Music News 3/27/2019


Steve Earle & the Dukes, GUY (New West, $17.99) – Steve Earle’s tribute to his late friend, Guy Clark (1941 -2016), the singer and songwriter born in Texas who became the mentor and guiding spirit to a band of young songwriters around Nashville beginning in the 1970s. Steve also played bass in Clark’s band, and played on Clark’s debut album in 1975.

Earle and his band the Dukes (fiddle and steel guitar out front) start the album with the rollicking “Dublin Blues,” and include great Guy Clark tunes like “L.A. Freeway,” “Desperados Waiting for a Train,” “Heartbroke,” and “Old Friends” (which features Emmylou Harris—who harmonized on Clark’s original version, Rodney Crowell,  and Terry Allen).

Betty Carter, THE MUSIC NEVER STOPS (Blue Engine, $14.98) – For a grand celebratory concert in 1992 at Jazz at Lincoln Center, the incomparable jazz singer and bandleader Betty Carter (1929 – 1998) gathered three different trios, a big band, and a string section, and “darted back and forth between the different ensembles.” Highlights include medleys of “Tight!/Mr. Gentleman,” and “Why Him?/Where or When/What’s New,” “Social Call,” and “Frenesi.”

Catherine Russell, ALONE TOGETHER (Dot Time, $20.98) – Jazz vocalist Catherine Russell has a voice perfect for songs from early jazz eras. Here she mixes well-known tunes (“How Deep is the Ocean?” and “Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby?”) with more obscure songs (“Errand Girl for Rhythm” and “When Did You Leave Heaven”).

Joshua Redman Quartet, COME WHAT MAY (Nonesuch, $14.98) – Tenor saxophonist Joshua Redman assembles his quartet (Aaron Goldberg, piano, Reuben Rogers, bass, and Gregory Hutchinson, drums) to play a program of Redman originals.

NIGERIA 70: NO WAHALA: Highlife, Afro-Funk & Juju 1973 – 1987 (Strut, $15.99) – Rare tracks from a golden age in Nigerian music: Prince Nico, Sir Victor Uwaifo, Felixson Ngasia, Sina Bakare, Osayomore Joseph, and MORE!



AMARCORD NINO ROTA (Corbett vs Demsey, $17.98) – This is a fantastic re-issue of a 1981 compilation, the first of a series in which producer Hal Wilner brought together a great mix of musicians to play new arrangements of a music great (later albums paid homage to Kurt Weill and Charles Mingus). Exploring Nino Rota’s classic scores for Fellini films, Wilner recruited Carla Bley, Jaki Byard, Muhal Richard Abrams, Steve Lacy, Wynton Marsalis, Ron Carter, Bill Frisell, Debbie Harry, and David Amram, among others—ranging from solo flights by Lacy, David Samuels and Byard to big band excursions. Highly recommended.

Amarcord Nino Rito is being re-issued on the Corbett vs. Demsey label, co-founded by music writer, curator and teacher John Corbett (Corbett vs Demsey also runs an art gallery in Chicago).

Corbett has a new collection, PICK UP THE PIECES: Excursions in Seventies Music (University of Chicago, $30). “Rock. Disco. Pop. Soul. Jazz. Folk. Funk..From Pink Floyd, Joni Mitchell, James Brown, and Fleetwood Mac to the Residents, Devo, Gal Costa, and Julius Hemphill…the music scene of the 1970s was as varied as it was exhilarating…Song by song, album by album, he draws our imaginations back into one of the wildest decades in history” in seventy eight essays.