Canned Heat founder and guitar great Bob Hite once described his band as "a rock band with country/blues roots" and perhaps a little less modestly, "the first and greatest boogie band ever." Canned Heat's "greatness" has always seemed to elude them by a hair, however, regardless of their versatility and devotion to the strange and wonderful mutations their music endured, particularly in the '60s. But these dudes do nothing if not persevere. Having lost their signature falsetto and lowdown harp man Alan Wilson in 1970, 1996's Canned Heat Blues Band fronts "The Bear's" third vocal replacement, Robert Lucas, who wisely doesn't pretend he can cover those cool old road-trip-on-acid songs (like "Going Up the Country") in a particularly familiar manner.
Chris Smither's reflective, lyrical songwriting, richly textured singing voice and bluesy acoustic-guitar playing serve him well on SMALL REVELATIONS. Smither is especially adept at country-inspired, toe-tapping tunes spiked with skeptical wit and wisdom, like "Winsome Smile" ("Listen to me now, you suffer from a sad misapprehension/That if she could read your mind she'd see just how it oughta be/But she's read it all by now/And your style don't get a grip on her attention.") Equally impressive are Smither's all-out blues tracks (including an outstanding cover of Robert Johnson's "Dust My Broom"), and his brooding, poignant near-ballads, especially the leisurely, contemplative title track. Smither once again proves himself worthy of his fine reputation, especially among fellow musicians, as a plain-speaking, original and supremely talented guitarist, singer and songwriter.
L'événement de la rentrée. En effet, c'est le premier album solo de Jean-Jacques Goldman depuis dix ans, depuis Entre gris clair et gris foncé. Après avoir mis entre parenthèses le trio Fredericks-Goldman-Jones, Carole Fredericks a sorti un album de gospel et Michael Jones un album de blues. C'est au tour de Goldman de sortir le sien.
Arguably Pachelbel's masterpiece, "Apollo's Lyre" is a series of six arias, each of which consists of a set of highly contrasted variations on the initial theme. As a composer, Pachelbel was perhaps most interested in the variation principal, in direct contrast to his great successor, Bach, who used the form only rarely (but then typically wrote the greatest variation work ever–the "Goldberg Variations"). The musical argument is easy to follow, and the tunes themselves simple and memorable. John Butt frames the work with two mighty chaconnes. A chaconne is basically the same thing as a passacaglia, namely a series of variations over a constantly repeating bass line. Try this disc. You're in for a pleasant surprise.
Steffen Schleiermacher's monumental traversal of the complete piano music of John Cage will be essential for the collection of any fan of the composer's, unless he or she has already purchased the previously released ten volumes (a total of 18 discs) that are boxed together here and reissued in recognition of the composer's 100th anniversary in 2012. The 20-hour compilation is a testimony to Cage's hugely prolific output, and certainly constitutes one of the most significant collections of keyboard music of the 20th century. There could hardly be a more sympathetic and skillful interpreter of Cage's oeuvre than German pianist/composer Steffen Schleiermacher.
With the success of Odelay to look at, Beck was now asked to do music for films. "Deadweight" is a song taken from the Odelay recording sessions, and would be a brief pit stop between the Odelay experience and the forthcoming Mutations.