From his early years mastering bebop and jazz standards, through his cool, modal, post-bop, electric and funk periods, there was always a strong sense of direction and a singular voice in the middle of the fray. That essence remained through Davis' final years; he still offered beautiful songs, wisely chosen and intelligently arranged. Miles traditionalists will appreciate the first track here, in which he breathes new life into "In A Silent Way." That quickly leads into "Intruder," a blowing vehicle for the venerable and impressive saxophonist Kenny Garrett. Garrett and bassist Richard Patterson proceed to go crazy on the frenetically funky "Wrinkle." Tunes like "New Blues" and "Tutu" reveal the sophistication of the master himself as a composer, as well as his finesse on trumpet. Another standout player here is the insanely expressive Foley, sounding like Jimi Hendrix, only funkier (and on bass).
2002 remastered reissue of 1996 live release featuring material recorded on two tours from 1985-91. Includes Kenny Garrett & Foley & Adam Holzman. The closing track, 'Hannibal', comes from the very last performance of Davis' life.
Ten years is a long time, especially in pop music, but waiting ten years to deliver an album is a clear sign that you're not all that interested in the pop game anyway. Such is the case with Peter Gabriel, who delivered Up in 2002, a decade after Us and four years after he announced its title. Perhaps appropriately, Up sounds like an album that was ten years in the making, revealing not just its pleasures but its intent very, very slowly…
The Swedish composer Ingvar Lidholm has a very strong CV, taking in periods of study in France, Switzerland and Italy, courses in Darmstadt, professor of composition at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and membership of the ISCM Presidium. He does not seem to have been a prolific composer and this CD is the first of a proposed series by BIS featuring Lidholm's orchestral works. He is evidently fond of single movements works and all the pieces on this record are in this form. The pieces span 35 years of Lidholm's working life and form a good introduction to his music.
On Musique Du Bois, things start with a chorded bass-alto workout in the intro of "Samba du Bois," actually more a hard bop than Brazilian excursion, with Phil Woods' alto frying on the edges. The most inventive juxtaposition of "All Blues" welded to "Willow Weep for Me" works perfectly over ten-plus minutes, in a steady but quick waltz tempo. This is a tour-de-force reading, Woods wafting over Jaki Byard's blue-green chords. During his solo, the pianist goes light blue in cascading, flowing phrases that tumble out of the 88 keys.
Hudson's relationship with Virgin was, to say the least, tempestuous. Because of his outspoken liberterian Rasta ideology, Virgin had in mind molding him into the the next Bob Marley, a marketing ploy that Hudson vigorously resisted. Still, Virgin thought it had a Marley-type album when Hudson delivered this set of hard riddims. Although not quite Catch a Fire, Rasta Communication is a fine effort, with Hudson upping the political ante on songs like "Felt the Strain" and "My Eyes Are Red."
Best known as the founder of Roomful of Blues and for his short stint with the Fabulous Thunderbirds (replacing Jimmie Vaughan), Duke Robillard had only released two blues albums between 1996 and 2002. Although he was awarded the W.C. Handy Best Blues Guitarist award for 2000 and 2001 and his tireless road work always included plenty of stinging solos, Robillard left the jazz and worldbeat tangents behind for this welcome return to his first love. Those who have followed Robillard's career know that he's never been tied to one style, and Living With the Blues highlights his eclectic talents. Robillard crackles on everything here, from the straight-ahead Chicago approach of Willie Dixon by way of Muddy Waters' "I Live the Life I Love" to the Roomful-styled hard swing of the obscure Willie Egans' "I'm Mad About You Baby" to the acoustic treatment of Tampa Red's "Hard Road" and the jump blues of his own "Sleepin' on It" (reprised from the Roomful years). He turns the Brownie McGhee title track into a tough Chicago shuffle, featuring the rollicking tenor sax of old Roomful alumnus Doug James, and closes with a bluesy rhumba-styled version of B.B. King's "Long Gone Baby." He also adds tough spunk to Little Milton's "If Walls Could Talk," throwing in one of the disc's greasiest solos along the way.