While countless rockers started their careers in the New York suburb of Long Island before going on to worldwide success (Billy Joel, Twisted Sister, Steve Vai, Brian Setzer, Blue Öyster Cult, etc.), there have been countless acts that appeared poised for a breakthrough, but for whatever reason, fell short. Many longtime followers of Long Island-based rock would probably agree that tops on the "woulda/coulda/shoulda" list were the Good Rats, a group who played at some of the East Coast's best-known/biggest venues (Madison Square Garden, Nassau Coliseum, the Philadelphia Spectrum) during the '70s, while opening for such big names as Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne, the Grateful Dead, Bruce Springsteen, Kiss, Journey, Heart, Styx, Meat Loaf, and Rush, among others…
They are young. Already large. And the head crowned with laurels many (first price RéZZo Focal Jazz à Vienne and Jazz Springboard La Defense in particular). But this time, the case escalates to Uptake who published his first album So Far So Good at Jazz Village. Bursting with energy and groove, this quartet from the Lyon scene is already a master in the art of interplay, the accomplice way to circulate and combine all the music in freedom … A four Bastien Brison piano and Rhodes, Pierre Gibbe on bass, trombone and Robinson Khoury Paul Bern on drums built a repertoire consisting essentially of compositions they say influenced the new generation of American musicians like Jason Lindner, Robert Glasper or Robin Eubanks.
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music
Cressida’s short career will be unfortunately unnoticed, despite having a lot of trumps in their hands. Just two albums, but both fetching small fortunes (partly due to the fact that they were released on Vertigo’s Swirl label), but the music quality is simply excellent on both records although there are very notable differences between them.
If you know his name at all, it's as one of the founding members of the legendary experimental German rock group Can. But Holger Czukay's been mighty busy on his own over the last few decades, collaborating with the likes of David Sylvian, Brian Eno, and Jah Wobble; he's been remixed by the Orb and U.N.K.L.E.; and he's probably the first musician ever to have applied Edgard Varèse's principles of musique concrete to rock & roll (though he's certainly not the last). So with such an impressive resume, what does his first solo album in six years sound like? Well, lots of things.
This was the second of Joe Newman's three dates he led under the Swingville banner. For this session he was in the very fine company of Frank Foster (tenor sax), Tommy Flanagan (piano), Eddie Jones (bass) and Bill English (drums). Recorded 10 months after the excellent JIVE AT FIVE album (also for Swingville), and with Flanagan and Jones returnees, this album is just as good as its predecessor. Frank Foster's forceful, mainly middle-register playing is very effective, and Tommy Flanagan is as good as ever. Only one tune, MO-LASSES, which is a blues a bit too overloaded with funk, is not up the the high level of the other tracks. A solid date.
A clear improvement over the debut in all levels: songwriting, performance, lyrics, depth, emotion. The album is a bit more mature, though it doesn’t totally leave behind the cheery naive sound of the debut behind, as you can clearly hear on the catchy piano track “Bienvenidos al Tren”.
The 40 tracks compiled on this two-disc set represent the entire span of pianist and singer Leroy Carr's recording career that spanned a brief seven years, from 1928-1935. The material represented here – all but one of these tracks were recorded for the Vocalion label – features accompaniment by guitarist Scrapper Blackwell on all but one selection, and Josh White on a handful as well. Carr's material here ranges from the classic piano blues of the era that spawned Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith to vaudeville and hokum tunes made popular by artists like Tampa Red and Georgia Tom. Carr's voice is the haunting thing here; it's higher and very clear, sweet almost, as evidenced by most of these sides. But there was an edge, too; one that belied a kind of pathos underneath even the most cheery material – check "Mean Mistreater Blues" or "Bread Baker." But the darker material such as "Suicide Blues" (one of six previously unissued performances), "Straight Alky Blues," or "Shinin' Pistol," is strange and eerie given Carr's smooth approach. Carr may not be the most well-known bluesman of the era, but his contribution is profound and lasting. This collection puts to shame almost all others with the exception of the multi-volume complete recordings on Document.
Willie Nelson joined Ray Price's Cherokee Cowboys in 1961, the first step in a lifelong friendship between the two men. From that point on, the pair never fell out of touch. At the height of his superstardom in 1980, Nelson cut a duet album with Price called San Antonio Rose, the first of three joint efforts they'd cut over the years. Whenever the pair got together, they'd sing the old songs, Western swing standards and honky tonk classics from the '50s and '60s – the songs that form the core of For the Good Times: A Tribute to Ray Price, a salute Willie delivered three years after Price's 2013 death.