Jerry Lee Lewis isn't the only Lewis who pumps a piano. Younger sister Linda Gail Lewis has been opening shows for her big brother for years after performing in his band and in the band of Van Morrison. Her new CD, 'Hard Rockin' Woman' (Lanark Records) is a tour-de-force of rockabilly, blues, country and the kind of crazed pianistics one expects out of this Ferriday, Louisiana family. But there's another story worth telling...
Trumpeter/Composer/Producer/Music Executive Nick Phillips channels his inner Chet Baker in dreamy duets with singer/songwriter/pianist Jenny Maybee on their self-released new 'Haiku' CD. Backed by only bass, it's an 11-track rarity of pristine playing, beautiful vocals and original compositions in a kind of fragile junkie brilliance.
He's a painter and a prophet. This man named Ivo Perelman, compete with synesthesia, comes from Brazil to blow your mind with six CDs this year alone and 25 CDs over the last five years. Call it Saxarrhea. He goes into the studio with no rehearsal, no written music in hand and barely an idea of where the music will take him. Yet he is one of South America's most respected artists both on a canvas and on a stage. Just no sheet music, please.
Keyboardist Michael Gallant is 'Live Plus One" as he puts grunge in his funk and Harlem stride. Drummer Alphonse Mouzon helped pioneer fusion in the 1970s. His '77 'Virtue' with sax man Gary Bartz has been re-released. Long out-of-print ballad masterpiece 'Clark After Dark' also sees new light with the late trumpeter Clark Terry on flugelhorn throughout. And guitarist Ben Monder duets with the late drum legend Paul Motian on ECM's `Amorphae.'
The bounty of new blues CDs is making me crazy. If you feel this music...if you support it live by going to a bar to hear it being played...if you dance to it...if you romance to it...even if you just stand against the wall with a Singapore Sling in your hand and nod your head appreciatively, the artists mentioned this week in Blogarrhea will titillate, tantalize and hit your sweet spot every time.
Aah, the mysterious Mangelsdorff! He grew up in Frankfort, Germany, soon mastering guitar and violin but it was on trombone where he made his mark. Since the Nazis banned jazz, he played "patriotic" music at first. In the 1950s, he finally flowered into one of the most unique 'bone men due to his furthering and refining of multiphonics. This meant playing the equivalent of chords and/overtone effects on an instrument that heretofore could only be blown one note at a time. Ornette Coleman, of course, took it one step further and called it harmolodics. Mangelsdorff would literally sing into his trombone which created a secondary note atop or below the note he'd play. Therefore, he could harmonize with himself. The effect was almost psychedelic.
Today, bassist Stanley Clarke is known as the "Liberator Of The Electric And Acoustic Basses." Mike Greenblatt sits down with the legend for an exclusive Blogarrhea Q&A.
It's the Montreal International Jazz Festival yet it's the sound of New Orleans stopping me cold. Montreal Dixie is the sextet rooted in the Crescent City's 1910 riverboats, impossible to ignore. And it just gets better from there...