Jazz-beyond-rock: Tony Williams addressing today’s emergency

Spectrum Road -- electric guitarist Vernon Reid, bassist Jack Bruce, keyboardist John Medeski and drummer Cindy Blackman -- playing high energy, high volume music at the Blue Note (NYC) this weekend inspired by the jazz-rock amalgam the late, great Tony Williams created 40 years ago, seems utterly cutting edge. Or is it just my old ears, getting deaf to quieter subtleties? … [Read more...]

Prince plays the blues – Chocolate Drops, Wynton, Clapton, too

The blues is big-time pop again -- processed to a triumphant apotheosis by Prince at Madison Square Garden as I detail in my new City Arts column -- (but did it ever go away? Here's the Artist with James Brown and Michael Jackson in 1983)   -- reinvigorated in acoustic revivalist and hybrid form by the Carolina Chocolate Drops, who kick off a three-month US tour at Lincoln Center's American Songbook Series on Wednesday, Feb 2 --    … [Read more...]