Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz steps out on his own to make one of the most primal and tribal installments in the Book of Angels series. Drawing on his Sephardic roots, Shanir plays gimbri throughout, giving the music a primeval Moroccan edge. Featuring the intense guitar pyrotechnics of Eyal Maoz and Aram Bajakian (who recently has been tearing it up in Lou Reed’s new band) and the atavistic drumming of Kenny Grohowski, this is Ritualistic Jewish Rock for the 21st century by a brilliant young lion from the East Village via Brooklyn/Israel!
John Cale's 1992 live Fragments of a Rainy Season holds a special place in the hearts of longtime fans. Cale was no stranger to concert sets. Among his most notorious are the snarling Sabotage/Live from CBGB's and 1986's howling Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. Fragments captures Cale completely solo. His iconic singing voice, rainbow variety of melodies, and poetic lyrics are accompanied only by his piano or acoustic guitar. It's easily his most welcoming album, the one that provides a solid introduction as he ranges through his back catalog.
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. A sweet 70s set from the ultra-hip rhythm duo of bassist John Lee and drummer Gerry Brown – working here in a European setting with loads of great reed work to support the "bamboo" vibe of the title! Flute player Chris Hinze blows both bamboo and regular flute – and the feel of the set is like some of his excellent fusion dates from the same time – but the record also has lots of great work from Gary Bartz on alto and soprano sax, plus some keyboards from Hubert Eaves and Jasper Van'T Hof – two very different players who balance out the mood nicely. Some tracks are full-on fusion, but they're offset by mellower, more introspective passages – of the sort that really let the reed players come out strongly – and titles include "Jua", "Rise On", "Who Can See The Shadow Of The Moon", "Infinite Jones", and "Deliverance".
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. John Hicks works in some really wonderful company here – a trio with bassist Curtis Lundy and drummer Idris Muhammad – both of whom really add a lot to the date! We're always big fans of Lundy's sound on bass – and his approach here has the same warm-rolling quality you'd find in his own best 80s work – really helping to push Hicks' lyrical agenda on the piano with a rhythmic support that's tremendous. Muhammad's pretty great too – definitely on the understated side of his talents, that nicely subtle sound he developed in the 80s – and Hicks, as always, is more than a cut above most of his contemporaries, and continues a long legacy of extremely soulful work on the keys of the piano.
In 1972, Lou Reed was a minor cult hero to a handful of rock critics and left-of-center music fans who championed his former band, the Velvet Underground, but he was unknown to the mainstream music audience. By 1986, Reed was a rock & roll icon, widely hailed as a master songwriter and one of the founding fathers of punk, glam, noise rock, and any number of other vital rock subgenres; he even scored a few hits along the way. If you want to know what happened during those 14 years to make such a difference, the answer can be found in The RCA & Arista Album Collection, a 17-disc box set that brings together nearly all of Reed's recorded work from this period…
The second Blood, Sweat & Tears recording without David Clayton-Thomas, No Sweat may be the jazziest BS&T ever. Surprisingly, most of the material comes from outside the band, with the exception of two tracks by Lou Marini, Jr., two co-written by George Wadenius (the featured guitarist in the band following Steve Katz's departure), and the concluding "Inner Crisis" by Larry Willis. Jerry Fisher is more integrated into the band in his role as lead singer, and the band shines throughout on material ranging from Traffic's "Empty Pages" to John Lewis' "Django." The highlight is "Almost Sorry," which features Bobby Colomby's rock-solid drumming, and solos from the entire horn section: Dave Bargeron on trombone, Lew Soloff and Tom "Bones" Malone on electric trumpets, and Marini on alto flute.