At 77, Tom Paxton has taken over for Pete Seeger, who passed last year at 94, as our link to pure authentic folk music. Rudresh Mahanthappa rules supreme on the alto sax. And New England upstarts The Luxury takes a hint from bands like U2, Pink Floyd and Oasis.
I was 18 when Jorma and his band Jefferson Airplane rocked my socks off at Woodstock in 1969. I’m 64 now and Jorma is still a thrill. He headlines this installment of “Filled With Sound.” Smokin’ Joe Kubek, Bnois King, Eric Sardinas and Tinsley Ellis are his blues-drenched opening acts.
Sometimes an artist comes along who simply steals your breath away. Polly Gibbons is just such an artist. Plus, a soundtrack for our times, a jazzman goes solo and the 21-track newest installment of “Now That’s What I Call Music.”
Four New CDs span the gamut of sound from the avant-garde squeaks, squeals and grunts of John Coltrane and the soul-stirring Chicken Mambo of Fabrizio Poggi at The Spaghetti Juke Joint to Brad Hatfield’s bravery and the everlasting contributions of Bert Berns, a man who died way too soon.
John Denver was hipper than you thought. Well, at least hipper than I thought. His new box goes a long way in explaining. Then there’s Willie Nelson who just keeps a’rollin’ along. And when guitarists Eric Johnson and Mike Stern get together, new ground is broken. A triumvirate of CD sound!!
Out of the four legendary artists featured in this current installment of “Filled With Sound,” only fusion pioneer drummer Alphonse Mouzon is still alive. Yet Count Basie, Hank Jones and Stevie Ray Vaughan will always live, in my household and in the households of millions, by what they put down in studios and on stages.
Alice Cooper might be fitting fodder for a film, but that’s not the only pleasure I’ve encountered this week. Markus James finds the missing link between Africa and Mississippi. Annie Lennox can croon a tune for real as she interprets some American delectables. And wonderfully eccentric Jeff Coffin (pictured) continues to amaze with his eclecticism.
You can’t exactly call Lisa Mills a blues singer. You can’t exactly call Kaye Bohler a soul singer. The same goes for the other three artists encapsulated herein. For instance, what happens when you put a Polish jazz trio with a Swedish saxman? All will be answered in due time.
3 New CDs…3 New Gems: a multi-artist re-imagining of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born In The U.S.A.,” a new band, Brothers Keeper, made up of longtime industry veterans, and an old band, The Duke Robillard Band, stretching the blues into various sub-genres be it Memphis, Texas, Alabama or, uh, Rhode Island. Well, almost.
What if a label put its greatest stars all on the stage at the same time? Mack Avenue did it in Detroit and the result is rather godly. Plus two new women I’ve totally fallen in love with and, finally, is “Inventio” the greatest album of oddness in history?