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Cypress Hill, Cypress Hill (Rough House/Columbia Records)

South Central Los Angeles is a rough place, as any hip-hop listener from any socio-economic background knows. N.W.A. first showed us the reality of police and gang violence amid the […]

Manhattan Transfer, The OffBeat of Avenues (Columbia Records)

The success of this album will have a lot to do with how it is marketed, and whatever poor sucker is stuck with that task must have already lost great […]

Jim Cooper with Ira Sullivan, Tough Town (Delmark Records)

This is the first release by the veteran Chicago vibraphonist, with a little name recognition help from tenor saxophonist Ira Sullivan, a stalwart on the Chicago jazz scene in the […]

Dr. John, “Fathead” Newman, Ray Anderson, Will Calhoun, Essiet Okon Essiet, Jay Leonhart, and Joe Bonadio, Bluesiana II (Windham Hill Jazz Records)

Dr. John and David “Fathead” Newman are at it again with a slightly different lineup than their Bluesiana Triangle. The late drummer Art Blakey is replaced here by Living Colour’s […]

Various Artists, Keys to the Crescent City (Rounder Records)

Keys to the Crescent City is an all-star piano revue that also serves as a Rounder sampler, with Charles Brown, Eddie Bo, Willie Tee and Art Neville. All have been […]

Terence Blanchard, Terence Blanchard (CBS/Sony Records)

One of this year’s most anticipated releases is the new recording by New Orleans-born trumpeter Terence Blanchard. This is his first recording (with the exception of his work on the […]

Wynton Marsalis, Soul Gestures in Southern Blue, Vol. 1: Thick in the South; Vol. 2: Uptown Ruler; Vol. 3: Levee Low Moan (Columbia Records)

At first, the release of these three discs appeared to be an exercise in excessiveness. After all, Marsalis’ Standard Time Vol. 2: Intimacy Calling came out this year. However, after […]

Tower of Power, Monster On A Leash (Epic Records)

What is hip? Still is and always will be Tower of Power, the horn section that blows smoke and puts you in the hip trip. The group’s brand-new CD does […]

Jimmy McCracklin, My Story (Bullseye Blues Records)

Jimmy puts the jump back into the blues—there’s something for everyone here. McCracklin gets you in a great mood for the ultimate blues party. On this album, he sings and […]

Fishbone, The Reality of My Surroundings (CBS Records)

Fishbone’s latest album is a slight departure from their heavily-produced and more homogenous predecessors. In interviews, the band has stated that this album demonstrates the stylistic diversity of various influences […]