Acoustic Sounds

Music Reviews: Vinyl

Court and Spark, Joni Mitchell's best selling album, originally released 50 years ago yesterday (January 17th 1974) was preceded by a series of well-recorded by Henry Lewy demos that Rhino and the Joni Mitchell Archives say were "newly unearthed". The record was released on RSD Black Friday November 24th, 2023. Copies are easy to find on Discogs.A friend told me it's a "must have" so I ordered one. He was correct. Hearing these songs in... Read More

While Rhino's "High Fidelity" series lacks a clearly identifiable direction or purpose—it seems to meander around the catalog without regard to time, place or purpose—there's one consistent strategy: each two record release has a rock title and a jazz title. Credit Rhino with chance-taking guts this round. Marquee Moon isn't exactly mainstream rock (though the reissue gives it that sound), and Ornette Coleman's music scares a lot of... Read More

genre Jazz Avant-Garde Jazz format Vinyl

The three Heath brothers, Jimmy, Percy and Albert formed their short-lived group in 1975 a year after The Modern Jazz Quartet gave its "final" performance at Carnegie Hall, November, 1974. Of course like many groups and solo artists, it wasn't really the MJQ's final performance and the group had been performing its "farewell" tour around the country all year, but for the time being following the Carnegie Hall appearance bassist Percy... Read More

genre Jazz format Vinyl

Alright, Las Vegas, let’s lose our money and lose our minds!On September 20, 2003, The White Stripes took hold of Sin City and rocked it into oblivion. The Detroit garage rock duo blitzed through a setlist of familiar favorites, such as “Hotel Yorba” and “Fell in Love With A Girl.” Their then-new album, Elephant, took precedence with blistering renditions of “The Hardest Button to Button” and “Black Math.” The show caught its breath once drummer Meg White stepped away... Read More

That Swing Thing! by The Terry Gibbs Quartet (Verve V6-8447) released in 1961 was the record that got me on the vibes bandwagon. I bought it that year at E.J. Korvette's in Douglaston, N.Y. of the Long Island Expressway. I was too young to drive of course, so probably was taken there by my mother or sister. It's also where I heard for the first time Bobby Timmons' "Moanin'"— over a pair of Korvettes' XAM "housebrand"... Read More

genre Jazz format Vinyl

Nat Hentoff's notes get directly to how this musical experiment might have easily gone awry: the unflappable, cerebral MJQ vibraphonist Milt Jackson meets Peterson's "abundant" style. Jackson never broke a sweat on stage, Peterson probably would have had he played the Arctic circle.Yet Jackson and The Oscar Peterson Trio seem made for each other on this musically satisfying, sonically enjoyable set. I've been listening to the original pretty... Read More

genre Jazz format Vinyl

Best known for the cover of Chet Powers' (stage name Dino Valenti) anthemic "Get Together" found on the group's eponymous Felix Pappalardi produced 1967 debut album and later as the launch pad for Jesse Colin Young's fizzled solo career, The Youngbloods never got the much deserved recognition for its three smooth, dreamy, well-crafted rock-folk-jazz albums released by RCA between 1967 and 1969, the last and best one being this one, Elephant... Read More

genre Folk Folk Rock format Vinyl

The first Shakti album in 46 years is miraculous for a few reasons, the first being a "mind-body" cure for John McLaughlin's arthritic hand that had forced his 2017 retirement. The second is that though McLaughlin considers Shakti primarily a live band, this release was "phoned in" from various continents where the group members were living at the time. Not a problem for three of them—McLaughlin, percussionist Zakir Hussein and vocalist... Read More

genre World format Vinyl

By 1973, things were starting to come together for Genesis. The classic lineup of vocalist Peter Gabriel, guitarist Steve Hackett, bassist Mike Rutherford, keyboardist Tony Banks, and drummer Phil Collins embarked on a string of albums, 1971’s Nursery Cryme and 1972’s Foxtrot, that would go down to define the ethos of progressive rock. These albums exemplify Genesis’ liberating drive to incorporate European classical elements into multi-segment compositions with... Read More

genre Rock Progressive Rock format Vinyl

The turn of the millennium was a promising time for The Donnas. Churning out an album a year, consecutive tours and placements in film soundtracks established a respectable platform for the Palo Alto female rockers fresh out of high school. The steady productivity, both on and off the road, allowed the girls to evolve. The female Ramones stylings of their self-titled debut and the sleazier glam rock sound of American Teenage Rock ‘n’ Roll Machine are almost total... Read More

genre Rock Hard Rock Punk format Vinyl

Phineas Newborn Jr. was one of the greatest jazz pianists, possessing an astonishing technical ability, a deep bluesy swing, and a complete mastery of jazz harmony. Pianist George Wein wrote, “the only pianist who has as great or greater command of the piano is Art Tatum.” Gene Harris, pianist of the Three Sounds, told Downbeat that Newborn was “…the greatest pianist playing today. In every respect, he is tremendous.” Teddy Wilson and Ray Bryant said his technique was... Read More

genre Jazz format Vinyl

Wassoulou music is generally performed by women and is a form originating in the cultural area of Wassoulou (incorporating areas of southern Mali, eastern Guinea and northern Côte d’Ivoire). While their names may not be so familiar in Europe and North America, performers such as Oumou Sangaré, Nahawa Doumbia and Fatoumata Diawara are superstars in west Africa. Mali is an especially rich source of incredible musical forms and even more incredible instrumental... Read More

Do you find the idea of an unknown, songwriting multi-instrumentalist who was at one time a compelling artist yet who never truly found their lane appealing? If you answered in the affirmative, then it won’t require much arm twisting to have you explore ORG Music’s recent reissue of Tommy Court’s self-titled - one and only album - The Happy Dragon Band. The rare 1978 private pressing (only 200 albums were originally issued) has been reissued on vinyl for Record Store... Read More

This past summer, I raved in this space about Craft Recordings’ vinyl reissue of the Bill Evans trio’s 1961 classic Waltz for Debby, hailing it as the best-sounding of all the album’s many pressings. Now Craft has released an LP of the companion recording, Sunday at the Village Vanguard, as, once again, part of the label's Original Jazz Classics series. It too is a great album, and the Craft reissue is very much worth getting; but this time around, comparisons... Read More

genre Jazz format Vinyl