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Jean-Luc Katchoura with Michele Hyk-Farlow

Maybe it’s sour grapes, but it sometimes seems jazz guitarists – in comparison with pianists and horn players – never get the recognition they’re due among the music’s diehard cognoscenti. On the other hand, few guitarists of any stripe receive the kind of tribute accorded to (more…) ...

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Nili Brosh

Nili Brosh takes the phrase “playing like a girl” and turns it on its ear. This new album weaves the kind of muscular soloing, graceful melodies, and strenuous time signatures that would send most men running to the woodshed. The genre is instrumental prog-metal, and performing (more…) ...

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While Yes is still a working band, it’s mostly in name only. This three-CD set, taken from a 2004 Massachusetts concert, shows the classic mid-’70s lineup featuring guitarist Steve Howe, bassist Chris Squire, singer Jon Anderson, keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman, and drummer Alan White. Compared to today’s meek-sounding (more…) ...

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Bill Frisell

It’s almost impossible to pigeonhole Bill Frisell, and his latest album will make it even harder. The guitarist and his band reinterpret some of the pop and rock songs here that made Frisell and the other string-bender in his band, Greg Leisz, take up their instruments in (more…) ...

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George Harrison

As the Beatles came to an end, George Harrison moved from the back seat to the catbird seat. In the Scorsese documentary, Living In The Material World, Phil Spector recalls Harrison offhandedly mentioning that he had a few ditties he’d written, after which he brought Spector (more…) ...

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Red Allen, Frank Wakefield, and the Kentuckians

Washington, D.C. and vicinity, known for forward-thinking bluegrass bands like the Country Gentlemen and the Seldom Scene, also had staunch traditionalists, among them the team of mandolin virtuoso Frank Wakefield (a one-time Stanley Brothers and Jimmy Martin sideman) and former Osborne Brothers singer-guitarist Red Allen. In 1963, (more…) ...

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Island Instrument Manufacture Offers Carny Amp-In-Case

The Island Instrument Manufacture Carny guitar has a one-picee cedar body, poplar neck, a custom-made CJ Tooling bridge with rosewood saddles, and Mojo pickups in a lipstick-tube housing. The guitar is finished in distressed milk paint with Italian celluloid appointments, and sold paired with an all-tube Benson Drifter amp built (more…) ...

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Mr. Big

Mr. Big has withstood multi-platinum successes, personnel changes, and volatile disputes. Despite the band’s ups and downs, the original line-up remains intact. Paul Gilbert, Billy Sheehan, Eric Martin, and Pat Torpey stay frosty working in a plethora of outside musical endeavors. 2011’s What If was a (more…) ...

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Danny Garcia

Often dismissed by cognoscenti as a morbidly nihilistic knuckle dragger, John Gazale, Jr. – a.k.a. Johnny Thunders – tends to be remembered more for the trampled track of junky business he left in his wake than for his catalog or impact. In addition to founding roles (more…) ...

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