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Robert Baird Posted: Jul 23, 2013 Published: Aug 01, 2013 4 comments
For all those who hold dear the notion that jazz has seen its best days—that, like classical music, it now lacks star power (no more Birds, Mileses, or Coltranes on the marquees), has already said much of what it had to say, and what's left is merely esoteric noodling or soulless bop-by-rote mopping up—there is Terence Blanchard. Once the archetypal sideman, this New Orleanian contemporary of Donald Harrison and Wynton Marsalis has become a successful leader. His poise, generous spirit, and workaholic lifestyle —not to mention his instantly recognizable trumpet tone—have quietly made him one of the leading figures in today's jazz mainstream.
Robert Baird Posted: Jul 21, 2014 Published: Aug 01, 2014 0 comments
The Black Keys: Turn Blue
Nonesuch 7559795555 (LP/CD/HDtracks download). 2014. Black Keys, Danger Mouse, prods.; Kennie Takahashi, eng.; Collin Dupuis, Geoff Neal, Bill Skibbe, asst. engs.; Tchad Blake, mix. TT: 45:09
Performance ****
Sonics ****

There was a time when calling the Black Keys "sexy" would have been thought perversely stunted, given that they were a two-man, raw-as-hell, blow-me-down, frat-rock grinder that jammed and pounded and convinced everyone that their version of Tony Joe White's groove was something new and revolutionary.

Robert Baird Posted: Jul 21, 2015 Published: Aug 01, 2015 1 comments
Sly and the Family Stone: Live at the Fillmore East, October 4th & 5th, 1968
Epic 88843023712 (4 CDs). 2015. Sly Stone, orig. prod.; Bob Irwin, reissue prod.; Vic Anesini, mastering. AAD? TT: 3:27:31
Performance *****
Sonics ****

The first thing you hear is not Sly Stone's keyboards or harmonica. Not Freddie Stone's guitar. Not Greg Errico's amazing drumming. Not Larry Graham's slapping bass. Not the voices of Rose Stone (also keys) and Cynthia Robinson (also trumpet). Not Jerry Martini's saxophone.

No. The first thing you hear is pure energy: the nuclear reaction of musical power that Sly and his Family Stone generated onstage on two October nights in 1968 at the Fillmore East. James Brown and his band(s) had nothing on these seven. This is prime Sly, when the band was still hungry, before the hits, before his life spun out of control, the music suffered, and the family split.

Robert Baird Posted: Dec 20, 1997 0 comments
DELBERT McCLINTON: One of the Fortunate Few
Rising Tide RTD-53042 (CD). 1997. Gary Nicholson, Emory Gordy, Jr., Delbert McClinton, prods.; Russ Martin, Marc Frigo, engs. AAD? TT: 38:12
Performance ****
Sonics ****½
Robert Baird Posted: Dec 31, 1998 0 comments
EMMYLOU HARRIS: Spyboy
Eminent EM-25001-2 (CD). 1998. Emmylou Harris, prod.; Buddy Miller, prod., eng.; Dean Norman, Doug Dawson, engs. AAD? TT: 67:07
Performance ****?
Sonics ****?
Robert Baird Posted: Dec 15, 2002 0 comments
COLDPLAY: A Rush of Blood to the Head
Capitol 5 40504 2 (CD). 2002. Coldplay, Ken Nelson, prods.; Mark Phythian, Ken Phythian, engs.; Rik Simpson, Jon Withnal, Ben Thackeray, Jon Bailey, Andrea Wright, asst. engs. AAD? TT: 54:14
Performance ****½
Sonics ****
Robert Baird Posted: Dec 15, 2003 Published: Dec 01, 2003 0 comments
RANDY NEWMAN: The Randy Newman Songbook Vol.1
Nonesuch 79689-2 (CD). 2003. Mitchell Froom, prod.; David C. Boucher, eng.; Steven Rhodes, asst. eng. AAD.? TT: 47:22
Performance *****
Sonics ****½
Robert Baird Posted: Dec 12, 2004 0 comments
BRIAN WILSON: SMiLE
Nonesuch 79846-2 (CD). 2004. Brian Wilson, prod., mix; Mark Linett, eng.; Kevin Deane, Daneil S. McCoy, Pete Magdaleno, asst. engs.; Darian Sahanaja, mix. AAD? TT: 47:01
Performance ****½
Sonics **** (footnote 1)
Robert Baird Posted: Dec 11, 2005 0 comments
Geffen B0005345-02 (CD). 2005. Sigur Rós, prods.; Birgir Jon Birgisson, Kenneth Vaughan Thomas, engs. AAD. TT: 65:34
Performance ****½
Sonics ****
Robert Baird Posted: Dec 17, 2006 0 comments
JERRY LEE LEWIS: Last Man Standing
Shangri-La Entertainment 2006. (CD) Steve Bing, Jimmy Rip, prods. No eng listed. AAD? TT: 66:45
Performance ****
Sonics ****

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