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There’s a time for live music and not just in person, but then again…

posted July 7, 2014, 8:45 am by Nathaniel Lathy | Filed Under Checking the Playlists, Editorial | comment Leave a Comment

rollins road shows vol. 1Fans of live music get their chance for more with live recordings.

This isn’t always a plus. Sometimes the live music sounds sloppy and terribly over polished. It can make one long for over produced studio work.

In jazz circles there are some brilliant live albums. One of the best I’ve heard in a while is Sonny Rollins’ Road Shows, Vol. 1. It was released in 2008 on Doxy.

Cuts like “Some Enchanted Evening” allow Rollins to explore territory on his saxophone. Even  a track like “Tenor Madness” provides a different take on something I’ve heard many times before.

Rollins’ energy is amazing. He keeps thriving on “Blossom” the longest cut on the disc at 12:27.

There’s other bonuses on live discs. An announcer can give information about who’s playing on an album. There can be commentary on the music, as well.

None of this matters if there’s not a compelling sax solo like Rollins provides on “Easy Living.”

Solos on live albums and studio albums can be a drag. The jamming the Who did on the second side of Live at Leeds didn’t live up to the interest level of the  cuts on side one.

I’ve had my share of good times listening to the White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights.  I bought the album because of “Seven Nation Army.” It was during a period, where I wanted to listen and own songs played at sporting events.

For some of these albums listening to a few cuts suffices. There are some other albums where more in depth listening is required. Dave Brubeck’s Jazz Goes to College or John Coltrane’s One Down, One Up: Live at the Half Note are other worthwhile ventures.

Enjoy the pop

Iggy Azalea’s New Classic doesn’t live up to its title. But there are good tracks.

Maybe, there’s hope of a knockout  pop album out there. Then again it would be good for some country pleasure. Crossover anyone?


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