Category: Titles

Harry Belafonte, Belafonte Sings the Blues

OK, first things first: This isn’t really a blues album. At least, not in the sense of a Muddy Waters, or even an Eric Clapton blues interpretation. It’s a mix of some blues songs and some old standards, nicely accompanied and featuring the super-smooth voice of Harry Belafonte. Back in 1958 when this LP was
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Dusty Springfield – The Look of Love

Dusty Springfield’s voice is intoxicating: Smooth, sultry and sexy. On the audiophile old chestnut, Casino Royale Soundtrack, “The Look of Love” is a standout track for me. In fact, it’s thestandout track on the album in my view. This view is shared with others: The Bachrach/David song was nominated for an academy award for best song in
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Frank Zappa, Hot Rats

In many ways, Frank Zappa was an enigma. Somewhat clown-like in his personal presentation, this persona masked a kind of creative genius that—to the detriment of Zappa’s fame and, probably, financial success—refused to bend to the strictures of popularity. He just wasn’t a middle-of-the-road kind of guy…his music was usually challenging, not surprising from the
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Stephen Stills – Just Roll Tape

This LP, which is very much worth owning, is desirable for reasons that are, perhaps, different from those of other LPs that I’ve reviewed recently. More than new issues, or reissues, Just Roll Tape is a historical document. Classic live concerts (Woodstock, various Grateful Dead concert issues) come close to this LP in terms of their importance, but
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Charlie Haden – The Private Collection

I love the acoustic bass. I love how it anchors jazz, and how in an intimate setting the bass becomes more than just a rhythm section…it becomes a voice of its own. Listen to Scott LaFaro with Bill Evans and Paul Motian on Sunday at the Village Vanguard, and I think you’ll understand what I mean.

Warren Zevon – Warren Zevon

I was introduced to Warren Zevon when I was in college and his 1978 album Excitable Boy was released. Notwithstanding a few tracks that to this day I can’t stand (Nighttime in the Switching Yard and Veracruz come to mind), the album caught my fancy in a big way: The offbeat lyrics, superb tunecrafting and marvelous arrangements and performances instantly attracted.
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Neil Young – Live at Massey Hall 1971

The Neil Young Archives Performance Series continues with this release (“Disc 03”), a double album featuring Young’s acoustic performance at Massey Hall in Toronto on January 19, 1971. I reviewed the earlier release, Neil Young and Crazy Horse at the Fillmore 1970, in the August. This performance could not be more strikingly different from the 1970
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Leo Kottke – 6 and 12 String Guitar

Leo Kottke is a talented and eclectic guy. Originally from Georgia, as a child the guitarist moved frequently around the U.S. with his family. It is perhaps this peripatetic existence that formed, or at least molded, his talent. And it is quite some talent… though more on that later. 6 and 12 String Guitar (an honest
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Donald Byrd – The Cat Walk

A Detroit native, trumpeter Donaldson Toussaint l’Ouverture Byrd II was exposed to some giants of jazz at a tender age, playing with Lionel Hampton while in high school and joining Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers while in New York pursuing his masters degree. Education seems to have been a constant in Byrd’s life: Not only does he
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