Music

Random Cool Video: So I WASN’T Wrong Thinking All Pop Music Sounds Basically the Same!

I’m not just grumbling about the ‘good old days’ or something like that … as we have spent a good amount of the summer listening to the local pop radio station or the ’80’s, 90’s and Today’ station on Slacker I have commented repeatedly how so much of the pop music sounds like it was written by committee … and that the committees seem to share many common members! Now…


The Coolest New CD Release of the Year: Tristan Perich 1-Bit Symphony

I honestly can’t recall the last time I specifically ordered a new release CD, and was excited about the arrival of the physical product. Sure I’ve been sent a few and won some others and have grabbed a couple of special releases over the past several years. In those cases either someone else made the choice or there were pack-ins that made getting the music in physical form necessary. But…


Getting Married in Seattle? Contact This Guy!

By now it is pretty clear that I am quite fond of the Jason Parker Quartet, their music is wonderful, their business model exemplary, and Jason’s insights on his website and approach to music really shine a path for all other struggling artists to follow in this modern era. Way back in high school my rock and fusion groups had some paying gigs at clubs and colleges and events, and…


Music Diary Reviews: Corporate Boardroom Edition

Over the last few months I have done short reviews on more than 30 CD’s in two articles here and here. As I mentioned before, the response has been amazing! I continue to get emails and more unsolicited (but always welcome) invites to listen to music. But I also have been called out as an elitist. Because I love jazz and modern classical music and tend to prefer rather esoteric…


My Family Now Has a Scientific Reason to Hate My Music: Their Brains!

If you have read any of my music reviews here, you know I am strongly drawn to arrhythmic and atonal music in the jazz and classical genres. Needless to say this sort of music isn’t very popular. There are certain artists that I love that most people I know, even those who like some amount of modern jazz, just cannot fathom. Here is a great example, with a very young…


Experience the Newport Jazz Festival Live Via Webcast

The Newport Jazz Festival at gorgeous Fort Adams state park in Newport, RI is the granddaddy of music festivals – the one that kicked off the trend of having jazz music in festivals, which of course can then be linked to the development of festivals such as Woodstock and Lollapalooza and so on. On Saturday you’ll be able to access all of the music live as it plays at NPR’s…



Wolfgang’s Vault and Sonos Get Close…

Although I don’t own a Sonos system, it’s something that I’ve considered purchasing several times in the past. Sonos’ wireless, multi-room music system keeps getting more tempting, too, by adding new features, including streaming services and an iPhone app. Wolfgang’s Vault, on the other hand, I’ve been using for a while.  (In fact, you can find a couple of Gear Diary posts about it here and here.)  Drawing from the…


The Democratization of Music in an iTunes Era

Say what you will about iTunes and the electronic age’s impact on music and the music industry but one thing is clear — they have been great about is giving talented people exposure long before they might come to the attention of agents, scouts and record labels. That’s the case with Applegirl, who caught the world’s attention with her rendition of Lady Gaga’s Poker Face performed with nothing more than a…


180 Gram Records Unveils Everly Brothers Collector’s Edition LP Box Set!

I remember reading a report early this year from the UK showing that in an age of declining physical music media sales, the only positive note was that sales of LP’s, those classic 12″ 33-1/3 RPM vinyl records, had doubled in 2009! Of course, the numbers are still small but they show there is an audience for classic vinyl records. Personally I have moved more and more to digital music….


What a Recording Artist Needs to Sell to Make Minimum Wage

Image Courtesy Kevin Dayhoff’s Blog I had seen this image a month or so ago, but had lost the link – but it remains stunning to think of what is required for a musician to simply make minimum wage, let alone scrape by a reasonable living! The graph below shows how many of their recordings an artist would need to sell to make a mere $1,160 per month. Of course,…


Prince Sez No Digital Tunes 4 U!

For many people, digital music stopped being a revolution – or even something to debate – a long time ago. Apple’s iTunes is the largest music retailer, and more and more sites seek a piece of the ever-growing digital music pie. But not THIS guy: Prince, in an interview with the UK paper the Daily Mirror said: “The internet’s completely over,” Prince told the paper. “I don’t see why I…


More Quickie Jazz Reviews: A Few New, and a Few That Slipped Through

Image Courtesy TheLastMiles.com Recently I wrote a rather large article full of ‘quickie reviews’ for recent Jazz music releases – and the response I have gotten has been amazing! I have heard from musicians, jazz lovers, general music fans and folks who simply wanted to express appreciation that I was supporting the ‘indie’ movement even thought they had no interest in the music. Even as that article was published, I…


What the HECK Happened to Herbie Hancock?!?

Herbie Hancock learned a lot from his time with Miles Davis, musically and also about being restlessly creative. After leaving Miles band before the earth-shaking Bitches Brew era, he headed off to release his own series of classics. He had already carved a great space in modal music with his Blue Note recordings Maiden Voyage and Speak Like a Child, but then went on to record Fat Albert Rotunda and…


Recent Jazz Releases You Would Never Hear About Otherwise

Photo from EyeShotJazz There was a time – before the internet, no less – when I really had my finger on the pulse of the jazz world. Some of it was location – I was less than an hour from Boston, Worcester, Providence RI and the Newport Jazz festival – but some of it was just knowing where to look for new information. As the years have passed by, I…


Aluratek Drops a Brick (For Your iPhone, That Is)

When I think of a brick, I either think of the actual structural element from which buildings are constructed, or I think of any electronic device that seems unnecessarily large and cumbersome.  Now, Aluratek wants us to reimagine the word as an audio component. Aluratek is releasing their latest product, the Brick Speaker Dock for iPhone/iPod this week.  Aluratek boasts that the Brick offers high-quality sound at an affordable price.  It will…


John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension – To The One Review

Apparently April was CD-release party month at the old-British guitar legends home! Hot on the heels of Jeff Beck’s Emotion & Commotion comes To The One from John McLaughlin. While McLaughlin might not carry the same name recognition as Beck outside of the jazz world, the impact of the contributions of the 68-year old McLaughlin rival if not exceed those of his younger country-mate. Another similarity is that neither of…


Jeff Beck – Emotion & Commotion Review

Just over a month ago I wrote about the special launch-day deal Amazon.com was having on the MP3 version of Jeff Beck’s new Emotion & Commotion CD. Over the last six weeks I’ve kept the CD on my iPod in heavy rotation. Needless to say I have found something to like in the first studio release in seven years from the 65-year old legendary guitarist. At the same time, this…


Wait … YOU Had The App Made … and it is Just for ME, to Give ME Free Stuff?!?!

A long time ago I signed up on the Verve Music site in order to gain access to some ‘exclusive’ John Coltrane content. Since 2003 I have gotten more or less weekly emails from them, generally throw-aways promoting whomever was new, but with some occasional gems. Fairly typical for a music publisher and nothing obnoxious enough to make me unsubscribe. The last several months, however, have been a nearly daily…


1000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die

OK, so who is crazy enough to put together THAT sort of list? Apparently the folks at Groove Notes! The image I highlighted was of Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s 1967 recording The Inflated Tear. This is my favorite recording of his, mixing free jazz elements, traditional hard-bop, and soul-flavored pop elements he’d later explore on Blacknuss and Volunteer Slavery. If you haven’t heard of it, don’t feel bad, because while it…


Cool Mashup – ‘What a Wonderful World’ Meets Death Metal

Image courtesy of Wilson-Benesch I have been a huge fan of Louis Armstrong for decades, even having ‘What a Wonderful World’ as the dance I did with my mother at my wedding. The song was a huge hit for Satchmo at the end of his legendary career, and was re-released upon his death in 1972, as well as gaining huge success as a featured song from 1987’s movie Good Morning…