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Tuesday, 24 May 2005 |  Written by Charles Andrews  | 
Babatunde Olatunji - Circle of Drums Are you, or your parents, or your grandparents, one of the 5,000,000 people in America who bought 1959’s Drums of Passion and made Babatunde Olatunji a household name? (Though not one you can say really fast 10 times, I’ll bet.) That figure is total sales up to today, but still, he moved a lot of vinyl for the ‘50s. Especially when you consider what a weird-ass record it was at the time for people to even find out about, let alone buy, listen to and dig. In 1959? Bobby Darin, Dion, Fabian, Frankie Avalon, Connie Francis, Ray Charles and the Chipmunks topped the charts. Dig this: it was nearly 30 years before anyone used the term “world music” (invented, in fact, in 1987 at a meeting in London of a group of small record label scions and one music journalist who were frustrated at trying to market this diverse and heretofore uncategorizable ...
Editor's rating: 
Tuesday, 05 April 2005 |  Written by Jeff Fish  | 
Martin Taylor - Artistry As anyone who has listened to at least a handful of SACD discs can tell you, all SACDs are not created equal. In fact, contrary to popular belief, the SACD logo does not guarantee a quality recording or dramatically improved audio experience over their 16-bit CD counterparts. (Neither does the DVD-Audio logo, for that matter). However, there are those SACDs that stand above the fray and prove that this format, however feebly marketed and implemented, does have merit and should remain a viable entity, hopefully to one day make the transition into the mainstream whereby a consumer simply buys a CD that just happens to be an SACD (or DVD-A). The subject of this review is just such a recording. Upon receiving the Martin Taylor SACD Artistry, I was fully prepared to hate it. Oh, I had a feeling it would sound good, but I just knew it wasn’t really my style of ...
Editor's rating: 
Tuesday, 28 September 2004 |  Written by Dan MacIntosh  | 
Craig Chaquico - Midnight Noon Craig Chaquico was once the lead guitarist for Jefferson Starship, but you won’t hear a whole lot of polished hard rock riffs, like those popularized by that AOR radio staple band, on this mostly jazz-oriented project, Midnight Noon. Chaquico may have built his former city on rock ‘n’ roll, but this current, less obtrusive village is founded upon much simpler and purer materials. In many cases, Chaquico plays off of his saxophonist Kevin Paladini and his keyboardist/producer Ozzie Ahlers to create subtle moods. Ahlers’ Booker T.-like organ fills, for instance, give “Her Boyfriend’s Wedding” a breezy feel, whereas Paladini’s sax work turns “Dream Date” into something semi-funky. There is also a distinct Latin vibe running throughout this release. The most obvious example of this influence occurs on “El Gato,” since Chaquico anchors it with acoustic Spanish guitar. But one can also pick up on Latin elements with “Dia del Zorro,” which was inspired by ...
Editor's rating: 
Monday, 17 May 2004 |  Written by Dan Macintosh  | 
Ron Sexsmith - Retriever Ron Sexsmith was not blessed with a particularly assertive singing voice, so his vocalizing is never something that stops you (the listener) dead in your tracks. Instead, he was born with a gift for turning concise human truisms into meaningful and memorable lyrical lines. His latest unassuming release, Retriever, requires that close attention be paid to it. And if this simple user instruction is followed, it’s an album that will provide a bevy of heartwarming revelations. One song in particular that stands out above all the rest here, as probably the best song Morrissey never wrote, is called “Imaginary Friends.” It takes deadly aim at the wasted social efforts involving superficial friendships. These are the friends, as Sexsmith insightfully puts it, “(That) meet you when your ship comes in/But never meet you eye to eye.” And he later summarizes, “Imaginary friends/They don’t exist.” Another striking song is “For The Driver,” which empathizes with people suffering ...
Editor's rating: 
Tuesday, 27 January 2004 |  Written by Ben Shyman  | 
The Cannonball Adderley Quintet - Live in San Francisco If hard-driving, soul and blues-inspired bop is your thing, then The Cannonball Adderley Quintet in San Francisco at The Live Jazz Workshop is for you. The Cannonball Adderley Quintet in San Francisco is a Hybrid-Stereo Super Audio CD which will play on all CD and SACD players. Originally released on Riverside Records in 1959, this SACD release is a great addition to the Fantasy Jazz catalog of jazz and R&B recordings. Known as “the new Bird,” Julian “Cannonball” Adderley made his debut shortly after Charlie Parker’s death in the late 1950s. Cannonball achieved popularity when he replaced Sonny Rollins in the Miles Davis Quintet in 1957. He played in the Davis sextet for several years, including alongside John Coltrane including on the legendary Kind of Blue. In September 1959, Cannonball and his brother Nat formed The Cannonball Adderley Quintet. The band features Cannonball Adderley (alto sax), Nat Adderley (cornet), Bobby Timmons (piano), Sam Jones (bass) ...
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