Letters

Letters 09-22-2014

Lame Duck Move

Twenty three states are controlled by Republican state legislatures and governors including Michigan. It is reported that Michigan Republicans are planning a sneak attack during the lame duck session to change the way electoral votes are allocated in presidential elections...

Lessons From The Middle East

“My enemy’s enemy is my friend.” That statement applies in the Middle East....

Student Athletes, Coaches Worth It

Are coaches at major universities overpaid? A simple Google search will show quite the opposite. These coaches do not get paid with taxpayer money. The coaches get paid by media companies, equipment companies, alumni groups, as well as revenue from ticket sales and merchandise...

Mute The Political Ads

Mark Sunday, September 14th as the opening of the flood gates, with TV political attack advertising. Fasten your seat belts until November 4th...

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4Play

Ross Boissoneau - October 27th, 2005
Shimmer • Shimmer • (Cake Records)
And you thought they didn’t make them like this anymore. Shimmer melds pop and soul influences from the 70s through the 90s. Comparisons to Train are apt, as frontman Skip Peri’s vocal timbre sounds quite similar to Pat Monahan. Where Monahan has matured into one of rock’s more reliable and engaging vocalists, Peri is not yet, well, mature. And that’s one of his strengths. Still a bit bratty in their attitude and musical approach, but possessed of a great sense of smarts, the trio (which includes Sean Siner on drums and Evan Brubaker on bass) has produced an album of 10 catchy, singable pop-rock songs that all clock in between three-and-a-half and four-and-a-half minutes. This would have sounded quite at home in the New Age 80s alongside the Police and the Knack.

Al Kooper • Black Coffee • (Favored Nations)
Al (don’t call me Alice) Kooper is a celebrated rock icon, but not necessarily a well-known one. That’s despite the fact he wrote “This Diamond Ring,” played organ on Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone,” founded and was the original lead singer for Blood, Sweat and Tears, produced the Tubes, discovered Lynrd Skynrd, and wrote for, produced, and/or performed with hundreds of other artists over his 40-year career. “Black Coffee” finds him performing mostly new originals with the Funky Faculty, a like-minded band of fellow instructors from Berklee College of Music. Kooper’s voice, never his strong suit, is getting ever-thinner, but the songs, arrangements, and performances elevate this beyond mere curiosity. Vaguely reminiscent at times of “Child Is Father To The Man,” the lone BS album he appeared on.

Tim Ries – The Rolling Stones Project • (ESL Music)
As the rock icons tour yet again, here is a Stones album like no other. The band’s longtime saxophonist has crafted a jazz album featuring some of their most famous tunes. “Satisfaction” is updated in an almost-swinging vibe, with luminaries John Scofield, Larry Goldings and John Pattituci lending their talents. “Honky Tonk Women” features Charlie Watts on drums while Keith Richards and Ron Wood and almost-Stone Darryl Jones guest as well on the following “Slippin’ Away,” and again on “Honky Tonk Women (Keith’s Version).” Sheryl Crow, Bill Frisell and Norah Jones are among the others on what is a surprisingly successful outing. Highlights besides “Satisfaction” are “Street Fighting Man” and a version of “Paint It Black” that veers from chamber jazz to a stunning electric guitar solo by Frisell.

Suzanne Ciani • Silver Ship • (Artistry Music)
Ciani has been one of the darlings of the electronic and new age music scenes for over 20 years, and “Silver Ship” shows ample evidence why. Her stirring melodies remain intact, often stated by piano with her banks of synthesizers providing harmonies and backgrounds. She enlists some of her usual cohorts, including Paul McCandless on oboe, Teja Bell on guitar, and Michael Manring on bass. On “Stromboli,” for example, her piano duets with McCandless on the simple, repetitious theme, while on the following “Capri” she essays a descending theme before handing it off to Matt Eakle’s flute which then pairs off with Joe Hebert’s cello. All the while Ciani keeps the mood flowing with electronic beats and an entire synthesized rhythm section.



 
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