French guitarist Bireli Lagrene's recent work has helped to reinvigorate the classic gypsy swing style while simultaneously adding excitement and diversity to the world's jazz market. On Move, Lagrene and his Gipsy Project really spice up his Django Reinhardt-influenced chops and cleverly arrange some of the more memorable standards and jazz styles launched on America's shores including bebop and cool. There are so many exceptional works in the Great American Songbook that it would be almost irresponsible not to include a few in one's repertoire. "Cherokee," and "This Can't Be Love," make the cut this time as two carefully placed covers that add familiarity to Lagrene's set…
A happening. Not that these two heavyweight reedsmen had never shared a stage, but this was going to be a face-off, a clash between two of the hardest-working free improv trios on the circuit. On the left side of the stage: Evan Parker, with drummer Paul Lytton and pianist Alex von Schlippenbach, the latter filling in for bassist Barry Guy. On the right side: Peter Brötzmann and his trusty rhythm section, bassist William Parker and drummer Hamid Drake. These are two highly experienced and gifted trios, with different approaches (complementary ones, some will say).
The result of the meeting of Michael McCartney (brother of Beatle Paul), who would work as Mike McGear to avoid accusations of coat-tailing, and Post Office engineer John Gorman, the Scaffold took a blend of absurd humor and catchy songs to chart-topping glory throughout the 1960s. Their lineup filled out with Roger McGough and Adrian Henri, the group was briefly known as the Liverpool One Fat Lady All Electric Show, to the horror of everyone around them. Henri soon departed. A change of name later, they were gaining a reputation as one of the most amusing outfits on the scene, with a residency at Peter Cook's Establishment Club (where the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band also held court). The Scaffold's biggest successes were their cheerfully silly singles, starting with "Thank U Very Much" and continuing with "Lily the Pink" (a sterilized adaptation of an old rugby song, featuring Jack Bruce on bass) and the somewhat incomprehensible "Gin Gan Goolie," all of which had a knack for sticking in the mind on endless repeat without causing undue annoyance. These three songs, in particular, are well remembered even as the 1990s draw to a close.
Considering that soul has been at the foundation of Hall & Oates' sound throughout their career – even their early folk-rock records had soulful underpinnings – it only made sense for the duo to eventually cut their own soul tribute album. As the title suggests, that's exactly what 2004's Our Kind of Soul is: Hall & Oates' spin on their favorite soul sounds. This includes, of course, heavy doses of Philly soul and Motown, along with other smooth soul of the '70s. Most of the album is devoted to covers – usually familiar tunes like "Standing in the Shadows of Love," "I'll Be Around," and "Used to Be My Girl," yet there are a couple of more obscure entries and a heavily rewritten "I Can Dream About You" (in his excellent track-by-track liner notes Daryl Hall reveals that Dan Hartman wrote the song with the duo in mind) – but there is a handful of originals that fit into the vibe quite well, such as the lush "Soul Violins" and "Let Love Take Control.