July 3, 2007 Veteran Cuban singer and member of the Buena Vista Social Club, Ibrahim Ferrer, finished recording a solo album just before he died.
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June 29, 2007 Israeli-born pianist and composer Anat Fort spent the last seven years in New York, much of it working on her first album for ECM Records. She says that though some of the music was written quickly, it took time to discover how to perform it.
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June 27, 2007 Mitchell's work took an unexpected turn with Mingus, her streaky and often brilliant 1979 collaboration with jazz bassist Charles Mingus. After it, she sounded wiser and hipper, a jazz sophisticate whose melodies came bunched in waves and bursts of scat-singing capriciousness.
June 20, 2007 Booker T. & The MGs recorded some of most enduring riffs and backbeats of the '60s. Because organist Booker T. Jones, guitarist Steve Cropper, bassist Donald "Duck" Dunn and drummer Al Jackson Jr. recorded together constantly, they developed a signature sound.
June 13, 2007 Zumpano may forever be known mostly as the answer to, "What band was A.C. Newman in before The New Pornographers?" The Vancouver group made two records for Sub Pop before Newman began his more lucrative New Pornographers pursuits.
June 6, 2007 It took a renegade of modern film, Dennis Hopper, to engineer one of the great had-to-happen musical summits of modern times. To provide the music for The Hot Spot, the director hired greats from different musical worlds: bluesman John Lee Hooker and jazz trumpeter Miles Davis.
May 30, 2007 The diversity of songs and styles makes Dale Hawkins' LA, Memphis & Tyler, Texas an odd artifact: It's part Southern boogie and part sun-kissed psychedelic rock, yet it feels like an original stew rather than a patchwork.
May 23, 2007 On From the Jungles of Paraguay, Australian guitarist John Williams celebrates Paraguayan composer Augustin Barrios-Mangore, an entrancing songwriter whose music went largely neglected by modern interpreters until the 1980s and '90s.
May 16, 2007 Even a ubiquitous figure like Chuck Berry has neglected gems gathering spiderwebs in remote corners of his catalog. Blues helps fill in a bit of his legend, showing how he transferred devices used by generations of blues guitarists into the then-new rebellion of rock.
May 9, 2007 Jack Logan's homemade 1994 debut Bulk attracted attention for its staggering number of songs: 42, arranged in nine LP-style "sides" on two CDs. It displayed a remarkably bold range of styles, from scruffy post-punk screamers to gentle country weepers.
May 2, 2007 It's not exactly "live," and to modern ears, its tightly scripted songs likely won't seem terribly "dangerous." Yet Live and Dangerous, a 1978 double album, is the best existing document of the under-appreciated Irish hard-rock band Thin Lizzy.
April 25, 2007 Tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson's brilliant Power To The People was recorded in 1969, when jazz musicians were confronting the influence of rock and soul. Some had trouble, but Henderson wrote tunes that always sneaked a step or two beyond convention.
April 18, 2007 On 1969's Kidney Stew Is Fine, Eddie Cleanhead Vinson crafts scooting, good-time shuffle-blues, spiced with the harmonic sophistication of bebop. Vinson was a master of the blend: His seamless mix of ingredients makes Kidney Stew a delicacy.
April 11, 2007 Up! is the great misunderstood R.E.M. album, a noirish cycle filled with unsettling songs and "environments" that are brooding worlds away from the group's jangle-pop hits. Heard on its own, apart from the rest of R.E.M.'s output, it emerges as a graceful studio exploration.
April 4, 2007 In the world of Latin music, vibraphonist Cal Tjader commanded respect: He was considered one of the few Anglos who could hang with the heavyweights. Tjader recorded Latin jazz, bossa nova, salsa and boogaloo for more than three decades, and his titles are uniformly strong.
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