From his studio in central Bobo-Dioulasso, photographer Sory Sanlé documented a nation's transformation from colonial foothold to cosmopolitan oasis. Bobo Yeye: Belle Epoque in Upper Volta provides an intimate look into the landlocked nation's pop culture explosion of the 1970s.
Jesus Rocked the Jukebox offers a spirited celebration of some of the most foundational songs in American musical history, tracing the evolution of the modern Soul, R&B, and Rock n' Roll genres via the likes of The Blind Boys of Alabama, The Swan Silvertones, The Staple Singers, Sam Cooke, and The Chosen Gospel Singers featuring Lou Rawls.
Guitarist Chris Duarte's Texas Sugar Strat Magik is an impressive debut album, showcasing his fiery, Stevie Ray Vaughan-derived blues-rock. As a songwriter, Duarte is still developing – he fails to come up with any memorable songs, although he does contribute several competent, unexceptional genre pieces – but as an instrumentalist, he's first-rate, spitting out solos with a blistering intensity or laying back with gentle, lyrical phrases. And that's what makes Texas Sugar Strat Magik a successful record – it's simply a great guitar album, full of exceptional playing.
This set, recorded at New York City's Bottom Line in September of 1978, is a wonderful example of the Pat Metheny Group onstage at this early stage, shortly after the release of their debut album. Not surprisingly, the set includes material from that album, but also explores older and side project material in the context of this quartet, as well and a couple of key compositions destined for the group's follow-up, American Garage. As such, this set serves up a fine example of what drew attention to this group in the first place and will be illuminating to anyone interested in this relatively early stage of Pat Metheny's career as a performing musician.
This is a great compilation of group harmony (a.k.a. doo wop) vocal performances, mostly from the 1950s. Some of these tracks circulate widely on holiday compilations, but others are very rare. In my collection, for example, this release is my only source for the tracks by the Shantons, the Golden Gate Quartet, the Larks, and Sir Jablonski.