fusion Archive

Hundred-word Reviews December 2021 #1

Happy December! While I’ve been busy with activities related to the impending publishing of my book Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, I’ve found time to put together quick looks at some worthy new music. Here, in the form of 100-word reviews, are five of those. And come back tomorrow

Album Review: Trifecta — Fragments

Here’s an easy trivia question for you: What do Craig Blundell, Adam Holzman asnd Nick Beggs have in common? It’s really a trick question, because the judges will allow any number of possible answers. You might have replied that (a) all three men are superb musicians playing progressive rock, or (b) all three are members

Album Review: John McLaughlin — Liberation Time

A deeply spiritual artist, John McLaughlin makes music that moves the mind, body and spirit. There’s certainly plenty of technical precision in his music, but with in it beats a living heart. As such, the creation of that music is greatly informed and colored by the interaction among the participants (usually some of the finest

30 Days Out, July 2021 #2: Jameron, The Honeycutters, Carly Taich, Marbin

Lots of choices for live music in the next 30 days in and around Asheville. Go see some. Here’s a quick look at four solid choices: Two local bands, two touring acts. Support live music! Artist: Jameron Venue: The One Stop Date: Saturday, July 17, 8 p.m. Door: tip jar The name suggest a jam

Album Review: Allan Holdsworth — Leverkusen ’97

When progressive/fusion guitarist Allan Holdsworth passed away in April 2017, he left behind a substantial body of work. Not long before his death, Manifesto Records put together an impressive boxed set, The Man Who Changed Guitar Forever! (he had issues with that title, as he told me in his next-to-last interview before his death). And

Album Review – Gerald Gradwohl Group — Episode 6

What might it sound like if Metallica was influenced by Allan Holdsworth? The answer might just be Episode 6, the new album by the Gerald Grawhol Group. But then Metallica have not (to my knowledge) worked saxophone into their sound. This Austrian four-piece led by guitarist Gradwohl does feature tenor sax right alongside bass and

Album Review: Miles Davis’ ‘Jack Johnson’ at 50 (Part Two)

Continued from Part One … Side Two of Miles Davis’ Jack Johnson features the same players plus a different lineup, and in fact the aggregation wasn’t credited on the original LP. McLaughlin returns, joined by gonzo electric guitarist Sonny Sharrock. The bassist now is Dave Holland, and Jack DeJohnette plays drums. Bennie Maupin – whose

Album Review: Miles Davis’ ‘Jack Johnson’ at 50 (Part One)

Much is made – and rightly so – of Miles Davis’ landmark 1970 release Bitches Brew. The album represented Davis’ adventurous foray into the (previously unoccupied) space in which rock and jazz coexisted. True, others had made moved toward bridging the gap between the two genres, but none had done so as forcefully and uncompromisingly

Album Review: The Justin Rothberg Group – Hurricane Mouse

Too often, when an artist makes music that starts with a jazz foundation and leans in an “accessible” direction, the result is smooth jazz. Ugh. It’s the rare artist who takes jazz textures and makes music that is both challenging and melodic. Hurricane Mouse by the Justin Rothberg Group is a successful case in point:

Album Review: Barrett Martin Group — Scattered Diamonds

In spring of last year, I reviewed Songs of the Firebird, a resonant and deeply intriguing album that could be described in part as a jazz album made with non-jazz musicians helping out. That record leaned in a bit of an avant-big-band direction. This newest release from the group is even more accessible. Scattered Diamonds