One of THE great jazz quartets of all time: Coltrane (tenor & soprano), McCoy Tyner (piano), the earth-shaking Elvin Jones (drums) and Steve Davis (bass, though 'Trane's band would most often feature Jimmy Garrison and sometimes Reggie Workman), playing a blues-inspired program of originals. This band had an empathy shared by only the best bands in jazz: the Brubeck and Miles Davis groups, the Modern Jazz Quartet–and it shows here, with warmth, confidence, economy and relaxed interplay.
It’s hard to be ambivalent about Zooey Deschanel. She’s a polarizing personality, one whose deadpan movie roles and big Bambi eyes are either charming or too cute for their own good. The same can be said for She & Him, a soft rock duo that features Deschanel doing what she does best as a film star: acting utterly adorable alongside a quiet, talented male character. Her co-star in this case is M. Ward, who produces the band's second album and frames Deschanel’s voice with a Spector-sized pile of instruments. Those who already take issue with Zooey’s acting will almost surely pick this record apart – it’s too reminiscent of her cutesy turns in movies like (500) Days of Summer to change many minds – but for fans of retro pop (and Deschanel in general), Volume 2 is a gem. Whether they’re copping the Brill Building sound or resurrecting ‘70s beach-pop, She & Him always seem to have nostalgia on the mind.