The first studio release in seven years from drummer/composer Bob Moses, Time Stood Still is one of those potpourris that inspire awe, delight and the occasional moment of bewilderment. Moses has a finger in virtually every stylistic pie: jazz, funk Latin, Hip-hop. Yet his real predilection is for the backbeat, which explains why he avoids his ride cymbal like the plague and employs both an upright and electric bassist. The resulting sound is bottom-heavy and mostly irresistible.
AON hit their stride with the release of this record, while showing their colors in the choices of material – while the usual offbeat AON elements were present, so was "Peter Gunn," with Duane Eddy guesting on guitar. Another AON hit, "Legs," was present, as was the original version of "Paranoimia," enhanced in its single versions by the addition of routines from Max Headroom performed by Matt Frewer, who would later play the digital ding-a-ling on a short-lived TV series. The Frewer versions replaced the original on some pressings, including the original CD, but the original version has since been restored, with both Frewer versions now confined to best-of collections.
Apparently his early Spy Vs. Spy homage with Tim Berne wasn't enough to satiate John Zorn's Ornette Coleman jones. Masada, Vol. 1: Alef is the jumping-off point for his prolific quartet, clearly modeled on Coleman's groundbreaking acoustic unit, and it's the first sighting of trumpeter Dave Douglas, too. The rhythm section is equally crucial, with Greg Cohen ably tackling the thankless task of bass anchor and Joey Baron the unsung hero for maintaining the fierce, high-energy pulse dictated by Zorn's punk sensibilities. The frenetic "Jair" sets a very Coleman-ish tone before the more measured "Bith Aneth" finds Douglas showing his range with muted squawks, growls, and broad lower-register tones that almost sound like a trombone.
Though more notable for the musicians who contributed to the album than for the actual music contained therein, the Backbeat soundtrack is actually a fantastic record that holds its own even when judged by purely musical criteria. Backbeat (the movie, which is unfortunately a bit of a hack job) chronicles the Beatles' developmental period in Liverpool and Hamburg, so the idea behind the soundtrack was to assemble musicians who could accurately convey the raw, quasi-punk feel of the early leather jacket-clad Fab Four. (…) this album is highly recommended, as it gives a much better idea of the early Beatles over-the-top energy than the film itself.
Initially a British folk-rock combo called Tyrannosaurus Rex, T. Rex was the primary force in glam rock, thanks to the creative direction of guitarist/vocalist Marc Bolan (born Marc Feld). Bolan created a deliberately trashy form of rock & roll that was proud of its own disposability…