Music matters: Thelonious Monk: The Complete Riverside Recordings

The middle decades of the 20th Century were a golden age of jazz. Dozens of world-class musicians all over the United States produced music that defined the era, from bop to cool jazz to hard bop, free improvisation and fusion. Three names tower over all: Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk. Today, I’m talking . . . → Read More: Music matters: Thelonious Monk: The Complete Riverside Recordings

Music Matters: Jerry Lawson: Just a Mortal Man

The Persuasions made something like 40 albums in 22 years with Jerry Lawson as their lead singer and arranger, but until recently their album of Frank Zappa covers was pretty much all I knew of Mr. Lawson’s singing. They just didn’t play The Persuasions on the radio in the little town where I grew up, . . . → Read More: Music Matters: Jerry Lawson: Just a Mortal Man

Music Matters: Some Sunday Morning Music for You

I’m out in the Courtyard on this warm Scottish morning watching a pick-up football match on the Greensward between Iain’s all female Library apprentices and an all male group from the staff that works for Gus, the Estate Head Gardener. (Gus has a number of female staff but they declined to play as they had . . . → Read More: Music Matters: Some Sunday Morning Music for You

Music Matters: Steeleye Span

So let’s have some music from what I consider the best electrified folk band that Great Britain ever produced, Steeleye Span. Over forty years of live performances have produced a treasure trove of excellent soundboard recordings.

Let’s start off with a perennial favourite of fans:‘One Misty Moisty Morning’M as performed at Fairport Convention’s . . . → Read More: Music Matters: Steeleye Span

Music Matters: Loened Fall: The Complete Recordings

It won’t surprise any of you that I love hearing Breton music. Playing the fiddle myself, fiddle music of any sort draws my ear to pay attention. Add in an accordion, and you’ll see me tapping me toes in time to the music. If there happens to be a newly tapped cask of Old Boar . . . → Read More: Music Matters: Loened Fall: The Complete Recordings

Music Matters: Up in The Air: Moonshine / Gavin Marwick: The Long Road and The Far Horizon

I’ve seen Gavin perform a half dozen times both in his native Scotland and down London. He never fails to anything but a stellar musician, be he solo or performing with one of the bands that he’s been in.

So what does our reviewer say about his two latest music undertakings? Quite a bit actually. . . . → Read More: Music Matters: Up in The Air: Moonshine / Gavin Marwick: The Long Road and The Far Horizon

Musical Matters: Kickstarter project: tunes from Charles de Lint’s The Little Country

I found this on Charles de Lint’s tumblr site:

I don’t recommend a lot of Kickstarter projects — mostly because I could fill up way too much space with all the worthy ones that are out there and I don’t want to inundate you. But this one from Zahatar is a little different.

The . . . → Read More: Musical Matters: Kickstarter project: tunes from Charles de Lint’s The Little Country

Musical Matters: Susanne Vega’s Tales From the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles

“Luka”, “Tom’s Diner”, “99.9F°”…. Suzanne Vega was one of my big music loves from the late 80s/early 90s. She’s been making beautiful music since then, though this is her first album in seven years. And Tales From the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles is a corker. There’s lovely mysticism threaded through the album, . . . → Read More: Musical Matters: Susanne Vega’s Tales From the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles

Musical Matters: Capercaillie: At the Heart of It All

I’m still working my way through Capercaillie, which, out of a host of interesting musicians from many traditions, remains one of the most engaging groups I’ve run across. At the Heart of It All, their newest release, seems to pull together a lot of what I’ve found in their earlier offerings into a very coherent . . . → Read More: Musical Matters: Capercaillie: At the Heart of It All

Musical Matters: Capercaillie: To the Moon

To the Moon was my first exposure to Capercaillie, so of course, it was what’s generally considered their “crossover” album. This is by no means a negative, or even something that’s very obvious: it’s more apparent in the rhythm patterns, the instrumentation (sorry, but no one is going to persuade me that the bouzouki is . . . → Read More: Musical Matters: Capercaillie: To the Moon