz in the 80s was a

Hundred-word Reviews for September 2016, Part 2

Five more quick reviews, presented in random order. The Bangles – Ladies and Gentlemen … the Bangles! This Los Angeles group never got the serious recognition they deserved. Chalk it up to the marketing approach of the time, but the focus was more on their undeniable good looks than their top-notch playing and writing skills.

Album Mini-review: Allen Ginsberg — The Last Word on First Blues

File next to: William Burroughs, The Fugs, Lenny Bruce Beat poet Allen Ginsberg is a towering figure in America’s cultural history. Most of his recorded material is spoken word, but in 1983 he cut an album of music called First Blues. With a ramshackle folk backing from pals including Bob Dylan, First Blues is a

Emitt Rhodes: Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Part 2)

Continued from Part One … Word has it that Emitt Rhodes does like his privacy. What that means in practical terms, I am told, is that when I telephone him at the scheduled time for our interview, I should announce myself when the call goes over to Emitt’s answering machine. This I do, but Rhodes

Emitt Rhodes: Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Part 1)

In the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, the “great and powerful” title character is revealed to be a mere mortal. And while for some viewers the takeaway of that revelation is that he’s a fraud, another point of view holds that he – like all of us in a way, really – is just

Album Mini-review: Velvet Crush — Pre-teen Symphonies

File next to: The Smithereens, Matthew Sweet, Teenage Fanclub If they didn’t scale the heights of commercial success that some of their contemporaries reached, it was no fault of Velvet Crush. All of the ingredients for success were there: muscular playing and arrangements, razor-sharp hooks, great lead and harmony vocals, and solid songwriting. They persevered

The Bo-Keys: Today’s New School of Old-school (Part 2)

Continued from Part One… Bo-Keys producer/bandleader Scott Bomar says that the bulk of the work on Heartaches by the Number took the form of pre-production. “I spent well over a year compiling songs – covers and originals – for the record,” Bomar says. The result is a rich collection of weepers: crying-in-your-beer tunes, all given

The Bo-Keys: Today’s New School of Old-school (Part 1)

One of the most intriguing album releases of this year doesn’t sound like a new record, not at all. Recorded in Memphis, Tennessee and featuring veteran musicians from the city’s rich musical history, The Bo-Keys‘ Heartaches by the Number (Omnivore Recordings) builds upon classic songwriting and like-minded original tunes to create a timeless recording. But