Wednesday Jun 26


victor 78 sleeveReviews of music on CDs, DVDs, Blu-Ray, and various analog formats (LPs and 78s, mainly), current and vintage.  Even I am surprised at how far back some of them go, not to mention how much there is to keep up with.


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Notes and tones for film noir as imagined by TV
Fallen Angels - The Original Soundtrack
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In its original incarnation, Fallen Angels is a TV series of six half-hour film noir mysteries produced for the Showtime cable network. The stories are set around Los Angeles in the '40s and '50s. This CD of the same title offers a selection of period musical performances used on the TV shows soundtracks. The performances come from the vast archives controlled by Polygram. They're mostly jazz pieces that originally appeared on the Verve, Mercury, Emarcy, and Keynote labels.

Holly Cole: Not Smoking
Don't Smoke in Bed
Music music01
Sound sound04

The Holly Cole phenomenon is all but inexplicable.  Her modest talents are pleasant enough when presented with evident enthusiasm in a live performance.  So far her recordings have offered little of interest and yet they apparently sell handsomely.

Affif: Welcoming a new guitarist
Ron Affif
Music music03
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Ron Affif introduces yet another guitarist to the jazz world.  In this case it's a welcome event.  Affif lends an ear for contemporary guitar sound with a feeling for tradition.  He blends and balances the two with considerable grace and skill.

Booker  sets a burning pace; Dexter lopes along.
Setting the Pace
Music music04
Sound sound03

Fantasy is finally beginning to liberate its remarkable reserve of Booker Ervin recordings.  It's understandable that the company has felt no great urgency to get the Ervin back catalog on the market.  The Texas tenor sax titan had relatively few years of active jazz making and he spent many of those in Europe.

Winning the Battle
The Offering
Music music04
Sound sound05

Drummer Bobby Battle's first date as leader is a winner on all counts. The Offering delivers superb music, superlative sonics, and superior production.

Benny Green gets it right.
That's Right!
Music music03
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If you think you hear a lot of Oscar Peterson in Benny Green, you're right. The young pianist can emulate Peterson's two-fisted, take no prisoners pianism better than anyone (including Gene Harris and Monty Alexander). But in addition to the Peterson thing, Green can also do the Timmons thing, the Ramsey Lewis thing, the Shearing thing, the Monk thing, and just about any other piano thing he wants.

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