‘Cool Revolution’ marks CTI’s 40th anniversary
Various Artists, “CTI Records: The Cool Revolution” (Sony/Masterworks Jazz)
This four-CD collection celebrates the 40th anniversary of producer Creed Taylor’s launch of CTI Records. The independent jazz label managed to reach a larger audience without compromising artistic integrity, finding middle ground between straight-ahead acoustic jazz and the electric jazz-rock fusion that was [...]
Review: New ‘Stabat Mater’ best since Pavarotti
Gioachino Rossini, “Stabat Mater” (EMI)
This new rendition of “Stabat Mater” includes tenor Lawrence Brownlee in the finest recording of the work since a 1971 one with Luciano Pavarotti.
Some critics say the 38-year-old American singer’s voice is reminiscent of the young Pavarotti. Brownlee at moments even surpasses the late Italian superstar [...]
Review: Cassandra Wilson eclectic again on ‘Silver Pony
Cassandra Wilson, “Silver Pony” (Blue Note)
After a foray into standards on her Grammy-winning CD “Loverly,” the sultry jazz singer Cassandra Wilson is back to her trademark eclectic ways on “Silver Pony,” a hybrid CD mixing live recordings from a 2009 European tour and New Orleans studio sessions.
Wilson opens the [...]
Review: Release show greatness of Ronnie James Dio
Dio, “At Donington UK: Live 1983 & 1987″ (Niji Entertainment); Heaven and Hell, “Neon Nights” (Eagle Rock)
It goes on and on and on.
Ronnie James Dio, the legendary heavy metal singer who starred with Rainbow, Black Sabbath and his self-titled solo band, died last May after a battle with stomach [...]
Review: Aaron Neville a heavenly match for gospel tunes
Aaron Neville, “I Know I’ve Been Changed” (Tell It Records)
Aaron Neville singing gospel music is a match made in heaven, and the Lord had an assist from producer Joe Henry and pianist Allen Toussaint on “I Know I’ve Been Changed.”
Henry wisely went with sparse arrangements that put the [...]
Review: Shakira strips it down on ‘Sale El Sol’
Shakira, “Sale El Sol” (Epic)
She’s one of the world’s most successful performers. She’s one of Latin America’s biggest stars. And now, on her seventh studio album, the Colombian “rocker chick” is shaking her famous hips out of the packaging that has confined her in her success.
Shakira is looking [...]
Lizz Wright is heavenly on ‘Fellowship’
Lizz Wright, “Fellowship” (Verve)
It would have been easy for Lizz Wright’s “Fellowship” to turn into a pleasing but conventional-sounding inspirational album, with Wright giving a slight update to tried-and-true standards.
Thankfully, “Fellowship” is not that album because Wright isn’t that kind of artist. Though she covers gospel classics like “Amazing Grace” and [...]
The Audition – News The Audition ‘Great Danger’ Review
The Audition return with their fourth full-length and third in the last three years, which could question the bands musical authenticity. If you’re familiar with The Audition then you pretty much know what you’re going get with ‘Great Danger’; driving pop-rock with good harmonies courtesy of Danny Stevens.
Gil Scott-Heron – I’m New Here Review
There were few voices that articulated the anxious, fractured state of America in the 1970s and early 80s as well as the clear baritone of Gil Scott-Heron. As a spoken-word artist and poet, he could pinpoint the fissures in the American dream and exorcise them with a wit that blended [...]
Review: TobyMac ‘Tonight’
Iâ€™m very excited to be reviewing for you the new project from TobyMac called â€œTonightâ€. Iâ€™ve been listening to it for the last week and youâ€™re in for a musical treat. Iâ€™m pretty sure youâ€™ll be picking up at least two copies of this project tomorrow one for you and one for a friend.