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  • Article

    Sound Check

    What makes a singer a jazz singer is hard to define. But one thing is sure: it definitely goes beyond just performing standards. The ability to sing jazz also involves stepping away from the formulaic confines of most of today's pop and R&B music. ...

    by Marlynn Snyder on June 29, 1995
  • Article

    A Vocal Concern - Houston's newest choir is about ready to be heard

    For close to 15 years, Robert Simpson has been nurturing an ambition. A longtime director of church choirs who studied his craft in New York and Germany, Simpson felt a desire to move from the sacred to the secular. It's not that he wanted to give up...

    by Mitchell J. Shields on June 22, 1995
  • Article

    Rotation

    Lozenge Plenum farrago Some bands practice for years, writing and arranging and mastering their instruments, affecting images, subjecting themselves to the harness of management and the rigors of the sign-a-deal dance, only to discover that...

    by Roni Sarig on June 22, 1995
  • Article

    Critic's Choice - Jazz, the Houston Way

    The ''Houston jazz scene'' may be an oxymoron. The improvisation specialists who call Bayou City home are few, and only a handful of those players dare to deal with the hassles of club gigs. That's one reason why the small band of really dedicated ja...

    by Tim Carman on June 22, 1995
  • Article

    It's Still Timbuk Time - A decade after their fluke hit, Timbuk 3 is doing just fine, thank you

    "The Future's So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades," the sardonic send-up of the skewed values of the 1980s by Austin's Timbuk 3, was quite possibly the most commercially successful record to ever come out of a home studio in Texas' capital. For several mon...

    by Jim Sherman on June 22, 1995
  • Article

    All the Colors of Jazz - Kirk Whalum's sax paints with a broad palette of sounds

    The saxophone has been a longtime favorite of jazz musicians ever since the early days of great players such as Charlie "Bird" Parker, John Coltrane and Houston's own Arnette Cobb. Some jazz lovers will even tell you that jazz just isn't jazz unless ...

    on June 15, 1995
  • Article

    The Future of Rock and Roll - We've seen it in a crystal ball and the pictures aren't pretty

    The calendar says it's 1995, but the vibe in rock and roll these days is decidedly mid-'70s. As the Jimmy Page/Robert Plant juggernaut makes its way across the land, we're reminded that the biggest draws in last year's fair-to-middling concert season...

    by Jim Murphy on June 15, 1995
  • Article

    Rotation

    Crazykilledmingus steadyhead * faster Cadillacin Records You simply cannot listen to a track of steadyhead * faster -- Crazykilledmingus' third offering after an eponymous cassette and 1993's CD Window -- without noticing the band's deriv...

    by Roni Sarig on June 15, 1995
  • Article

    What Becomes a Legend Most? - Gatemouth Brown's lesson for longevity do what you do, and be the best at it

    Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown was holding court, with a hometown advantage, in his bus outside Billy Blues last fall when guitarist Ron Harris entered with a quizzical look on his face. "Hey, Gate," he asked, "did you ever pull a baby out of a burning c...

    by Jim Sherman on June 8, 1995
  • Article

    Rotation

    Ron Sexsmith Ron Sexsmith Interscope Life is amazing in its endless capacity for renewal. Just when you've written off a tired old tradition -- in this case, the sensitive singer/songwriter guy -- as having finally been shamed into postm...

    by Jim Sherman on June 8, 1995
  • Article

    Press Picks

    thursday june 8 Peer Gynt The Houston Ballet is ending its 25th anniversary season with a revival production of Peer Gynt. When Ben Stevenson and the Ballet first presented this work, the New York Times noted that its power came "from a ...

    by Edith Sorenson on June 8, 1995
  • Article

    Sounds for the Long Haul

    Surviving in the music industry isn't easy. You can be on top one minute, on the bottom the next. It can be a world that lasts for as little as a day; as evidence, all you need to do is look at all the one-hit wonders that have littered the history o...

    on June 1, 1995
  • Article

    Rotation

    Elvis Costello Kojak Variety Warner Bros. Elvis Costello is a man of many tastes and many ideas. In the last few years, he's played stripped-down rock and roll with the reformed Attractions and chamber-pop music with the Brodsky Quartet. ...

    by Roni Sarig on June 1, 1995
  • Article

    Critic's Choice - Out of the Bars

    The trouble with bar bands is that they all sound like bar bands -- they hear a song, they play the song, always in an instantly recognizable manner. That's their job, of course, but ultimately "bar band" becomes a stylistic straitjacket. The ot...

    by Mitchell J. Shields on June 1, 1995
  • Article

    Feats of Courage - From the death of Lowell George on, Little Feat has learned to grow through loss

    It's been seven years since Little Feat reconstituted itself, but even after all that time a question still follows the band around like a lonesome puppy: will this second set of Feat ever be judged on its own terms? The problem with answering t...

    by Tim Carman on June 1, 1995
  • Article

    Sweet Magic - Matthew Sweet mixes past and present into tunes with taste

    Matthew Sweet was probably poking some sort of fun at his own bad self when, in 1993, he led listeners into Altered Beast -- his first release after the breakthrough college radio success of Girlfriend -- with a song titled "Dinosaur Act." Echoplexed...

    by Brad Tyer on June 1, 1995
  • Article

    Duran, Again - The pretty boys return from the '80s, and insist they've never been away

    John Taylor seemed taken aback. The trans-Atlantic connection to London suddenly went dead, and there was an awkward pause on the line. He'd just been told something he was unaware of, and something he obviously doesn't much care for. The news was th...

    by Mitchell J. Shields on May 25, 1995
  • Article

    Critic's Choice - The Hard Way

    It's good to run across a legend who refuses to rest on his laurels. Many of the artists from the 1960s -- men and women who translated social upheaval into innovative musical statements -- have been content to continually repackage what was on their...

    by Mitchell J. Shields on May 25, 1995
  • Article

    Ready to Rise - Raisin' Cain may give Jesse Dayton his long anticipated push into prominence

    At 10 p.m. on a Thursday night, Sugar Hill Studios in southeast Houston looks quiet. Four or five cars share the parking lot with an 18-foot Ryder truck, and you can hear the crickets complaining. But walk through the open door, across the lobby plas...

    by Brad Tyer on May 25, 1995
  • Article

    Sound Check

    What has a kora, a couple of bajo sextos, some drones and driving fiddles? World Music, of course. But only if you believe what you hear from lazy clerks at music stores. As a musical category, World Music has been around some eight years no...

    on May 25, 1995
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