October 2015 Archives

CD Review: Joyce Moreno + Kenny Werner - Poesia

Joyce Moreno and Kenny Werner team up for an excellent album of love songs.
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With over 50 albums between them, numerous awards and nominations, and accolades from greats such as Antonio Carlos Jobim, Joyce Moreno and Kenny Werner hardly need any introduction. The pair has been leading musical voices in Brazilian and jazz music for decades now, and their working relationship goes back just as far, with Werner playing piano on Moreno's Verve albums and taking part in her 1991 Japanese tour. When Werner and his band played Brazil a few years ago, he invited Moreno to sit in with him. The combination proved to be magical. This prompted the pair to go into

DeepSoul: Marvin Gaye - "Turn on Some Music"

This buried treasure demonstrates why Gaye remains one of the most gifted singers in music.
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In retrospect, 1984 should have been Marvin Gaye's year. After struggling with drug abuse, financial difficulties, and a failing marriage, Gaye began mounting a comeback in 1981. Late that year he began recording Midnight Love, an album that deftly mixed reggae, synth pop, and quiet storm elements with Gaye's astoundingly agile vocals. When its first single, "Sexual Healing," was released in 1982, Gaye quickly regained his commercial power. The song topped the R&B charts and peaked at number three on the pop singles charts. Consequently Midnight Love proved to be Gaye's most successful album, selling over 3.9 copies in

CD Review: Raging Fire - Everything Is Roses: 1985-1989

This overlooked 1980s Nashville band gets a second chance with an excellent new compilation.
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In the mid 1980s, big hair, spandex and keyboards were all the rage in the music industry. Hard rock and wild guitar solos dominated radio and the ever-important MTV. For a band such as Raging Fire, it was hard to fit in. That's not to say they didn't get noticed. A CMJ readers' poll voted them, along with The Pixies, as one of America's best unsigned bands. Their sound, which mixed elements of punk, with Led Zeppelin and the Who and which featured the distinctive vocals of Melora Zaner, was ahead of its time however, predating grunge by half a

DeepSoul: Rose Royce - "Love Don't Live Here Anymore"

Best known for the disco classic "Car Wash," Rose Royce recorded some of the best--and most overlooked--R&B singles of the late 1970s.
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The name "Rose Royce" conjures images of mirror balls and flashing lights, thanks to their massive 1976 hit "Car Wash." They recorded numerous R&B hits that rivaled the song in quality, although those singles never impacted the charts as much as their disco classic. Other Rose Royce tracks such as "I'm Going Down" and "Wishing on a Star" have been covered by Mary J. Blige and Beyonce, while "Ooh Boy" was sampled in the Shaggy and Janet Jackson single "Luv Me, Luv Me." In addition to those under-appreciated classics, the 1978 slow jam "Love Don't Live Here Anymore" demonstrates that

Blu-ray Review: What's Going On: Taste - Live At The Isle Of Wight

One of the band's final performances, filmed in front of 600,000 fans.
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In 1970, Taste, led by guitarist Rory Gallagher, should have taken the music world by storm. They had received critical acclaim from the likes of John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix and delivered a killer set at the Isle Of Wight Festival. What should have been a major coming out party though turned out to be the beginning of the end, as the band announced their breakup just a few days later, the result of disagreements between Gallagher and drummer John Wilson and bassist Richard McCracken over money, management and a host of other issues. Had they not been obligated to

CD Review: Paul McCartney - Pipes Of Peace Special Edition

McCartney's follow-up to Tug Of War yields more hits and A-list guests.
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In 1983, just one year after the commercial and critical smash Tug Of War, and with an abundance of leftover material from those sessions, Paul McCartney decided to strike while the iron was hot and release his next album, Pipes Of Peace. The album in many ways mirrors its predecessor. It has pretty much the same players, the same producer in George Martin and features two duets with a high profile pop star, this time Michael Jackson as opposed to Stevie Wonder. The album was a commercial smash, though not as successful critically as Tug Of War. Now it is

CD Review: Paul McCartney - Tug Of War Special Edition

Paul McCartney's major return to form from 1982 is available in a remixed, special edition.
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1982 was an important year for Paul McCartney. It had been two years since he released the experimental McCartney II to mixed reviews and, in the interim, John Lennon had been murdered. Perhaps sensing the need of another alpha male type to help focus his new album's material, McCartney called upon George Martin to produce for the first time since "Live And Let Die" and for his first full-length album since The Beatles broke up. The resulting album, Tug Of War, was a critical and commercial success, aided by his duet with Stevie Wonder on "Ebony And Ivory." The album