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Jazz Street: Duke Ellington

A cut above the rest, and there are the rest of the tracks

It’s a different era for the album.

Best albums of the decade so far…

The teens keep rolling on, and the half way point is just about here. It’s been  a good decade for music, but all decades have high points. There are standout albums up to this point. The best of them are filled with strong cuts. Vampire Weekend-Contra (2010) Wild Flag-Wild Flag (2011) Frank Ocean-Channel Orange (2012) […]

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

Fans 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 […]

Getting to the middle of the year.

The end of the year isn’t quite around the corner. Still there’s nothing wrong with starting to think about what the best albums of the year so far, since the year is about half over. The top five albums I’ve heard up to this point are: Withered Hand-New Gods EMA-The Future’s Void Future Island-Singles Metronomy-Love […]

Melody, it’s not all there is to a song, but it helps

I love listening to Classical music, but I don’t write about it. It seems more the work of a musicologist too review classical albums. I admit this even knowing there are some of my colleagues, who don’t mind writing about classical. It’s the best music. Bach’s Mass in B Minor is my favorite. But I’ll […]

Pick a decade, any decade; there’s good music, and there’s not so good stuff.

  The music from various decades has its high points and low points. The 1930s were a great time for popular music. It was groundbreaking via the efforts of Louis Armstrong. Robert Christgau wrote in a review of a collection of Armstrong’s songs his sound was quite remarkable for the time. Armstrong’s changes lead to […]

Longevity vs. When to shut it down

There’s something to be said for endurance in an artist’s career. I was impressed by the jazz album  released by Wayne Shorter last year. Not a masterpiece, but it was solid. And it came out last year just before he turned 80. it gets discouraging seeing artists go through  decline. I wince when I hear […]

Checking the Playlists: Gospel, its value and its aural limits

Johnny Cash had the market cornered on gospel, but like other great artists he wasn’t pigeonholed into one genre. He was truly a country legend. And the gospel music, he sang fit in with the singer’s life experiences and his abilities. His version of “Just As I Am” is my favorite version of the hymn. […]

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