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King Crimson: A 21st Century Guide

Part 1: 1969-1974

King Crimson burst onto a musical scene that was replete with experimentalism, the addition of new levels of musicianship and a blending of stylistic elements in rock and popular music. Just as the global political, cultural, and social climates were engaged in heady change, so was the musical landscape. Interestingly, jazz music also underwent a similar stage at this time, and crossover between jazz and rock was increasingly the norm.

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The Louvin Brothers: Tragic Songs of Life and Satan Is Real

by Marshall Bowden

Ira and Charlie Louvin are links between so many worlds: the sepia-toned individualism of what Greil Marcus refers to as ‘The Old, Weird America,’ the traditional country music background of performers such as Johnny Cash, the bluegrass tradition—Ira and Charlie were considered one of the best bluegrass duos at a time when Bill Monroe was already an established star—and straight into the heart of rock and roll and pop music with the success of the Everly Brothers, who modeled their work on the Louvins’ ‘close harmonies.’ They began, and first gained recognition, as a gospel recording act, and they never completely abandoned that aspect of their work even as their star rose in the mainstream country music world. Continue reading The Louvin Brothers: Tragic Songs of Life and Satan Is Real

on the corner album cover

Miles Davis: The Complete On the Corner Sessions

Time Has Caught Up With Miles Davis’ Most Hated Album

by Marshall Bowden

Of all Miles Davis albums, On the Corner has continued to stand as the most controversial of all time. Part of that stems from the old ‘this ain’t jazz’ argument that all Davis releases from at least In a Silent Way on up were greeted with by the jazz community, but in many ways, this album was the line in the sand for many Davis fans.

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Keith Jarrett Trio: Setting Standards

by Marshall Bowden

Where It All Began

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Back in 1983, three musicians assembled at New York’s Power Station studio to record some jazz piano trio sides. Specifically, the trio was planning on exploring the standard jazz repertoire composed by the likes of George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, Cole Porter and their equals.

Not a radical concept, but certainly an unexpected one given the musicians involved. Keith Jarrett had accomplished many things in his career up to 1983, but he was certainly not known as an interpreter of the Great American Songbook. He first came to the public’s attention in 1966 as a member of Charles Lloyd’s quartet, of which he was a member through 1968. During 1971-71 he worked with Miles Davis onstage and on recordings, playing electric piano and organ. He followed up with a duet recording with Jack DeJohnette, Ruta & Daitya, the last time he worked with electric keyboards. Continue reading Keith Jarrett Trio: Setting Standards