My new “Think Again” column is called “Israeli/U.S. Right-Wing Conspire to Undermine Israeli/U.S. Security in the Middle East” and you can find it here.
Grateful Dead: Europe ’72 Volume 2
I wanted this cd just for the artwork. Yes it’s the same guy as last time. As for the cd, a) it’s a little disappointing; only two cds and b) it has too much Pigpen for my taste, but perhaps not yours. It’s drawn from Europe ’72: The Complete Recordings, a 73-disc collection which I did not buy, though I almost did, but I really don’t like Pigpen. Three of the songs, “Beat It on Down the Line”, “Next Time You See Me” and “Sing Me Back Home” were supposed to be on the original. Highlights are “Dark Star” and “The Other One” in an hour-long jam from the Bickershaw Festival in Wigan, England, both of which only appeared once on the tour. Also, “Sugaree” is great whenever and wherever it appears—the only time those tracks were performed during the entire ’72 outing. Keith and Donna are on it too.
Miles Davis: LIVE in Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series Vol. 1
This is pretty great. Recorded shortly afther the death of John Coltrane, this is Miles’s second quintet, featuring young Tony Williams, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock and Ron Carter and the music was turning up on E.S.P., Miles Smiles, Sorcerer, Nefertit, Miles in the Sky and Filles de Kilimanjaro. Much of it is reworking of the old stuff like “Round Midnight” and “On Green Dolphin Street.” You can hear Jazz being reinvented here over and over as it also keeps its foot planted in the past (a past Coltrane appeared to want to repudiate at the end of his life). The included DVD contains footage from performances in Germany and Sweden on the same tour. It’s a wonderful find both historic and entertaining. There really can’t be too much Miles because the word “Miles” implies so much music and so many people.
Marsalis and Clapton Play the Blues Live From Jazz at Lincoln Center [CD+DVD]
I reviewed one of these shows when I saw it. It’s very buttoned down but kind of thrilling just for the anticipation and satisfaction of it happening at all. The two guys spent a lot of time figuring out wht to play and the band was clearly thrilled to be involved as well. Victor Goines, Don Vappie Dan Nimmer, Chris Stainton, Marcus Printup all show off a bit.
New Nick Lowe
I listened to a wonderful Terry Gross interview with Nick Lowe yesterday. The man really does exude a kind of Cary Grant charm. The new album is much like the last few smart, clean, thoughtful and almost classical country-influenced pop tunes. It’s called “The Old Magic,” and there’s nothing not to like.