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So,for the first time since beginning this article,my most anticipated Cd of the week is a reissue. That should be no surprise,as we are apparently watching the slow self destruction of the mainstream record industry. Recorded in 1981 "Out Like a Light" is one half of an evening with Scofield,the other half being released as "Shinola". While it has long been available as an import in the $50-$60 range,it has finally seeing domestic release at a price we working folk can afford. So,what's all the fuss about? This is prime early Scofield, in trio mode with Steve Swallow and Adam Nussbaum,both supplying attentive and sensitive support. Swallow,in particular,plays with time and tempo,seemingly inside the tempo of the others,while maintaining his bassist role.
John Scofield - Out Like a Light
If you've not heard Scofield's pre-stereo chorus late 70's-early 80's tone,by all means,check this out. Aggressive and slightly mean,even on ballads,it's still warm (ahem) and is timeless in a way his mid 80's tone is not. Musically,he is already writing his own tunes and the live format lets them stretch out.
More Cd reviews below..
Renaud Garcia-Fons - Mediterranees
Composer,arranger and upright bassist Garcia-Fons brings in flamenco guitar,baroque lute,theorbo,tar,zither,bouzouki and a host of non string instruments for music that pulls from all over the globe,yet stays cohesive.
T-Model Ford and Gravelroad - Taledragger
Recorded with his road band Gravelroad,this shows an intensity you just don't expect out of a 90 year old guy! Not to be morbid,but if he comes anywhere near your town,see him while you can. He only SEEMS indestructible. Hey, Phoenix folks,he'll be at The Rhythm Room on February 5th with Bill Abel.See you there!
Tom Principato - Part of Me
There are strings aplenty here,with Principato being a guitar legend in his own right,and having Sonny Landreth and bassist Willie Weeks along for the ride. Having keyboard heavyweights like Chuck Leavell and Brian Auger along doesn't hurt either. This is released on Principato's own label Powerhouse. If you're a fan of guitar heavy American roots music like Danny Gatton,Roy Buchannon and Bob Margolin,check it out.
Arni Hoenig and Punkbop - Live at Smalls
The name of Hoenig's band Punkbop gives you a pretty good indication of what they're about;bop based music played, not as a museum piece,but as a starting point for modern jazz. The highlight for us is,of course,guitarist Johnathan Kreisberg,whose biography includes stints with Dr. Lonnie Smith and Lenny White.
Elmore James - Hits and Rarities
Whether you prefer "real" blues men like Hound Dog Taylor or later disciples like Duane Allman and Peter Green,they all took a lick or ten from Elmore James. This is some of the last music he recorded and is as good as anything during his short career.
Matt Panayides - Tapestries of Song
Barely two weeks into the new year and we have a serious contender for best newcomer of 2011. This guy has the goods! If you must compare him to one of the big names,he comes closest to Scofield,but with a rounder,less distorted sound. This shows him in quartet format with sax,bass and drums and everybody gets some nice solo space. I can't wait to hear more from Panayides in the future.