Miles Davis “Lost Quintet” : Live in Europe 1969

It’s been said, “You haven’t heard Miles Davis, until you’ve experienced him live in concert.”  And with  with over 36 official live recordings (and countless unofficial bootlegs) the release in 2013 of the Miles Davis Quintet from 1969, Live in Europe, adds what amounts to one of the most important live recordings ever. “It was […]


I had never been a “cat person”.  All the cats my wife and I had were wonderful pets but were more hers than mine.  That was true until we brought Sam into our home in October of 1998. Sam had a way of engaging you with his gaze that just made you feel there was […]

Athens, Alabama-based Alabama Shakes : Sound & Color

Muscle Shoals-inspired, Athens, Alabama-based quartet Alabama Shakes formed in 2009 around the talents of Brittany Howard, Zac Cockrell, Steve Johnson, and Heath Fogg. Originally simply called the Shakes, the band’s blend of fiery blues-rock and hard-hitting Southern soul drew comparisons to the Black Keys, Drive-By Truckers, the Detroit Cobras, and even Sharon Jones & the […]

American Original : Harry Partch (June 24, 1901 – September 3, 1974)

“I am not an instrument-maker, but a philosophical music-man seduced into carpentry.” American composer Harry Partch (1901-1974) had a musical vision for which 12-toned instruments were not enough. His objection to the standard western classical scale wasn’t so much along the philosophical lines of Schoenberg and other early 20th-century atonalists; he was mainly frustrated by […]

Muddy Water[s] : Down on Stovall’s Plantation

“Name McKinley Morganfield, nickname Muddy Water, Stovall’s famous guitar picker,” Muddy clearly said in his first ever recording session, August 1941.  McKinley “Muddy Water” Morganfield, of course, the father of modern Chicago Blues, and the only household Blues name – along with B.B. King. Note that “Water” is singular, and the beauty here is that […]

Luigi Dallapiccola (February 3, 1904 – February 19, 1975) : Italian composer known for his lyrical twelve-tone compositions

Perhaps the greatest Modern Italian composer after Puccini, Luigi Dallapiccola was born in Pisino, in the disputed territory of Istria, then under Austrian rule (it is now part of Croatia and Slovenia). His father, a teacher suspected of Italian nationalism, lost his job during World War I, and the Austrian government interned the entire family […]