"Just sit back and watch Dr. John work his way through the likes of "C.C. Rider" and Pine Top Boogie"… you will have got a graduate degree in soul." - Time Magazine
Imagine being able to see as well as hear the amazing piano styles of the great Dr. John - up close! This one-hour session is jammed full of powerful playing, slowed-down instruction, and the wonderful personality of one of the premier artists of our time.
Bahia is a steady, often very good hard-blowing and blues date featuring John Coltrane, recorded during one of his busiest periods, 1957-1958, but not released until 1965. (Coltrane cut numerous sessions during the late '50s for Prestige to satisfy a commitment to the label and move to Atlantic; some of these were packaged and released long after they were cut.) Most were done with the same rhythm section: pianist Red Garland, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Art Taylor (although Jimmy Cobb substituted for Taylor on two songs). Also featured is additional work by a pair of trumpeters: Wilbur Harden appears on "My Ideal" and "I'm a Dreamer, Aren't We All," while Freddie Hubbard takes over on "Something I Dreamed Last Night."
After many years in the music business, saxophonist-bandleader-composer John Lurie has created a musical identity all his own. Best known for his mercurial work with the Lounge Lizards, Lurie has found a pleasant niche recording soundtracks for films like Get Shorty and Stranger Than Paradise. Accompanied by a number of talented musicians, including Marc Ribot, John Medeski, Calvin Weston, and other assorted Lounge Lizards, Lurie displays an impressive ability to create lively and evocative film music. While Lurie only performs on half of these compositions, his sonic vision is both distinctive and eclectic. Bouncing stylistically from downtown funk and progressive soul to chamber jazz, rock, and tribal percussion workouts, Lurie's mood-inducing orchestrations are witty, passionate, and consistently engaging.
John Jenkins: yet another seventeenth century English composer who deserves to be more widely known. This delightful CD from The Consort of Musicke directed by Trevor Jones is no dutiful study of a hidden but rather uninspiring corner of English early Baroque consort music; rather, a mosaic – rich in color and shape, carefully crafted and full of surprises. Listen, for instance, to the unpretentious, jaunty and appropriately figurative progress through the Saraband (52, tr.6) and the restrained melancholy of the Fancy-Air (4, tr.7). Jenkins' counterpoint is well-wrought, his instrumental palette fresh and crisp and his melodies catchy without being fey or superficial in any way. He is in excellent hands with the Consort of Musicke… eight string players of the caliber of Monica Huggett and Alison Crum violins; Alan Wilson organ and Anthony Rooley theorbo. If fresh, beautiful, expertly-played English consort music appeals to you, don't hesitate to get this gem of a CD – actually a reissue of a Decca disc from 1983: it's unreservedly recommended.
A bluesman from Chicago who doesn't perform any covers is a rarity indeed, but John Grimaldi, aka Studebaker John, has stuck to his guns throughout his career, and this 2001 release is a good indication why. While his melodies are serviceable, the guitarist/harpist/singer writes sharp, smart lyrics that are far more provocative than what most contemporary bluesmen churn out. Add tough vocals that place him between Darrell Nulisch and Stevie Ray Vaughan and a sizzling attack that never seems phoned in for a 50-minute set, and you wonder what more it would take for this gutsy, obviously inspired bluesman to get traction, even in a market saturated by talented players. Along with his other talents, Grimaldi also produced this disc, and the stripped-down yet full sound is raw and driven yet accessible. Songs such as the opening "Burned by Love" and "Rich Man" boast melodies that are far more creative and dramatically arranged than the genre exercises most bluesmen work in. He blows serious Little Walter-inspired amplified harp on the "Juke"-styled instrumental "Harpology," and the driving Bo Diddley beat of "Nothing Comes Easy" pushes this disc into the red zone. The slow, sexy grind of "Lock & Chain" gives Grimaldi a chance to display his impressive vocals and a slide guitar tone with Elmore James nuances.