Rich Kienzle

Rich Kienzle

 

kay starr

The New York Times obituary for Kay Starr, the 94 year old jazz and pop chanteuse who died November 3rd in Los Angeles of Alzheimer's, began with an absurd headline describing her as a "hillbilly singer with crossover appeal. " True, it was based on her description of herself, buth the obit had other glitches. This is, after all, the same Kay Starr once described by Billie Holiday as “the only white woman who could sing the blues. She had country connections, but was first and foremost a pop and jazz singer. She recorded a song whose title included the term "rock and roll," but it was no rocker, nor was she.

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My review of instrumentalist Peter White's album Groovin'.

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The Eric Clapton Lawsuit Over 'Alberta'

Monday, 31 October 2016 09:12

 

Amid the election comes a story that at least distracts from the rank toxicity around everyone. The estate of the late Mississippi blues singer-composer-guitarist Armenter "Bo" Chatmon (1893-1964), whose performing name was "Bo Carter," is suing Eric Clapton and several other entities, including , Warner Music Group, Rhino Music, MTV and its parent company Viacom for $ 5 million in lost royalties.

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 My review of the Mavericks' recently released All Night Live: Volume 1 on their own Mondo Mundo label.

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Chuck Berry At 90: The Master Synthesizer

Monday, 24 October 2016 10:00

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Last year, we looked at Chuck Berry's influence when he turned 89. Hitting 90 this year, with a new album with new material coming next year, it's time to take a look at Berry as a master synthesizer, a genius, like Duke Ellington, Bob Wills, Bill Monroe and others who were able to assimilate ideas from other artists and build them into their own distinctive musical identity. Everyone takes from other players, even those who deny it. We'll look at four aspects of Berry, where they came from and how he integrated them into his sound, and passed it forward.

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30 years ago, Dwight Yoakam emerged on the scene in the forefront of country's New Traditional movement with his album Guitars, Cadillacs, etc. etc.  To celebrate, this is his first all-bluegrass album, revisiting some past recordings known and obscure, and one surprise. 

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Thailand's King Bhumibol: Jazzman

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 10:03

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AP-- July 5, 1960. Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa, Urbie Green & the King.

Amid the incessant election coverage, the recent death of King Bhumibol of Thailand (the real King of Siam) at 88 was noted, with extensive discussions of his influence as a unifying factor in a country with ample tensions and factionalization.

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 garnershot1959

As one of Pittsburgh's jazz royalty, Erroll Garner (1921-1977) was a force of nature. With absolutely no formal musical training, he created a body of work bursting with energy, improvisational inventiveness, joie de vivre and an indomitable spirit. A true stylist, Garner was among a handful of jazz innovators whose work appealed to both the jazz cognoscenti and to a far wider audience less familiar with jazz in any form.

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lambert-weight cover

Miranda Lambert's  album The Weight Of These Wings, to be released by RCA Nashville November 18, will be an unconventional release for one reason alone. In a time most albums consist of around a dozen (give or take) tracks, Weight will be a 24-track double album, one disc titled The Nerve, the other The Heart.   Platinum, her most recent album, was released in 2014.

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