Consider an all-guitar jazz quartet and it's easy for your mind to conjure images of fingers burning up and down fretboards with the kind of mind-scrambling fireworks that've made heroes out of Pat Metheny and John McLaughlin.
Although those approaches to guitar music aren't necessarily wrong, Anthony Wilson offers something more understated with his Seasons quartet. Assembled after being commissioned by guitar maker John Monteleone, the quartet of Wilson, Julian Lage, Chico Pinheiro and Steve Cardenas debuted at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2011 with a concert that became a split CD/DVD release that same year.
What's most inviting about the album isn't the technical prowess on display, although there's certainly no shortage of that. It's the lush simplicity of the sound of wood, resonance and steel in the hands of four masterful musicans and collaborators, who uncover music that rests between thoughtful chamber-jazz and the sort of...
If there's a broad failure to the vast majority of popular music in 2013, it's that very often nothing of consequence is being said. This is not an issue for jazz artist Christian Scott.
Which isn't to say that Scott has delved into vocals or the spoken word to get his message across. Though Scott is certainly unafraid to speak his mind in interviews, his instrument remains the trumpet, which can soar, murmur or wail on his two-disc 2012 album "Christian aTunde Adjuah."
Musically referencing American xenophobia ("Jihad Joe"), racial injustice ("Trayvon") and, most often, the plight of his native New Orleans in the shadow of Hurricane Katrina ("New New Orleans," "Danziger"), Scott is a continuation of the thread of social consciousness that has long run through the heart of jazz.
The last time Metallica was at the center of a high-profile Hollywood movie -- in Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky's revealing 2004 documentary "Some Kind of Monster" -- the members of the influential heavy-metal outfit spent most of their time on-screen talking about their feelings.
Judging by a trailer released this week, that appears not to be the case with "Through the Never," a new Metallica concert film due in theaters on Sept. 27.
The movie, directed by Nimród Antal of "Predators" and "Kontroll" semi-fame, combines footage shot last year at several Metallica concerts in Vancouver, Canada, with a fictional narrative in which one of the band's crew members (played by Dane DeHaan) "is sent out on a mission during Metallica's ... set," according to a release. "While on this mission, he unexpectedly has his life turned completely upside down."
What does Bruce Springsteen mean to you? That’s the basis of a new documentary built around the legendary rocker’s influence on his fans.
Executive produced by famed auteur Ridley Scott, "Springsteen & I" will feature videos and photographs from fans offering testimony on how the Boss and his music affected their lives. The film will be screened in theaters on July 22.
In a trailer uploaded to the performer's YouTube account on Thursday, Springsteen can be seen consoling a fan who just got dumped, singing with an Elvis impersonator and dancing with fans onstage. The teaser also features a few vignettes of some rather rabid fans, including one woman mentioning how she used to hold a picture of the rocker up to her baby and utter “Daddy" (that couldn't have ended well).
Directed by music video director Baillie Walsh, the documentary will also include previously unreleased concert footage and his music. Springsteen and label, Columbia...
On its surface, the arithmetic is baffling. Paris Hilton plus Cash Money Records equals … sweet, sweet music?
The jury is still out on whether the former “Simple Life” star’s record deal and current EDM-accented musical direction will yield a bonanza of Top 40 hits à la label mates Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj. But for Paris completists, Hilton’s alignment with hip-hop’s imprint du jour appears to be a textbook move.
As far back as 2006, the professional party girl was claiming fealty to hip-hop’s “from the streets to the penthouse” ethos and contextualizing her achievements as an entrepreneur (with a lucrative perfume line, endorsement of champagne in a can and signature nightclub chain) like some kind of blond bombshell version of Jay-Z.
“I’ve worked my ass off. I have done things no heiress has,” Hilton told your humble Pop & Hiss correspondent that year. “I’ve done it all...
Here’s an aspiring musician whose major label debut won’t have to struggle with the budget constraints most first-timers are faced with.
“Everywhere at Once” is the introductory effort from Paul Allen and the Underthinkers. Allen, in case you’re wondering, is the same Paul Allen who back in 1975 created a little venture called Microsoft with his pal Bill Gates.
Allen, who also owns the Portland Trailblazers basketball team, has always been a music aficionado and an accomplished amateur guitarist who used a chunk of his Microsoft fortune to start the Experience Music Project museum in Seatte.
Now he’s assembled a debut album with his band, with a lot of help from other friends, including Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson, the Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde, Joe Walsh, Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo, Derek Trucks, Doyle Bramhall II and Neville Brothers scion Ivan Neville.
Carole King has amassed some impressive accolades in her storied five-decade career. Now she can add the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song to her mantle.
The prolific singer-songwriter was feted with the songwriting award — named after American composers George and Ira Gershwin — at a White House concert Wednesday night.
President Obama presented the 71-year-old with this year's award during a tribute concert for the singer in the East Room of the White House. King performed her hits, as did Gloria Estefan, Billy Joel, Jesse McCartney, Emeli Sande, James Taylor and Trisha Yearwood.
Ripples continue from the death on Monday of Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek, including a night on VH1 Classic devoted to the band’s music and the rescheduling of an event with Doors drummer John Densmore. Manzarek died at a hospital in Germany at age 74 after a long battle with bile duct cancer.
Thrusday night, VH1 Classic has lined up “The Doors: Live at the Bowl,” the concert the quartet played July 5, 1968, at the Hollywood Bowl. It will be shown at 8 p.m. PDT and EDT, and repeated at 10:30 p.m.
After the first airing of the Bowl concert, VH1 Classic will show the one-hour documentary “Classic Albums: ‘The Doors.’” a look at the making of the band’s 1967 debut album, featuring interviews with Manzarek, Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger.
"Modern Vampires of the City," the adventurous new album by New York's Vampire Weekend, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this week, reflecting sales of 134,000 copies, more than the band has sold before in a single week.
Recorded partly in L.A. with producer Ariel Rechtshaid, the disc is Vampire Weekend's second chart-topper following "Contra," which bowed with 124,000 copies sold in 2010. It's also, as Billboard noted, the first indie-label release to hit the top spot this year.
George Strait came in at No. 2 with "Love Is Everything," the country star's first album since he announced last year that he planned to stop touring after the conclusion of his current Cowboy Rides Away trek. "Love Is Everything" topped Billboard's country tally, earning Strait his 25th No. 1 there.
Behind Vampire Weekend and Strait, Demi Lovato's "Demi" took third place, one spot better than she did with 2011's "Unbroken."
News that Paris Hilton had signed a record deal with Cash Money Records heated up the blogosphere Wednesday.
Many thought it was a joke that the label that made superstars out of Lil Wayne, Drake and Nicki Minaj would sign the heiress. But it's true.
The 32-year-old is plotting her return to music with the popular hip-hop label. With online commenters burning up Twitter wondering how it happened, Cash Money co-founder Bryan “Birdman” Williams said the deal was a no-brainer.
“She’s always supported us, and we’ve supported her. It was a friendship first,” Williams told Pop & Hiss. “She played us music, and I was taken aback. I was impressed by her music, and I didn’t know she could sing so well.”
Hilton broke the news to Showbiz 411 while in Cannes, France, that she had signed with the label to issue her sophomore record; Williams took to Twitter to confirm.
Blake Shelton is working with NBC to organize a benefit concert in the wake of the powerful tornado that ripped through Oklahoma on Monday.
"We'll know more about it in the next 24 hours," Shelton told Billboard after Tuesday's taping of "The Voice." "I'm hoping it will raise a lot of money. Obviously, it will be televised and will happen really quickly."
The country star is a native of Ada, Okla., about 75 miles south of where the tornado struck.
Monday's twister, which produced winds topping 200 mph, killed at least 24 people and devastated the city of Moore. Meteorologists have given the storm an EF-5 intensity rating -- the highest severity for a tornado.