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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.
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