Extended Analysis


Tom Barton & Diego Villalta: Connections

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There's something other worldly about this collaboration between innovative jazz vocalist Tom Barton and guitarist/composer Diego Villalta. Recorded in Osaka and inspired by the duo's experiences touring Japan the collection is wholly improvised, showcasing a broad range and variety of styles yet remaining coherent enough to suggest it could only have been this way. Barton describes it as “a free-jazz aesthetic, featuring extended vocal techniques and live looping, and electric guitar and FX" which is certainly true, if a little ...


Weather Report: The Legendary Live Tapes 1978-1981

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While live documents from Weather Report's 16-year run continue to be unearthed, and while live albums have previously documented the group's 1978 tour, there's been precious little from its final tours of 1980/81, when the group returned more decidedly to its jazz roots with one of the best albums in its discography, 1980's Night Passage. Only keyboardist Joe Zawinul's “Fast City" and saxophonist Wayne Shorter's “Port of Entry," for example, made it onto 2002's Live and Unreleased (Columbia). Thanks, however, ...


Jaco: Original Soundtrack

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With so many compilations already out there, it might be easy to question why a soundtrack to JACO is even necessary. But one look at the track listing renders its raison d'être clear: JACO: Original Soundtrack is, in some ways, the most comprehensive document of the bassist's career, even if it doesn't contain as much music as previous double-disc sets. Yes, there is plenty of time given to his leader debut, Jaco Pastorius (Epic, 1976), with everything from the soul/funk ...


Bob Dylan: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12 - The Cutting Edge

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Quite apart from its existence as a deeply retrospective look at what is generally accepted as the most groundbreaking phase of Bob Dylan's career, the greatest virtue of the 2CD package of The Bootleg Series Volume 12 is a most practical one: no time or space is given over to the previously released versions of these magnificent songs from 1965 and 1966, digitally remastered or otherwise. The (un)usually astute producers of this ongoing archive project assume, and correctly ...


Peter Case: Hwy 62

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With his walrus-like goatee, dark glasses and a fedora knocked back over a straggly haircut, Peter Case looks like the devoted road warrior and musical explorer that he is on the cover of the aptly-titled Hwy 62. And the recordings inside bear out the wisdom he's gained over the years as a songwriter and musician, these eleven vivid tunes bearing witness to his insights and observations as brought to kinetic life by the presence of a single set of musicians ...


Shye Ben Tzur, Jonny Greenwood and the Rajasthan Express: Junun

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The idea of gathering excellent musicians with different backgrounds, from various corners of the Earth and then set them playing togetehr somewhere picturesque as the cameras roll can turn into something much more significant as it is the case with Paul Thomas Anderson's documentary film Junun. The film follows a group of musicians that includes guitarist and composer Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead fame, Radiohead's producer Nigel Goodman, Israeli singer and composer Shye Ben Tzur and Rajasthan Express, an ...


Charles Owens Trio: A Day With Us

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Even when factoring in the vital contributions of bassist Andrew Randazzo and drummer Devonne Harris, there's no denying Charles Owens' firm hold on the nine tracks of A Day With Us. Throughout a program consisting largely of standards, the music is ruled by the broad, resonant sound of the leader's tenor saxophone and the dogged persistence that characterizes everything he plays. As if building something momentous on the spur of the moment with his wits and the force of his ...


Art Pepper: Art Pepper Live at Fat Tuesday’s

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The discovery and release of Art Pepper Live at Fat Tuesday's is a surprising and welcome event that has some precedence in jazz reportage. “Art Pepper, 1926-1982" is a much anthologized obituary on Pepper by jazz writer Gary Giddins, originally published in his book Rhythm-a-ning (Da Capo Press, 1985) written shortly after the saxophonist's death. In that requiem essay, Giddins remarks of these shows: “He was living on borrowed time, and he knew it. The last time ...

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