Strictly Coolsville

A trio of brilliant holiday albums bearing title variations of WONDERLAND rank with the essential anthologies of seasonal fare. Released in 2003, the recordings range from rare to familiar, the artists from obscure to beloved. ...
by David McGee
 

 
 

A Bluer Shade of Christmas

An update of our 2019 review of four essential Christmas blues anthologies: Volumes 1-3 of BLUES, BLUES CHRISTMAS and Legacy Recordings' DEATH MIGHT BE YOUR SANTA CLAUS.--a bluer shade of Christmas, if you will.
by David McGee
 

 

 

In Heavy Rotation: A Bucketful of Blues

A bucketful of new blues rounded up here: reviews of fine new CDs, from THE NIGHTHAWKS, JAY WILLIE &: JAMES MONTGOMERY, ANTHONY GERACI, SWINGADELIC and DAVE STRYKER & BOB MINTZER & THE WDR BIG BAND
by David McGee
 

 
 

Thoughts That Lie Too Deep for Tears

Two very different artists make two very different albums but still manage to cross paths. What do KENNY LAVENDER and his big band have in common with LAWRENCE BLATT and his guitar?
by David McGee
 

 

 

Tchaikovsky, Straight & Ellingtonized (Or, ‘Let’s Play Two!’)

TCHAIKOVSKY wrote THE NUTCRACKER SUITE, DUKE ELLINGTON and BILLY STRAYHORN reimagined it, and HARMONIE ENSEMBLE NEW YORK offers both versions on a must-have holiday album.
by David McGee
 

 
 

The Ellingtonian ‘Nutcracker’

An appreciation of THE NUTCRACKER SUITE as DUKE ELLINGTON & BILLY STRAYHORN reimagined it in 1960 and of a new take by THE HARMONIA ENSEMBLE conducted by STEVEN RICHMOND.
by David McGee
 

 

 

Christmas Beyond the Blue

BLUES, BLUES CHRISTMAS VOLUME 3 leads this revised and updated review of four essential blues Christmas albums, including last year's DEATH MIGHT BE YOUR SANTA CLAUS
by David McGee
 

 
 

Pianist-Entrepreneur-Innovator

Pianist-entrepreneur-innovator LARA DOWNES is back with her most ambitious project, EXILES' CAFE, focusing on the concept of music written in exile. The album, though, is only the beginning.
by David McGee