Electric bassist Jammaladeen Tacuma's debut as a leader is still his best recording to date. A brilliant free funk player who excels in laying down some eccentric funk in overcrowded ensembles, Tacuma is heard in six different settings on this album. His own group (a quintet with altoist James Watkins and guitarist Rick Iannacone) plays four noisy numbers; he takes "Tacuma Song" as an unaccompanied bass feature; is backed by the Ebony String Quartet, a harp, and pianist Anthony Davis on "The Bird of Paradise"; is accompanied by four percussionists on "From the Land of Sand"; and has a couple of jams featuring altoist Julius Hemphill, cornetist Olu Dara, and guitarist James "Blood" Ulmer. Stimulating and unpredictable music.
English-born Gary Marshal has called the U.S. home since 19, when he joind Fredrio Apcar's then-current "Vive Les Girls" show in Las Vegas. His exposure to American audiences was immediately successful, resulting in TV appearances on NBC's "Tonight Show" and on Art Llnkletter's "Talent Scouts." After one TV appearance, columnist Terrence O'Flaherty referred to Gary as a "new Robert Goulet".
Every year it's an issue: how does one stomach the onset of holiday music? With an endless stream of overplayed pop stars stirring what Sufjan Stevens calls "That Creepy Christmas Feeling," how does one navigate the sound of the season? Back in 2001, Stevens began making annual EPs of traditional carols and songs mixed with his own holiday-themed tunes. With 2006 and Volume 5, he's compiled a perfect gift for the Christmas-inclined indie rockster: all five EPs in one box, separately slipcased, plus a booklet filled with lyric sheets, chord charts, a Rick Moody essay, and more.