Five Recommendations

The Rifftides staff proudly presents the latest assortment of Doug's Picks -- three big bands, a rare Lennie Breau video and the only holdover, a book about Breau to complement the DVD. Please direct your attention to the exhibit in the middle of your screen. … [Read more...]

CD: Darcy James Argue

Darcy James Argue's Secret Society, Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam). Can generations nurtured on rock and roll learn to love music by a band configured like one out of the swing era? The answer delivered in this work of imagination, daring and resourcefulness is yes. Argue's textures, harmonies and uses of space and time place him alongside Maria Schneider, Ed Partyka and John Hollenbeck among intriguing young composer-leaders of the new century. His music incorporates funk, spunk and the … [Read more...]

CD: Bob Brookmeyer

Bob Brookmeyer, Music for String Quartet and Orchestra (Challenge). Brookmeyer long since worked himself out of the compulsion to write edgy electronic music and acoustic music that sounds electronic. This gorgeous four-part work finds him in the tonal center of his composer's art. He conducts the formidable Metropole Orchestra and the Gustav Klimt String Quartet in a suite that melds the rhythmic sensibility of Brookmeyer's jazz mastery with his uncommon depth of orchestral understanding. Its … [Read more...]

CD: Bobby Sanabria

Bobby Sanabria, Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, Kenya Revisited Live! (Jazzheads). Percussionist, leader and Latin music maven Sanabria puts the MSM band through the exhilirating paces of influential music recorded by Machito in 1957. Machito's Kenya is regarded as one of the milestones of Afro-Cuban music. Sanabria and company do it justice in this tribute concert before an enthusiastic audience. Candido Camero, who was on the 1957 album, is a guest on congas. On "Oyeme," … [Read more...]

DVD: Lennie Breau & Brad Terry

Lenny Breau & Brad Terry Live at the Maine Festival (Art of Life). The genius guitarist and one of Breau's favorite duet partners, clarinetist and whistler Terry, are on camera for "Emily" and "Autumn Leaves" in a 1980 concert. They are heard but not seen for "Limehouse Blues" and "Make Someone Happy." The video quality is subaqueous, but clear enough for you to detect their enjoyment. The sound is okay in the video, excellent in the audio-only portions. The playing is inspired throughout. Bonus … [Read more...]

Book: Lennie Breau

Ron Forbes-Roberts, One Long Tune: The Life And Music Of Lenny Breau (North Texas). Many guitarists consider Breau the world's greatest player of the instrument. In his short life, he left plenty of recorded confirmation that the claim might be true. Forbes-Roberts, himself a guitarist, traces Breau from his beginning as a child phenomenon to a senseless death in his early forties. He does a first-rate job of melding musical substance with Breau's astonishing story. … [Read more...]