Extended Analysis


The Weave: Knowledge Porridge

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Once there was a time when to be an individual meant pursuing self-realisation, working out who you were, how you felt about the world and what you believed for yourself. If that meant that say Thelonious Monk, Sun Ra or Charles Mingus were viewed as eccentrics then too bad, it was just how they were or wanted to be seen. Regrettably in our modern age things have changed and individualism now has more than a whiff of selfishness, nasty politics ...


Miles Davis at Newport 1955-1975: The Bootleg Series Vol. 4

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There's a theory a nascent jazzlover could build an estimable collection of the music simply by picking and choosing from the discography of Miles Davis and the various musicians with whom he's collaborated over the years. Likewise, the mercurial alterations of style enacted by the man with the horn reflect the evolution of the music itself, never so vividly captured as this edition of The Bootleg Series. On Vol. 4 At Newport 1955-1975, the ascension of Davis as ...


Jimi Hendrix: Freedom-Atlanta Pop Festival

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Jimi Hendrix' performance at the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival in Bethel, NY may be his most iconic single live performance, but as the conclusion of the August 1969 event, it was offered in front of approximately half the 300-400,000audience he faced at the Atlanta Pop Festival roughly a year later. Contained on two-disc sets of compact disc and vinyl LP, Freedom documents the concert in its entirety (except for a grievously out-of-tune “Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)" ...


Light of the Supreme: Carlos Santana’s Devadip Trilogy

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To the casual music fan in 1971 Carlos Santana appeared as if he was on top of the world. His band's appearance at Woodstock two short years earlier, plus their cover of Fleetwood Mac's “Black Magic Woman" had catapulted him to stardom. Yet, behind the scenes, his band was splintering. Different musical and personal objectives, plus the increased usage of hard drugs by some band members were getting in the way. By the end of the year, bassist David Brown, ...


Stephan Micus: Nomad Songs

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For his 21st ECM recording (his first six originally released on the label's sister imprint Japo but subsequently reissued on ECM), multi-instrumentalist and intrepid musical explorer Stephan Micus simplifies...well, relatively speaking...to the sparer instrumental settings of earlier recordings like The Music of Stones (1989), East of the Night (1985) and Till the End of Time (1978). That's not to say that Micus--who's recorded all his music in his own MCM Studio since 1992's To the Evening Child--has deserted his usual ...


Grateful Dead: The Best of the Grateful Dead

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As with so many aspects of the Grateful Dead oeuvre, there's more to The Best of the Grateful Dead than meets the eyes and ears. An embossed cover the glossy likes of which don't usually adorn such compilations, plus the presence of sound arising from brand new remastering done on the bulk of the thirty two tracks, are only the most obvious touches to a collection that may surprise even the most (tie)dyed-in-the-wool Deadheads. Who may, in fact, ...


Sly and the Family Stone; Live at The Fillmore East October 4th and 4th 1968

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Sly and The Family Stone's galvanizing appearance at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair in August of 1969 may well represent the pinnacle of their career, but their rise to this apogee of recognition was the culmination of a long slow climb to fame dating back even further than Sylvester Stewart's, nee Sly, tenure as a disc jockey and record producer during the early to mid-Sixties in San Francisco. Melding r&b, gospel, rock and roll, blues and pop, ...


Lee Smith: My Kind of Blues

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After nearly 40 years as a working bassist, Lee Smith has become a jny: Philadelphia legend, playing gig after gig with just about everyone, including the Delphonics, Mongo Santamaria, Dizzy Gillespie, Roland Kirk, Lionel Hampton, and a host of Philadelphians, including Larry McKenna, Tom Lawton, Bootsie Barnes, Odean Pope, and the list goes on and on. In 2012, he released his first album as leader, composer, and arranger, Sittin' on a Secret (Vectordisc, 2012). In a review of that album, ...

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