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Johnny Griffin, The Cat (Antilles Records)

Johnny Griffin’s first U.S. recording in too many years is everything that you’d expect from someone who has worked with Thelonious Monk and Art Blakey—hard swinging! What one is immediately […]

Bebop and Beyond, Bebop and Beyond Plays Dizzy Gillespie (Enja Records)

This reviewer will have to admit to not expecting much from this CD, having been disappointed by an earlier recording this year by Dizzy Gillespie—namely, the Live at Festival Hall […]

Johnny Adams, Johnny Adams Sings Doc Pomus: The Real Me (Rounder Records)

This album is a tribute to the late, great Doc Pomus, the co-author of such classics as “Lonely Avenue,” “Little Sister,” and “Save the Last Dance for Me.” It continues […]

Champion Jack Dupree, Forever and Ever (Rounder Records)

Back Home in New Orleans, the legendary Champion Jack’s first-ever recording in New Orleans, was released last year to universal praise. However, Forever and Ever does that LP—which seemed to […]

Van Halen, For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (Warner Brothers Records)

Ever since the sappy “Jump” became Van Halen’s first chart-topping single, the band has pursued melody at the expense of the mischievous abandon that fueled its earlier records. But with […]

Randy Travis, High Lonesome (Warner Brothers Records)

This record’s most remarkable feature is that songs with many contributing musicians—the average is about 12—can sound so cohesive, and simple. The credits for “Let Me Try,” the ballad that […]

Robert Nighthawk and His Flames of Rhythm, Live on Maxwell Street, 1964 (Rounder Records)

Robert Nighthawk was among the earliest of Mississippi bluesmen to emigrate to Chicago, and this disc, recorded by blues historian Norman Dayron in September 1964, is about as lowdown, dirty, […]

The Dynatones, Chopped and Channeled (RNA Records)

For a debut disc on Rhino’s RNA, these Bay Area rock ‘n’ soul jivemeisters don’t waste any time turning on the heat. From the opening growling guitars on “When I […]

Darrell Nulisch and Texas Heat, Business As Usual (Black Top Records)

Darrell Nulisch has been around for some time, having fronted bands for Anson Funderburgh and Ronnie Earl for the past ten years. This fine, solid disc is Nulisch’s first album […]

Turtle Island String Quartet, On the Town (Windham Hill Jazz)

Do you swing? This disc certainly does, with a departure from TISQ’s usual mix of self-compositions to unique interpretations of standards, mostly compositions from the ’30s. Represented here are sophisticated, […]