Welcome to Tracking Angle

Welcome To Tracking Angle!

A New Site With a Decades Long History

By: Tracking Angle

You’ve arrived at a new website, but one with a rich, more than quarter century-long history of music reviews and feature stories, both in-print and online.

The Tracking Angle published its premier issue in January 1995 as a digest-sized, stapled, two-color, sound-conscious music magazine edited by Michael Fremer. It quickly became a full-color, glossy, perfect bound, full-sized magazine featuring an impressive roster of music reviewers and...Read More

December 6th, 2022

A near Garbarek experience

Excerpt from Jan Omdahl's new book on «Afric Pepperbird», ECM jazz touchstone by the Jan Garbarek Quartet

By: Jan Omdahl

Jan Omdahl is the author of a new book in Norwegian on «Afric Pepperbird» by the Jan Garabrek Quartet, an early ECM jazz touchstone. The book is being considered for publication in English. This excerpt chronicles Jan’s attempts to convince his reclusive namesake to talk to him, ending up instead with Garbarek’s personal collection of test pressings. 

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December 6th, 2022

P's Quirky And Curious Self-Titled Album

From the archives: 'P' presents a wide range of musical variety and coarse, crude humor

By: Tracking Angle

(This review, written by Carl E. Baugher, originally appeared in Issue 7, Spring 1996.)P is Gibby Haynes (Butthole Surfers), Johnny Depp (Edward Scissorhand), Bill Carter and Sal Jenco. Also, as it says on the back of the LP jacket, “P is a land, not a liquid or a fruit.” Uh, ok. Not by any means the discordant thrash you might expect from this Gibby-led bunch, this quirky, curious album is consistently engaging, with a wide range of musical variety and coarse, crude... Read More

December 2nd, 2022

The Last (and Least) of Columbia Legacy’s Miles Davis “Bootleg Series”

Miles Gets Freaky Deaky

By: Fred Kaplan

I saw Miles Davis’ pop-rock band a half dozen times in the 1980s and loved the music each time. The concert-recordings from that period—"Miles Live Around the World" and the relevant discs from the 20-CD "Complete Miles Davis at Montreux", both released posthumously on Warner Brothers—were also wondrous, a departure from his discography (as every new phase of his was from the phase before) but still ranking high. His famous covers of Michael... Read More

December 1st, 2022

It's a great, big 'Vacant World'

Mesh-Key records and Kevin Gray ressurect an obscure 60s psych classic

By: Michael Johnson

In 1966 The Beatles came to Japan, playing the 15,000-seat Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, firmly planting the flag of western rock and roll in the island nation. What followed were a series of Beatles and Rolling Stones-esq copycat bands, often assembled by various record labels, playing everything from covers of American blues hits, to sparkly pop ballads written by in-house composers supplied by the record label. As the Japanese had difficulty pronouncing the term ‘Rock... Read More

December 1st, 2022

"Boss Organ"s Vinyl Debut Makes For a Mighty Worthy Spin

Melvin Rhyne was playing with Wes at the Missile Room and in walks Cannonball

By: Michael Fremer

There's so much to like about this reissue of a 1994 Criss Cross release, here for the first time on vinyl, especially if you dig jazz organ. The title plays off of Wes Montgomery's 1993 Riverside album "Boss Guitar" on which Rhyne played in a trio with Jimmy Cobb on drums.That fun set mostly consisting of covers was Montgomery's 9th for Riverside and not exactly a collection necessity. Both Rhyne and Montgomery were Indianapolis natives who... Read More

December 1st, 2022

Ahmad Jamal’s “Emerald” Treasures

Newly discovered live concerts from the ‘60s show the silky pianist was always an adventurer

By: Fred Kaplan

Ahmad Jamal has long been known for his stately swing. He emerged as an innovative pianist, and a best-selling trio leader, in 1958, with his live album, "At the Pershing: But Not for Me". Even before then, Miles Davis touted him as a major influence on his own ballad style, citing his spacious phrasing and soft touch. Miles told his pianist of the era, Red Garland, to play like Jamal.I confess I didn’t follow Jamal much between his lyrical late-‘50s... Read More