Electric Eighteen


  Buy new or used through Amazon
Amp Fiddler - Afro Strut (U.S. Version).
A slice of early seventies soul made new with splashes of New Orleans funk and Fats Waller from Joseph “Amp” Fiddler who has produced and played keyboard for Prince and George Clinton.


  Buy new or used through Amazon
Idan Raichel Project - The Idan Raichel Project.
You take Israeli pop songs and mix in an eclectic group of musicians from Ethiopia and other African Jewish traditions to shake things up. If you liked the French rap song from the last episode of Sex and the City, you’ll love this.


  Buy new or used through Amazon
Lucky Soul – The Great Unwanted.
This is pre-Beatles British pop. Lush arrangements, horns and love songs. Petula Clark lives.


  Buy new or used through Amazon
Rilo KileyUnder the Blacklight.
The band makes like Liz Phair by going pop as the adoring Indie fans cry sellout. Yet, once again kinky sex saves the day as our heroine shakes her moneymaker and smokes her boyfriend before retreating into Dreamworld, a song that could have been lifted from Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours.


  Buy new or used through Amazon
Locksley - Don’t Make Me Wait.
Lightweight, you bet, even disposable! Innocent, infectious, power pop in two minute doses ripping off the Raspberries, Badfinger and The Wonders.


  Buy new or used through Amazon
John Mayall and the BluesbreakersIn the Palace of the King
As it should be, the current Bluesbreakers have far more chops than their founder who is paying tribute to Freddie King. Just a fun session - 73-year-old John actually sounds awake - with great solos from Buddy Whittington and Robben Ford that would make past alumni proud.


  Buy new or used through Amazon
Miranda LambertCrazy Ex-Girlfriend
My fantasy would be a night with Miranda Lambert And Gretchen Wilson. We would all be downing Jack Daniels as I’d watch them ride the mechanical bull in wet tee shirts at Gilley’s. Then, just when I thought I was in heaven, they would take out their 12 gauge shotguns and blow me away behind a chorus of “You Cheating Bastard”.


  Buy new or used through Amazon
Dinosaur Junior – Beyond
Paleontologists claim this band is the missing link between the Replacements and Nirvana. To me, it’s more like Husker Du meets Neil Young.


  Buy new or used through Amazon
Gogol Bordello - Super Taranta
Don’t care for gypsy music? Well, if you like what the Pogues did for Irish music with a lethal head of punk, politics and one pint too many, then it’s time to belly up to the Balkans.


  Buy new or used through Amazon
Manu ChaoLa Radiolina
There are still chipmunk voices and loopy whistles in a polyglot stew, except now power chords lead a stinging critique against Yanqui politik. I miss the frivolous charm and humor, but sometimes El Presidente Jorge Bush does that to people.


SpoonGa Ga Ga Ga Ga
Les Savy FavLet’s Stay Friends
ColombiafricaVoodoo Love Inna Champeta Land
Against me!New Wave
The Apples in StereoNew Magnetic Wonder
The White StripesIcky Thump
Moe.Warts and All, Vol. 5


Michael Brecker - Pligrimage
El'Zabar's Infinity Orchestra - Transmigration
Keith Jarrett - My Foolish Heart
Timo Lassy - The Soul and Jazz of Timo Lassy
Michael Blake - Amor de Cosmos
Maria Schneider - Sky Blue
On Pilgrimage, Michael Brecker plays post bop, fusion, even a little funk but it is mostly a celebratory straight ahead jazz album only made melancholy by the passing of the saxophonist who graced hundreds of rock albums as a session player but finally goes out as a real jazzman. On My Foolish Heart, Keith Jarrett finally trumps Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock as the jazz pianist of my generation. His trio has been around a quarter of a century. There are no gimmicks as they make these standards real. As Keith says, “You are going somewhere inside the music. The music enters you and it tells you what to play, and we are all along for the ride.” Finally, Timo Lassy mines the soul jazz vein of Cannonball Adderly, Ramsey Lewis and the Crusaders. His Finnish band has a big fun sound with a wonderful groove just complex enough to stay grounded in jazz.


Miles Beyond
David TornPrezens
Nils Petter Molvaerer
Alan Pasqua - The Antisocial Club
Another great year for the craggy dead visionary. Even though 15 years gone, Miles this year validated his electric funk legacy with The Complete On the Corner Session. No one really claims to have really listened to the entire six CD set, but you can bet it’s stuck on a lot of coffee tables. The three CDs listed above pay homage to the master and more than satisfy my jones for the slightly earlier Bitches Brew era with tape loops, noodling keyboards, reverb, and trumpet solos from Pluto.


Ambient, ECM & The Real Thing
Stars of the LidAnd Their Refinement of the Decline
Burial – Untrue
Kim Kashkashian & Robert Levin - Astriana: Songs from Spain and Argentina
Gianluigi Trovesi - Vaghissimo Ritratto
Stefano Battaglia Re: Pasolini
CaféZimmerman - Johann Sebastian Bach: Concerts avec plusieurs instruments, Vol. 2


Box Sets & Reissues
The Trees CommunityThe Christ Tree
V.A. - Vee-Jay – the Definitive Collection
V.A. - Eccentric Soul – Twinight’s Lunar Rotation
V.A. - Forever Changing – the Golden Age of Electra
V.A. - The Red Bird Story
V.A. - Very Best of Ethiopiques
Tabu Ley Rochereau - The Voice of Lightness: Congo Classics 1961-1977
Bennie Maupin - The Lotus and the Jewel


On The Fence
Nick LoweAt My Age
Jen Lekman - Night Falls Over Koredala
Ian HunterShrunken Heads
I can recite the strong points on each of these critical favorites, but I still have my reservations. Lowe is no longer the basher but a country crooner spouting misogynist irony. Just a little too laid back, like Roger Williams with an attitude and without the baritone. Jen Lekman does a deadpan Jonathan Richman with full 60s pop production (all good), but the songs just go on without enough melody or structure. Critics call the Battles’ Mirrored “Math Rock”. Believe me this doesn’t rock. It is ambient industrial, and a soundtrack for a Sci-Fi wasteland. Ian Hunter is another Grumpy Old Englishman doing a slightly better job than recent Graham Parker.


A Return to Form, but File in on the Back Shelf
Prince - Planet Earth
Bruce Springsteen - Magic


Guilty Pleasure
Rodrigo y Gabriela - Robdrigo y Gabriela


Don’t Get It
Arcade FireNeon Bible


Crossroads Eric Clapton Guitar Festival 2007
The Best of The Johnny Cash TV Show