You might call Jimmy D. Lane a natural born bluesman. His father was the legendary Jimmy Rogers, who Jimmy D. shared the stage with for many years before recording on his own. Lane can play it '50s-style, as he did with his father and on Eomot RaSun's album, but he can also turn it up and rock out with any of the finest guitar slingers. For It's Time, Lane tackles a program of original tunes (except for one), with the aid of Double Trouble, Stevie Ray Vaughan's rhythm section. These guys bring decades of experience to their blues rhythms, and know exactly how to support a player like Lane. Keyboard duties are split between Celia Ann Price on B3 and piano, and Mike Finnigan on the B3. In addition, the album was produced and engineered by the one and only Eddie Kramer, who adds crisp, clear production values and some very subtle studio tricks (check out the panning in the slide solo on "Stuck in the Middle"). As a writer, Lane sticks close to standard subject matter "What Makes People" is certainly a close cousin of Willie Dixon's "The Same Thing," but the variety of tempos and grooves and great playing all around keep the album exciting.
Some performances get talked about decades after they happened. It's all about "you had to be there" and if you would believe all the people who claimed to be present at such a show, the venue would have collapsed. Two of those shows are now released in full. Trumpet maestro Miles Davis performed at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam on April 9 and October 15, 1960. John Coltrane was on sax in April and his replacement Sonny Stitt played in October. With Wynton Kelly on piano, Paul Chambers on bass and Jimmy Cobb on drums. Miles Davis was on fire both nights.
The Avant Garde was a coffeehouse in Milwaukee, Wisconsin that played host to a variety of rock, blues, and folk performers in the '60s, and Windy City guitar wizard Magic Sam (aka Sam Maghett) rolled in to play a few sets in June 1968. A local kid with an interest in recording named Jim Charne showed up with a reel-to-reel machine and a couple of microphones, and he captured Magic Sam's show on tape; 45 years later, those tapes have finally been made public on the album Live at the Avant Garde, and given the relatively small amount of material that's surfaced on the late blues legend (who succumbed to a heart attack when he was just 32), this set is a very welcome find. Live at the Avant Garde has a decidedly different feel than Magic Sam Live, which preserved radio broadcasts from 1963 and 1964 and a 1969 appearance at the Ann Arbor Blues Festival; while those recordings blazed with intensity, this captures Magic Sam and his band in more laid-back form, playing a small, booze-free venue rather than a rowdy bar or a festival audience in the thousands.
Perhaps no opera is closely and affectionately associated with a single house as Le nozze di Figaro is with Glyndebourne. Effortlessly witty yet shot through with pain and sadness, this deeply ambivalent life in the day of masters and servants as they scheme and outwit one another was Glyndebourne's opening production in 1934. Michael Grandage's staging is the seventh, set in a louche Sixties ambience. Marshalled by the 'ideal pacing of Robin Ticciati, a youthful cast of principals has 'no weak link' and 'looks gorgeous' (The Sunday Times) in a production that continues Glyndebourne's rewarding history of engagement with Mozart's and da Ponte's 'day of madness'.