For Miles Davis, the six year layoff between the release of PANGAEA and THE MAN WITH THE HORN was marked by isolation, physical pain and dependency…a sense of inertia. At points on THE MAN WITH THE HORN you can hear him straining to get his chops back up, although ultimately, his musicianly instincts served him well during odd passages of rope-a-doping, and for every broken note there is a blast of vintage Miles.
THE MAN WITH THE HORN introduces yet another striking band, featuring future leaders such as reedman Bill Evans, guitarist Mike Stern, bassist Marcus Miller and drum innovator Al Foster. The opening "Fat Time" combines Miles' love for the flamenco airs and melodic gravity of Spain with a contemporary hard funk style. Evans and Stern act as virtuoso foils, a la Coltrane and Hendrix, the latter's influence apparent in Barry Finnerty's boiling clouds of distortion on "Back Seat Betty" (which settles into a coy, laid back blues vehicle for Miles' muted horn), and a rivetting "Aida," in which Miles reprises the rhythmic tumult of his mid-'70s band with dramatic give and take between his horn and a fiery guitar-driven vamp, as Al Foster thunders away underneath.
Sonny Rollins must have liked hearing Billy Holiday with two of her absolute classic numbers included and a composition he composed himself which has no familarity with Billy Holiday's classic "Loverman" but the title "Love Man" sandwiched in between the two Billy Holiday numbers does make one think. Anyway recorded in 1973 and this album "Horn Culture" is Sonny's second album after his last absence from the Jazz scene in the late sixties and early seventies doing yoga and the Eastern thing but he sure came back vibrant and as usual he played beautifully with this album being no exception.
Monster Mike Welch, one of Boston’s best-loved guitarists, presents «Just Like It Is», a very bluesy album including 11 Mike’s songs out of 13, and certainely one of his finest to date. «Just Like It Is» was recorded the same way than the previous Mike’s opus («Cryin’ Hey!») with musicians Mike is very comfortable with (drums : Mark Teixeira - bass: Brad Hallen – keyboards: Anthony Geraci) and very quickly, in two days, like a live in studio without any overdubs.