Music Review

Jack Rose: Kensington Blues (VHF)

Jack RoseHands down one of the most intricately beautiful instrumental albums of the year so far. Jack Rose (of Virginia neo-psych band Pelt) is not only a guitar virtuoso of the highest order, an adept finger-style picker in the Rev. Gary Davis/John Fahey tradition (he covers the latter’s “Sunflower River Blues”), he’s an imaginative genre-hopper who – like Fahey in his later years – can make his acoustic guitar an instrument for meditative psychedelia, even make it sound like a sitar.

Aside from the Fahey cover, all eight tracks on this solo excursion are originals, starting out in a mostly traditional vein and then, on the second half of the disc, mixing in the raga influence on alternating tracks. Read more »

The 9/11 Concert

Sonny RollinsSonny Rollins: Without A Song - The 9/11 Concert (Miletstone)

Well, the 9/15 concert. You see, Sonny Rollins was in his downtown NYC apartment on 9/11, and saw the second tower fall. After the area lost power and phone service, Rollins and his neighbors were evacuated the next day. His wife and co-producer Lucille (now sadly deceased) convinced him not to cancel his Saturday night concert in Boston. Read more »

Florida Desert Music

ReinsCalexico/Iron and Wine: In The Reins (Overcoat)

This is not a split EP, but an actual collaboration between these two cult favorites. The founders of Calexico, John Convertino and Joey Burns, first worked together in Giant Sand in 1990. Calexico’s basically a roots-rock band, but takes in a wide range of other influences. Iron and Wine is basically a solo act (lately there’s a trend to using band names even if it’s just one guy: Mountain Goats, Bright Eyes, etc.), Floridian Sam Beam, who writes lovely melodies set to quiet, acoustic music. Read more »

Paul Motian/Bill Frisell/Joe Lovano: I Have the Room Above Her (ECM)

It's now an anticipated annual event when this trio reunites for a stand at New York's storied Village Vanguard. Saxophonist Joe Lovano and guitarist Bill Frisell are superstars, of course; some of their fans may not know why Paul Motian is billed above them. But some of the most imaginative jazz of the past five decades has been powered by this subtle, versatile drummer who's now 74 years old. Read more »

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