The material on CD 1 dates from the latter half of Artie Shaw’s career as a bandleader, which ended with his retirement in 1954. Always presenting tasteful and often unusually deep interpretations of big-band jazz and dance music, and featuring his exquisite and frequently profound clarinet improvisations, Shaw’s career climaxed in his rise to superstar status as the most popular musician in North America at the height of the Swing Era in 1939.
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan opens this album as he often opened his live shows, by calling upon God in the form of Allah to come and bless the gathering with His presence. For that is the sole purpose of the qawwal: to reach God through music, through his voice. And this collection of Devotional and Love Songs is set forth with that in mind. Unlike some of Khan's more Western-influenced releases, such as Mustt Mustt and Night Song, the songs are presented here with minimal instrumentation (mostly harmonium and tabla) in the traditional call and response form, with Khan singing a line that is echoed by the party of musicians that shares the stage with him.
Pennsylvanian punks the Menzingers deepen their ruminations of the self with After the ParPennsylvanian punks the Menzingers deepen their ruminations of the self with After the Party, their big-hearted fifth LP and third release for Epitaph. Nostalgic leanings are nothing new to the Menzingers, who have been growing ever more introspective with each release, but as the Scranton natives age into their thirties, they've struck a resilient tone that plays well against their grandiose guitar rock.