Pat Martino excited the jazz community with his exciting reentry into the scene in 1987 with his live recording, The Return. He surprised more than a few by demonstrating such impressive taste and technique, almost as if he had never lost the ability to play the guitar due to a severe brain aneurysm. Perhaps almost as surprising was his disappearance once again from the public eye (due to his parents' illnesses), until he reemerged with this recording in 1994. Here, Martino is teamed with pianist James Ridl, whom he happened upon in a Philadelphia club. Martino was so impressed and inspired that he invited the pianist to form a musical partnership.
Vibraphonist Jay Hoggard gained his initial recognition for his playing in avant-garde and adventurous settings. By the late 80s, Hoggard had decided to explore hard bop and straight-ahead jazz. On this out of print but worthy CD, the vibraphonist recalls Bobby Hutcherson and Milt Jackson in spots, swinging on a variety of originals, Stevie Wonder's "You And I" and "Sonny's Themes" (which covers Sonny Rollins' "Alfie" and "Sonnymoon for Two"). The young Benny Green is a major asset on piano, bassist Marcus McLaurine and drummer Yoron Israel are excellent in support, and Hoggard's songs are full of variety and color.
Trumpeter Wallace Roney's debut as a leader at the age of 26 occurred when he was a member of Tony Williams' Quintet. In fact, Williams is the drummer on this quintet set which also features tenor saxophonist Gary Thomas, pianist Mulgrew Miller and bassist Charnett Moffett. The group performs originals by Roney, Williams and two by Cindy Blackman, plus the standard "Blue in Green." The music is essentially advanced hard bop, with Roney as usual often sounding a bit tonewise like his hero Miles Davis.
Muse, and Matt Bellamy in particular, make no bones about Drones: their seventh album is political through and through, a bold statement concerning the dehumanization of modern warfare. As Muse is not a subtle band – any suspicion they were is erased by the artwork depicting a hand controlling the joystick of an office drone controlling a joystick directing drones – it's hard to avoid their conclusion that war is bad, but this inclination to write everything in bold, italicized capital letters is an asset when it comes to music, particularly here where they've teamed with legendary hard rock producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange.
An Ancient Muse is the seventh full-length studio album of the Canadian singer, songwriter, accordionist, harpist, and pianist, Loreena McKennitt. It was released on November 20, 2006 internationally, and November 21, 2006 in the United States and Canada. It was her first studio album after a 9-year gap. It has now sold more than one million copies worldwide.