Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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Ross Boissoneau - November 25th, 2004
Christine McVie – In The Meantime (Koch Records)

If you thought that 20 years between records would augur change, in the case of Christine McVie you’re wrong. The former Fleetwood Mac singer and songwriter’s new solo disc doesn’t sound all that dissimilar to her “Christine McVie” from 1984. Like that disc, “In The Meantime” is pleasant but not exceptional. “Friend” is this album’s “Got A Hold On Me,” a Mac-ish piece of soft pop, empathetically delivered by McVie and her band, which includes her nephew, Dan Perfect, on guitars and backing vocals. Other standout tracks include “So Sincere” and “Easy Come, Easy Go” which has some of those funky clavinet sounds and backing vocals like “You Make Lovin’ Fun.” McVie’s best singing comes on “Liar.” Overall an engaging but less than scintillating excursion.

Incognito – Adventures in Black Sunshine (Narada Jazz)

Guitarist/composer Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick has built Incognito into a juggernaut of sorts. Over the group’s 11 albums, Maunick has developed a sound borrowing from ‘70s soul and ‘90s acid jazz, while introducing a bevy of talented singers and utilizing the cream of Britain’s jazz and funk musicians, such as Patrick Clahar, Bud Beadle, Richard Bailey and guests such as former Jam frontman Paul Weller. “Adventures” reunites Bluey with vocalist Maysa Leak, who sings most of the leads. Whoever is singing, Incognito delivers the goods. The punchy horns, synths, and electric piano leads galvanize the songs while Maunick stays mostly in the background. Even on the instrumentals he lets others get the bulk of the solo space, as on “The 25th Chapter,” which features Andy Ross on flute and Nichol Thompson on trombone.

Aria 3 – Metamorphasis (Koch Records)

Producer/pianist Paul Schwartz continues to concoct ambient masterpieces from classical and sacred song. Here he reaches into operatic arias and reimagines them with ambient and electronic treatments with vocal interludes. Whether it works or not certainly depends on your perspective. Classical purists will probably run screaming from the room, while those whose ears are tuned strictly to pop will also be left wanting. Like his previous Aria efforts, or his combinations of sacred and electronic on the State of Grace projects for Windham Hill, Schwartz finds his audience in those looking for new expression and combination of beats, electronics, and classical or sacred works. An arranger rather than composer, Schwartz pushes the envelope with sometimes heady results.

Wallace Roney - Prototype (High Note)

Wallace Roney is one of the most consistently inventive trumpeters currently working on the jazz scene. As it harkens back to such ground-breaking albums as “Bitches Brew” and Herbie Hancock’s “Crossings,” “Prototype” is not music for the faint-hearted. Like his mentor, Miles Davis, Roney is totally unafraid, and the fearlessness shows in his innovative combinations of textures over which he and his fellow horn players assemble their sounds. On the opening “Cyberspace,” for example, he brings in DJ Logic on turntables, while the following “Shadow Dance” includes bass clarinet and trombone. Both are wistful, exploratory songs, which rely on the leader’s trumpet lines to tie together the electronic soundscapes and the more typical jazz rhythms. And Roney’s arrangement of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” is a tour-de-force.
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