Teddy Presberg – Outcries from a Sea of Red

People who like their improvisatory music a little edgier than Spyro Gyra and a tad less avant-garde than Mededski, Martin, & Wood are bound to find contentment in the psychedelic jazz of St. Louis guitarist Teddy Presberg.  Though his six-string technique has all the underpinnings of vintage soul and blues music, Presberg is not the slightest … [Read more...]

Janelle Monáe – The ArchAndroid: Suites II and III

From the spirit that her music carries, to the mind-boggling spectrum of sounds she covers, to the sheer essence and superb skill of her voice, it was always obvious that what Janelle Monáe had in mind for us would be something truly out of this world. But seriously, the woman isn’t even 25 years old yet and her music is the kind of stuff that … [Read more...]

Jamie Lidell – Compass

One of the things about Jamie Lidell – that people have yet to fully understand – is that the English-born singer has one of the best voices in the music industry. He’s fashioned a strong sense for the soul leanings of his music, as well as the influences he shares from the worlds of jazz, hip-hop, funk, R&B, pop and more; it’s made him a … [Read more...]

Michael Leonhart & The Avramina 7 – Seahorse and the Storyteller

The story on Michael Leonhart is that he’s quietly turned into one of the best, young, trumpet players in the country. When you’ve won a Grammy for being the best player in a high school and have developed a list of musicians that you’ve played with that includes David Byrne, Steely Dan and James Brown, then you’re certainly something of an … [Read more...]

Mongrel Mix in Philly, Live Video

"MONGREL MIX is a dynamic and innovative act which draws inspiration from a wide variety of American music genres. Performing contemporary Rock and R&B, Mongrel Mix engages audiences with a fusion of Blues, Rock, Latin, Jazz, and Funk with Afro-Cuban rhythms. Our music is intensely passionate and ranges from acoustic folk tales to angular … [Read more...]

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings – I Learned the Hard Way

So much of what’s made Sharon Jones such an exceptional singer is, yes, her extremely affecting voice that you almost need to label as ‘vital’ because it’s so downright magnificent. But at the same time, her ability in being able to share stories about love and its many different situations with ease and grace is unrivaled. Much like Marvin Gaye … [Read more...]

Tigercity – Ancient Lover

Drenched in 80s rock, with kicks of funk and R&B - that's what Tigercity is all about and the results are a mixed bag. At times, I thought I was listening to Foreigner, at others, just a club band churning out jams at a 1985 high school reunion. I sound like I'm dogging Tigercity, but from the best I can tell, that's the aesthetic they're going … [Read more...]

Morningbell – Sincerely, Severely

If I kept a "Best Albums of the Year" list, then Sincerely, Severely would have taken one of the top spots for 2009. Maybe the top. Morningbell's fourth album is simply irresistible. These fourteen fetching tracks reveal a sharp, talented band that must be at the top of their game because, if they got any better, it would be scary. Funky, … [Read more...]

Miriodor – Avanti!

When discussing a band that’s made music for well over thirty years, a certain caution is directed. Musically, Miriodor have followed the path of never straying from their bread and butter: a culmination of the avant-progressive and rock/jazz fusion. Surrounding themselves around ideas that encompass their artistic vision, there is little denying … [Read more...]

Lee Fields & the Expressions – My World

Wrapped in a heavy coating of James Brown funk and soul, Lee Fields has earned his title as "Little JB." But without being a direct impersonation of the late singer, Fields has steadily grown as both a vocalist and songwriter. Remembered by many for his famed gold singles-released on 7"- and one LP, this new album with The Expressions, My World is … [Read more...]