Rant ‘n’ Roll: Timely Swing, Jazz News, Norwegian Reflections, A Brooklyn Octet, Heavenly Harp, & A Dog Leg Dilemma

Eight O’Five Jive, Nashville TN-based swing band. photos by Bill Steber

They’re called Eight O’Five Jive and their Swing Set (Red Rudy Too Tunes) is a thoroughly delightful time trip back to before rock ‘n’ roll. I’ve always wondered (and felt a little sorry for) generations who didn’t have that …

by   |  02/22/2017  |  Comments (0)

Rant’n’Roll: Fusion, Alligator Blues, Alto Manhattan, Piano/Sax Duets, Twin Vibes And A Jewish Prayer All Topped With Sugar

The new year revealed a new jazz/rock/funk fusion: Brian Kastan’s self-released all-original Roll The Dice On Life where his bandmates prove worthy adversaries on the second of this two-disc pleasure bomb. In battle, they tend to constantly one-up each other like the great jazz cutting contests of the 1940s. …

by   |  02/15/2017  |  Comments (1)

Rant’n’roll: Moroccan Dub, Americana-Prog, Socialist Night School, Negro Spirituals, Canadian Folk, Jazz Vocalese & A Guy Named Tohpati

Club d’Elf is Live At Club Helsinki (Face Pelt Records) on a new 2-CD set featuring keyboardist/composer John Medeski from Medeski Martin & Wood. He has plenty of help. This is a true collective—based in Boston—so not only didn’t fans in Finland know what material to expect, they didn’t even …

by   |  02/08/2017  |  Comments Off on Rant’n’roll: Moroccan Dub, Americana-Prog, Socialist Night School, Negro Spirituals, Canadian Folk, Jazz Vocalese & A Guy Named Tohpati

Alfredo Rodriguez: You Cannot Cage A Tocororo

One of the more intriguing artists about town this week has to be pianist/composer Alfredo Rodriguez. When he plays New York City’s Jazz Standard (116 E 27) for four nights Feb 9-12, he’ll bring his same world-beat international A-Game as heard on his brilliant Tocororo (Mack Avenue Records). There’s no …

by   |  02/01/2017  |  Comments Off on Alfredo Rodriguez: You Cannot Cage A Tocororo

Rant’n’Roll: Blues Challenge, Geographical Jazz, Canadian Americana, Organ Grinder Swing, Confessional Pop, Electronica & A Tragic Legend

The Blues Foundation started its annual International Blues Challenge (IBC) in 1984. In 2016 alone, 257 acts took that challenge. Ultimately, nine acts fill this IBC #32, with performances held on Beale Street last year in Memphis Jan. 28-30. The Paul Deslauriers Band—representing the Montreal Blues Society—kicks it off …

by   |  02/01/2017  |  Comments Off on Rant’n’Roll: Blues Challenge, Geographical Jazz, Canadian Americana, Organ Grinder Swing, Confessional Pop, Electronica & A Tragic Legend

Rant’n’Roll: The Best Of The Rest

My grandmother used to say how her cooking always tasted better the second day. I grew up in her household with my mom and grandfather—minus my deadbeat dad—and can still smell her stuffed artichokes and lasagna. She also gave me my love of music and literature so as my mom …

by   |  01/25/2017  |  Comments Off on Rant’n’Roll: The Best Of The Rest

Rant’n’Roll: I Just Want To Read This Book Again, This Time Aloud, ‘Without Getting Killed Or Caught’

The first time I met Guy Clark was at a New York City press party in 1976 to celebrate RCA’s release of his second album, Texas Cookin’. He was a long and lanky fella who drawled out a neighborly kind of thanks to my ex-wife and I before inviting …

by   |  01/18/2017  |  Comments Off on Rant’n’Roll: I Just Want To Read This Book Again, This Time Aloud, ‘Without Getting Killed Or Caught’

A Boy At Play: Colin Hay

Born in Scotland, raised in Australia, Colin Hay, 63, fronted Men At Work in the ‘80s to massive success but quit being a man at work when he became a California boy at play in the ‘90s. That’s when his solo work artistically eclipsed his younger band days. He …

by   |  01/18/2017  |  Comments Off on A Boy At Play: Colin Hay

Rant’n’Roll: The Best Music You’ve Never Heard And The Best Artists You’ve Never Heard Of

The Lucas Haneman Express, from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, rocks on its second CD. Tearing Up The Rails has 12 originals plus covers of Steppenwolf’s 1968 “Magic Carpet Ride” and the 1984 Bryan Adams hit “Run To You,” which they actually improve upon, thus taking it out of its long-held …

by   |  01/11/2017  |  Comments Off on Rant’n’Roll: The Best Music You’ve Never Heard And The Best Artists You’ve Never Heard Of

Rant’n’Roll: Piano Dead, Americana, Hindu Fusion, Jersey Gospel

Holly Bowling has totally revamped the music of the Grateful Dead on her epic two-CD solo piano work Better Left Unsung (Royal Potato Family). She did the same thing on her ambitious Distillation Of A Dream: The Music Of Phish Reimagined For Solo Piano. On both projects, she’s painstakingly transcribed …

by   |  01/04/2017  |  Comments Off on Rant’n’Roll: Piano Dead, Americana, Hindu Fusion, Jersey Gospel


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