Starting in 1992 with his Austin Skyline debut, there was never any doubt about the debt the Oklahoma-raised, Texas-based Jimmy LaFave owed to his biggest inspiration Bob Dylan. From the album title’s riff on Nashville Skyline to numerous covers that have peppered subsequent releases in LaFave’s thick back catalog, he has created a cottage industry of sorts interpreting Dylan songs alongside his own originals. For better or worse (largely the former), LaFave hasn’t shifted gears much from his first recordings over three decades ago. A few rustic rockers mesh with lovely, understated melodies, all of which are enlivened by the singer’s scratchy, raw and thoroughly distinctive voice that sounds more like Steve Forbert as they both age. Almost anything from this terrific new batch of rootsy folk-rockers could have been included in any earlier album.
B-Tribe or the "The Barcelona Tribe of Soulsters" is a musical project of the German-born musician and producer, Claus "The Brave" Zundel, also known for his Sacred Spirit project. Driven by the use of Classical Spanish guitar, and other elements of flamenco music, mixed with trance-like, ambient tunes. All the albums were recorded in Zundels's own studio on Ibiza, Spain. Spanish musician Paco Fernandez plays guitars and the cello parts are performed by Frankfort Radio Orchestra member Eric Plummetaz.
B-Tribe first hit the music scene in 1994 with Fiesta Fatal!, the single of the same title becoming #1 Dance hit in Europe. B-Tribe was born into a niche (coming out that same year was Enigma's The Cross of Changes, while Deep Forest's self-titled album had come out in late 1993)…
Plenty has happened since Enrico Rava last recorded with his working quintet. All but the piano chair remained stable between Easy Living (ECM, 2004) and The Words And The Days (ECM, 2007), but trombonist Gianluca Petrella is the sole remnant on Tribe. "Change is good," they say, and if the rest of Rava's quintet consists of largely fresh (and young) faces, the lack of name power shouldn't be mistaken for lack of firepower.