current listening 07/26

"the go sessions" (1976-77, 2005)

"the go sessions" (1976-77, 2005)

Stomu Yamashta’s Go: The Go Sessions – Finally, the recordings of Japanese percussionist and keyboardist Yamashta are starting to re-surface. The two-disc Go Sessions combines three albums (the third being a concert version of the first) full of fusion, prog-rock fire and an all-star band that features founding Santana drummer Michael Shrieve and famed jazz/rock guitarslinger Al DiMeola. But Steve Winwood’s otherworldly singing on Crossing the Line and Winner/Loser makes The Go Sessions essential late summer (night) listening.

"Vol. 1, Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails" (2008)

"Vol. 1, Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails" (2008)

The Baseball Project: Vol. 1, Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails – A farm team project that combines Steve Wynn (The Dream Syndicate) with Scott McCaughey and Peter Buck (The Minus 5, R.E.M.). Musically, the vibe runs more to McCaughey’s Minus 5 albums than Wynn’s solo projects. But the mix of countless rock references (Neil Young, World Party and The Kinks all figure into Past Time) and oddball baseball yarns (The Yankee Flipper) inject America’s favorite pastime with a hearty electric jolt. 

"koln concert 1976" (2005)

"koln concert 1976" (2005)

Bill Evans Trio: Koln Concert 1976 – Just as there appears to be no end of concert recordings by the late, great Evans, there seems to be no limit to the unassuming ingenuity of his playing and piano phrasing. The opening Time Remembered casually invites you in. But like so many Evans recordings cut from the stage, the tempo starts to steam in no time. From the cleverly paced material (Dave Brubeck’s In Your Own Sweet Way) to the muscular bass support of Eddie Gomez, Koln is cool. 

"from now on" (2008)

"from now on" (2008)

Michael Doucet: From Now On – BeauSoleil headmaster Doucet broadens his Creole music menu but cuts back on the ingredients. The fiddle, full of rustic and effervescent fancy, is placed out front with only occasional seasonings of guitar and accordion. In fact, Doucet is so string-minded here that his primary foil is fellow fiddler Mitchell Reed. The repertoire shifts from Allen Toussaint’s Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky to the playful original blues of Fonky Bayou. The mood is loose, rootsy and most funky, indeed. 

"american university 12/13/70"

"american university 12/13/70"

The Allman Brothers Band: American University 12/13/70 – A mail-order  archive recording that captures the initial Allmans lineup on the cusp of greatness. Not as primitive-sounding as Live at Ludlow Garage but not as supremely refined as its majestic Fillmore East album. Instead, the band mixes the blues spirits of Elmore James, Muddy Waters and Blind Willie McTell with its own seething compositions, a young guitar tag team of Duane Allman and Dickey Betts and a musical drive as relaxed as it was fearless.



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