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Thursday, March 1st, 2012
Music Reviews

The Beat’s Record Roundup - Joe Fingas, Bob Seger and More

El Barrio: The Ultimate Collection of Latin Boogaloo, Disco, Funk & Soul (2011)

Fania Records

Four hours of mostly infectious music en Espanol and English, plus either the best or worst version of “Fever” I’ve ever heard.

- Christopher C. Manson

Lindsey Buckingham

Seeds We Sow (2011)

Buckingham Records

How depressing that one of the Fleetwood Mac guy’s best solo records went largely unnoticed upon its release last September. Buckingham’s songwriting and vocal skills remain intact, his spirit of musical adventure is stronger than ever, and unlike 99 percent of his peers, he’s still got a lot to say. The rave-up “One Take” is proof of his phenomenal guitar skills.

- Christopher C. Manson

Joe Fingas

Tales of Love and Coffee

Local piano blues favorite scores with a set of originals recorded live for WUWF Radio, but without the hoots and hollers of an audience that might have pushed him over the edge. Highlights include a song inspired by Nic Cage’s movie Adaptation (“I can love whoever I want, and they don’t have to love me back”) and numerous tributes to Fingas’ caffeinated beverage of choice.

- Christopher C. Manson

Ahmad Jamal

Blue Moon

Jazz Village

Pianist Jamal’s Blue Moon features a quartet rounded out by Reginald Veal on double bass, Herlin Riley on drums and Manolo Badrena on percussion. The nine-track album offers ironclad standards like “Laura” and the title cut, plus a Dizzy Gillespie piece, “Woody’n You,” among other show and film score tunes. Jamal is very much out front here and in the driver’s seat, at ease and obviously enjoying himself on an instrument that’s practically joined to him, mind and fingers. Jamal turns 82 this year, proving that jazz, like rock ‘n roll, never forgets.

- Bruce Collier

Joyful Noise: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

WaterTower Music

Songs from Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah’s flop movie, and you have to listen close to catch either one of them. Think gospel by way of the American Idol dreck machine, and you’ll get the idea.

- Christopher C. Manson

Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band

Ultimate Hits: Rock and Roll Never Forgets (2011)


Rock and roll may never forget, but someone forgot “Understanding,” from the 1983 film Teachers (an almost unforgivable omission for anyone who has fond memories of Jobeth Williams’ nekkid strut down a high school corridor) and “In Your Time,” one of Seger’s absolute best (it’s on his first Greatest Hits set, released back in the ‘90s). Otherwise, two discs of primo Detroit-by-way-of-El-Lay rock. And someone was smart enough to include Seger’s masterful rendition of “Little Drummer Boy.”

- Christopher C. Manson

Matt Wilson’s Arts & Crafts

An Attitude for Gratitude


Drummer Wilson leads his Arts & Crafts ensemble in an 11-track recording that travels all over the place, from a Depression Era oldie like “Happy Days Are Here Again” to Paul Simon’s gospel-folk classic “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” with tunes by Jaco Pastorius, Nat Adderley and John Scofield to boot. A pleasant surprise was the appearance of trumpeter Terell Stafford, who plays so much it almost sounds like his album. Gary Versace plays piano, organ and accordion, and Martin Wind is on bass. Wilson even recites a little Carl Sandburg poem on “Bubbles.”

- Bruce Collier