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Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Feb 01, 2008 0 comments

The acclaimed violinist Salvatore Accardo commissioned arranger Francesco Fiore to re-imagine his dear friend Astor Piazzolla’s “Adios Nonino,” for, violin, piano and orchestra. Not a bandoneon can be heard on this lush, extraordinarily moving tribute to the great tango composer’s father, whose middle name was “Nonino.”

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Feb 01, 2008 1 comments

A young James Taylor arrived on the crowded late ‘60’s musical scene a mature, fully formed artist. His voice was unique, rich-sounding and immediately identifiable, as was his acoustic guitar playing. His songwriting was accomplished both lyrically and melodically well beyond his 20 years.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Feb 01, 2008 1 comments

Bacharach and David walked a fine line between brilliance and kitsch during their collaborations with Dionne Warwick, creating for her a musical persona that was the original “desperate housewife,” though of a much more helpless and vulnerable variety.

Album Reviews
Brent Raynor Feb 01, 2008 0 comments

Remember when music was fun? Like when you were in high school trying to get a band together so you could rock-out while pretending to be your favorite group, and maybe get a date or two out of it? For many of us that was long ago, but for Born Ruffians it was last week, and their debut EP is brimming with a cheeky exuberance that seems only to inhabit those still in teendom.

Here’s hoping they enjoy it, because being able to get away with completely copping every hook and every look from your favorite bands can only last so long and get you so far before people start calling you this decades Stone Temple Pilots. Not that that hasn’t already started to happen to Born Ruffians, who seem to be creating quite a backlash in certain circles. Give ‘em a Google and you’ll soon see a whole lot of words like “pretentious”, “contrived”, “derivative”, and “unoriginal” popping up. Best of all is that they’re saying it like it’s a bad thing.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Feb 01, 2008 0 comments

This set, recorded a few weeks shy of fifty years of when I’m writing this stars a 51 year old Hawkins leading a well- recorded session date featuring J.J. Johnson, Hank Jones, Ocar Pettiford, Jo Jones, Barry Galbraith (guitar) and Idrees Sulieman. I had no idea who Barry Galbraith was until I read the liner notes, so I’ve listed his instrument in case you’re unfamiliar as well. Perhaps I’m just showing my ignorance. If you don’t know the others and what they play, you’re showing yours, though trumpeter Idrees Sulieman is not exactly a household name now and wasn’t even one in 1957.

Album Reviews
Wesley Norman Feb 01, 2008 0 comments

Take Coheed and Cambria vocals (only far more harsh and severe), some of At the Drive-In’s experimental noise, and a bit of Rancid’s edgy speed and you’ll get an idea of what the Blood Brothers sound like.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Jan 01, 2008 0 comments

There’s nothing groundbreaking on this 1960 Parlan-lead session, but that’s okay. The lure here isn’t the musical construction, since it covers familiar grooves and doesn’t move jazz forward. In fact, you’ll hear familiar gestures, some gleaned from Miles’ modal Kind of Blue issued a few years earlier, others from common blues.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Jan 01, 2008 1 comments

Pete Townshend’s sprawling second rock opera, issued in the fall of 1973, uses the troubled teenaged character Jimmy to elucidate adolescent coming of age issues generally and those of post WWII English kids (like the four members of The Who) specifically.

Interviews
Michael Fremer Jan 01, 2008 0 comments
Part Two picks up with a discussion of the disappearance of commercial recording studios, the recording of Sings Greatest Palace Music, and the life and times of an \"indie\" recording artist--MF

WO: Yes. I mean even in Nashville when Mark and I did tours of studios for this new record thinking where we were going to record, the studios were dead because everybody has their home studios now.

Interviews
Michael Fremer Jan 01, 2008 0 comments

With a new album "The Letting Go" just out (Drag City DC420 LP/CD) and a co-starring role in "Old Joy," a film Entertainment Weekly's Lisa Schwartzbaum (happens to be a second cousin of mine!) called "The Best of The (Sundance) Festival," and The New York Times's Manohla Dargis wrote was "A Must See..." and "One of the most persuasive portraits of generational malaise-a tentative hope-to come from an American director (Richard Reichardt)in recent memory," Will Oldham (a/k/a Bonnie "Prince" Billy") is on an impressive roll.