Russian Circles are an American instrumental rock trio from Chicago, IL. Their sound consists of expansive guitar sounds created by guitarist Mike Sullivan's extensive looping and layering (a sound which he accurately reproduces at live shows), as well as heavily rhythmic drums and crushing basslines. They feature the cinematic soundscapes common to post-rock, but are not afraid to keep some sections heavy with a capital H, and have plenty of rhythm changes. They formed in 2005, and self-released an eponymous EP, followed shortly thereafter by their full-length debut, ''Enter''. Russian Circles provide a sonic adventure that should be enjoyable for any fan of the genre.
2011 album from the Jazz guitarist, a release that its creator cites as his most realized project to date. Friends finds Jordan in challenging company: fellow strummers Charlie Hunter, Russell Malone, Bucky Pizzarelli and Mike Stern; saxmen (and label mate) Kenny Garrett and Ronnie Laws; N'awlins trumpeter Nicholas Payton and the renowned violinist Regina Carter. Another label mate, Christian McBride, guests on bass when not handled by Stanley's long-time trio bassist Charnett Moffett. Kenwood Dennard of his trio holds down the drum chair. Truly, a collection of Friends whose benefit push Stanley into a heightened musical reality.
Thinking big, Bootsy Collins’ 2011 effort is a conceptual trip, a funky history lesson brought to life by the P-Funk veteran, his rock-solid band, and a slew of guest stars, ranging from rapper Ice Cube to professor Cornel West. In between, there’s funk-rock shredding from freaky and frequent collaborator Buckethead, some psychedelic storytelling by way of an old Jimi Hendrix interview, plus better-than-expected prose from both Rev. Al Sharpton (on the cultural magnificence of James Brown) and Samuel L. Jackson (on how the funk era was a Renaissance for the hood). Underneath it all, the P-Funk jams pop and stroll with that same old swagger, while Bootsy himself beams down his wild bits of Mothership wisdom, including “It’s recess time, so put a smile on your mind” (“Don't Take My Funk”) and “If you wanna lead the orchestra, you’re gonna have to turn your back to the crowd” (“Siento Bombo”).