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Mike Mettler Posted: Oct 05, 2012 0 comments

Duke Ellington knew how to swing. Ellington (1899–1974) was one of the most prolific and influential songwriters of the 20th Century, a purveyor of what he liked to call American Music (he eschewed being labeled as “just” a jazz artist). You know him, even if you don’t think you know him: “Take the ‘A’ Train,” “Mood Indigo,” and “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” are but slivers of his deep (and deep-felt) compositional and performing catalog.

One particular set of highly attuned ears that were influenced by Ellington’s magic happen to belong to Joe Jackson. Yes, that Joe Jackson, he of the skinny-tie New Wave scene of the late ’70s who began reinventing himself at the dawn of the ’80s and never looked back. “I was always ready to move on,” Jackson, 58, said matter-of-factly over lunch in midtown Manhattan this past spring. (Well, to clarify, I had lunch; Jackson was content with “just water.”) “It never occurred to me that listeners may not have been ready to hear it. I thought the whole idea of being an artist was to do something different than everyone else.”

Jeff Perlah Posted: May 09, 2006 0 comments

Billy Altman Posted: May 30, 2007 0 comments
The Reminder Cherrytree/Interscope
Music ••• Sound •••½
Given Leslie Feist's history as a punk-turned-chanteuse indie princ
Rob O'Connor Posted: Jan 27, 2008 0 comments
Better Dreams Appleseed
Music •••½ Sound ••••

No matter what the situation, Maura Kennedy's sweetly parsed vo

Richard C. Walls Posted: Oct 01, 2005 0 comments
Chávez Ravine Nonesuch/Perro Verde
Music •••½ Sound ••••
Guitarist Ry Cooder's latest project is a concept album
Mike Mettler Posted: Jun 26, 2008 0 comments
Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends Capitol
Music •••½ Sound ••••

No pressure.

Billy Altman Posted: Sep 04, 2006 0 comments

"There are no second acts in American lives"? Well, if F.

Mike Mettler Posted: Jul 16, 2007 0 comments

Billy Altman Posted: Apr 03, 2008 0 comments
Working Man's Café Ammal/New West
Music •••• Sound ••••

This follow-up to 2006's fine Other People's Lives

Jeff Perlah Posted: Apr 19, 2011 0 comments

Sure, it’s great when one musician can collaborate with another in a faraway country and end up with something impressive — even when the two never spend any time together in a studio. The wonders of the digital age have made it easy to carry on long-distance recording relationships.

Ken Richardson Posted: Sep 14, 2005 0 comments
The Woods Sub Pop
Music •••• Sound ••
Whereas All Hands on the Bad One was a "crossover" album to love and <
Brett Milano Posted: Nov 09, 2006 0 comments

Rob O'Connor Posted: Jul 22, 2008 0 comments
Third Man/Warner Bros.
Music ••• Sound ••••

To Jack White, everything is a concept.