Explores the life of the late Harper Lee, shedding light on the context and history of her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird.
It took Ben Harper nine years to reconvene the Innocent Criminals for 2016's Call It What It Is, but that's not necessarily an abnormally long time for this crew: eight years separated its 2007 predecessor Lifeline from their 2009 debut, Burn to Shine. Harper formed the Innocent Criminals partially with the intention that they'd be his Band of Gypsies, a support system for him to indulge in his Jimi Hendrix daydreams, but they wound up being an even better outlet for his soulful side. Despite "Pink Balloon" and the ham-fisted opener "When Sex Was Dirty" – bluesy bluster that pulls this closer to Lenny Kravitz than Hendrix – Call It What It Is is largely devoted to this blissed-out, mellow vibe.
"These early Latin songs from the repertoire of some unknown 10th or 11th century Rhineland harper are drawn mainly from the Carmina Cantabrigiensis, the so-called ‘Cambridge Songs’. Varied and lively, they are a welcome addition to the discography of early music, and Sequentia are to be thanked for planning and executing such a challenging project. …Reconstruction of music composed before the birth of notation is always a hazardous task, but however true or not it may be to authenticity, this recital is a true delight. " ~Grammophone
Stax Deluxe CD+DVD-Edition! 6-plated green packaging with 24-page booklet This album is a dream come true for both artists. Ever since meeting for the first time many years ago, they had the idea of recording together. But due to scheduling conflicts, no recording dates could be set. Finally, it all worked out well, and what a great album this is! Backed by Harper’s band, Harper and Musselwhite are sounding fantastic. The music’s new, innovative, powerful, deep, passionate with great lyrics and perfectly performed. My favorite for winning the best blues album of the year award. This edition comes with a 38 minute bonus DVD including three live cuts, a.o. Ben Harper – voc/gtr/slide gtr, Charlie Musselwhite – hca, Jason Mozersky – gtr, Jesse Ingalls – kbds/bass, Jordan Richardson – drums.
Part harmonica wizard and part rhythmic explorer, Harper is a fiery artist who blurs the lines between rock, folk and blues. His use of the didgeridoo, an indigenous wind instrument of his native Australia, along with his compelling original songwriting and sublime vocals, gives Harper a distinctive sound entirely his own. Harper's music is instantly memorable, with a deeply soulful groove.
One of the most inventive albums we've ever heard from trombonist Herbie Harper – and that's saying a lot, given some of his other records! The group's an unusual one – with some key members that are likely – Jimmy Giuffre on tenor and baritone, Charlie Mariano on alto, and Jimmy Rowles on piano – mixed with other more compelling choices, such as Corky Hale on harp and Paul Sarmento on tuba – both instruments that really expand the sonic range of the session, in ways you might not expect to work this well!