December 2015 Archives

CD Review: Amp Trio - M(Y)Our World

Amp Trio's second release is a dreamy, sonic wonder.
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For their sophomore release, M(Y)Our World, the members of Amp Trio -- Addison Frei on piano, Perrin Grace on bass and Matt Young on drums -- decided to not only record audio, but also video for the tracks on the album, making for a multimedia event. The album mixes lush orchestration with sparse tracks and breezy with the psychedelic to create an interesting sonic mix. By adding in guest appearances by Tahira Clayton on vocals, Brad Kang on guitar, Drew Zaremba on organ and Nick Rothouse on percussion, Amp Trio has expanded their sound, taking the listener on a sonic

DeepSoul: Michael Jackson - "Little Christmas Tree"

In 1973, Michael Jackson released his one and only Christmas song, a tale of holidays and heartbreak.
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In October 1970, Motown released the Jackson 5 Christmas Album, ostensibly an attempt to cash in on the group's enormous popularity. What few knew then was that the album would become a modern classic, with their covers of "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" and "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" receiving frequent radio airplay every year. While the LP may be a staple of many music collections, few may be aware that Michael Jackson later recorded another holiday song: "Little Christmas Tree," a track co-written by P-Funk's George Clinton. Three years after the Jackson 5 Christmas disc, Michael was

CD Review: Art Pepper - Live At Fat Tuesday's

Art Pepper and his band deliver a killer, late-period set.
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Art Pepper was a brilliant musician. In spite of numerous interruptions (and incarcerations) to his career due to his drug dependency, the quality of his musicianship never dipped. Before his untimely death in 1982, he was in the midst of one of his most fertile periods, one that began during the mid 1970s. On April 15, 1981, Pepper played a set at the famous New York City jazz club Fat Tuesday's. It was a case of extreme good fortune that Elemental Music label owner Jordi Soley managed to locate an excellent recording of the show from a collector. After clearing

CD Review: Kim Nalley - Blues People

Kim Nalley shows off her considerable vocal talents on this new CD.
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More than 50 years ago, Amiri Baraka released the book Blues People: Negro Music in White America. The book put forth the idea that African Americans were a Blues People, that, more than just music, the blues were a way of life for them. Today Kim Nalley looks at the ideas of Baraka's book and expands upon them, setting them to music. The result is Blues People, a diverse record based in the blues that showcases Nalley's considerable talents. The album opens with Nalley's sultry reading of "Summertime." The sparse piano accompaniment from Tammy Hall lets Nalley's voice shine, which