Music Disc Reviews

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Mike Mettler  |  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.”

Ken Richardson  |  Sep 14, 2005  |  0 comments
Got This Feelin' Ascetic
Music •••½ Sound •••
These guys share their name with a pen-and-paper role-playing game
Billy Altman  |  Jul 05, 2006  |  0 comments
Taking the Long Way Open Wide/Columbia
Music ••• Sound •••
Given the backlash, boycotts, and even death threats they've had
Billy Altman  |  May 30, 2007  |  0 comments
The Reminder Cherrytree/Interscope
Music ••• Sound •••½
Given Leslie Feist's history as a punk-turned-chanteuse indie princ
Robert Ripps  |  Jul 02, 2011  |  0 comments

“I sometimes think I should’ve been a filmmaker rather than a musician.”

So says Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor and music director of the San Francisco Symphony.

Billy Altman  |  Jan 05, 2008  |  0 comments
Raising Sand Rounder
Music •••½ Sound •••½

On paper, the pairing of bluegrass angel Krauss with hard-r

Brett Milano  |  Sep 04, 2006  |  0 comments
Getting Somewhere Sugar Hill
Music ••½ Sound •••
Allison Moorer's first collaboration with producer/husband Stev
Mike Mettler  |  Feb 25, 2009  |  0 comments
K-Scope
Music ••••½ DVD-Audio Mix ••••• Extras ••••½
The once and future king of surround has done it again - or,
Ken Richardson  |  Jul 04, 2007  |  0 comments

Philip Ryan  |  Sep 12, 2011  |  0 comments

Can't make it to the gig? These days, that won't stop you from listening in high resolution - soundboard recordings aren't the cassette tapes of yore anymore. FLAC HD is the format of choice nowadays, and our new blogger Philip Ryan (who in his spare time serves as the technical editor of S+V's sister publications Popular Photography and American Photo) will be checking out a wide range of high-res recordings to see how close he can get to being there.

Steve Simels  |  Mar 03, 2008  |  0 comments
Hernando Songs of the South
Music •••• Sound •••

Studio Album No.

Ken Richardson  |  Dec 14, 2005  |  0 comments

It's been nearly two years since the Janet Jackson Offense at the Super Bowl, so the music industry must be chaste by now. Not exactly! Check out THE LOVEMAKERS, who make rock/electronic dance music with "sexually charged fury," says the bio for their CD, Times of Romance.

Michael Gaughn  |  Aug 09, 2007  |  0 comments
Famous Blue Raincoat - The Songs of Leonard Cohen: 20th Anniversary Edition Shout!
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Nov 08, 2011  |  0 comments

The genius of Pink Floyd's music is intertwined with the genius of the recording of the music. And the innovative studio techniques used by the band and its producers and recording engineers are integral to the music. It's impossible to imagine The Dark Side of the Moon without vital creative touches such as the sound of clanging money or thumping heartbeats. Perhaps no other band has pushed the technical envelope so aggressively, or profited from it so enormously. The catalog of their works is one of innovation - both musically and sonically.

Ken Richardson  |  Jul 15, 2008  |  0 comments
Porcupine Tree: Lightbulb Sun

Kscope/Snapper

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