Posted inMusic

Records

STAVIN’ CHAIN BLUES Big Joe Williams & J.D. Short Delmark DD-609 NINE STRING GUITAR BLUES Big Joe Williams Delmark DD-627 BIG JOE WILLIAMS Optimism 2047 For many, the late Big Joe Williams was the epitome of the romantically itinerant bluesman. Born in Crawford, Mississippi, probably in 1903, he spent most of his life on the […]

Posted inMusic

Records

AIN’T IT NICE Willie Kent Delmark DD-653 Bassist Willie Kent is a genial, powerfully built west-side bluesman whose music reflects his personality: no-nonsense, sober minded, and unpretentious. He’s held down weekend gigs for years at neighborhood venues like the Majestic on Pulaski and Mr. Tee’s on Lake; in recent years he’s become increasingly well-known in […]

Posted inMusic

Records

JOHNNY SHINES Johnny Shines Hightone #8028 BACK TO THE COUNTRY Johnny Shines and Snooky Pryor Blind Pig #74391 Singer-guitarist Johnny Shines is best known for his Chicago recordings on Chess and J.O.B. in the early 50s. Those sides established him as a blues artist of rare power–a forceful singer, poetic lyricist (“You said if I […]

Posted inMusic

Steve Lacy + 16–Itinerary/Franz Koglmann–The Use of Memory/Charlie Haden and the Liberation–Dream Keeper/Carla Bley–The Very Big Carla Bley Band/Kenny Wheeler–Music for Large & Small Ensembles/Freddie Redd–Everybody Lov

ITINERARY Steve Lacy + 16 Hat ART THE USE OF MEMORY Franz Koglmann Hat ART DREAM KEEPER Charlie Haden and the Liberation Music Orchestra Blue Note THE VERY BIG CARLA BLEY BAND Carla Bley Watt MUSIC FOR LARGE & SMALL ENSEMBLES Kenny Wheeler ECM EVERYBODY LOVES A WINNER Freddie Redd Milestone GENIUS OF MODERN MUSIC, […]

Posted inMusic

The Mellow Fellows–Street Party

STREET PARTY The Mellow Fellows Alligator AL-4793 Ever since Larry “Big Twist” Nolan brought his tough-sounding blues/R & B aggregation the Mellow Fellows to Chicago from the Carbondale area in the late 1970s, listeners have both praised and criticized the band for the same thing–their well-oiled predictability. For generations of former Southern Illinois University students […]

Posted inMusic

Art Ensemble of Soweto/Trio Transition With Special Guest Oliver Lake/Rob Brown Trio–Breath Rhyme/Schlippenbach Trio–Elf Bagatellen/Peter Brotzmann Octet 1968–Machine Gun/Hal Russell NRG Ensemble–Hal on Earth

ART ENSEMBLE OF SOWETO Art Ensemble of Chicago DIW (import) TRIO TRANSITION WITH SPECIAL GUEST OLIVER LAKE DIW (import) BREATH RHYME Rob Brown Trio Silkheart (import) ELF BAGATELLEN Schlippenbach Trio FMP (import) MACHINE GUN Peter Brotzmann Octet 1968 FMP (import) HAL ON EARTH Hal Russell NRG Ensemble Hal Russell Music (cassette only) When the Art […]

Posted inMusic

Roots ‘n’ Blues

ROOTS ‘N’ BLUES Robert Johnson, Lonnie Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy, Willie Dixon, and several anthologies Columbia Records Harmonica player Sugar Blue has said he has an idea for a song entitled “I Want to Be a Blues Legend, but I Ain’t Dead Yet.” A bit overstated, perhaps, but the man’s got a point. It’s not […]

Posted inMusic

Replacements–All Shook Down

ALL SHOOK DOWN Replacements Sire Records 926298-2 Paul Westerberg, sturdy and talented, burst into the record business with a snotty and loud foursome, the Replacements; he’s been trying to live it down ever since. The bashing and crashing have given way to sensitively constructed songs, and the band’s bad attitude has smoothed out into a […]

Posted inMusic

Sonny Boy Williamson–Keep It to Ourselves

KEEP IT TO OURSELVES Sonny Boy Williamson Alligator AL4787 Rice Miller–“Sonny Boy Williamson No. 2”–is one of the blues’ most important, yet enigmatic, figures. An acknowledged harmonica master, he seemed obsessed with keeping the details of his life and his intimate feelings hidden from the world. He delighted in giving conflicting information about his name, […]

Posted inMusic

Wild Child Butler–Lickin’ Gravy

LICKIN’ GRAVY Wild Child Butler Rooster Blues R7611 They’ll never pin George “Wild Child” Butler down. The Alabama- born harmonica player, who claims that his mother gave him his nickname after complaining, “Boy, you wild, you wild, you wild, you just wild, you crazy!” has been living up to the moniker for most of his […]

Posted inMusic

Hubert Sumlin–Heart & Soul

HEART & SOUL Hubert Sumlin Blind Pig Records BP 3389 The best blues and jazz soloists are both earnest about their craft and deeply committed to having a good time. The histories of these two interrelated forms are peppered with a colorful cast of flamboyant free spirits whose art and life-styles refused to remain within […]