Louisville Music News'

Holiday Gift Suggestions

Kevin Gibson:

Jason Ringenberg, All Over Creation (Yep Roc). Collaborations with folks like Steve Earler, Todd Snider and Tommy Womack, plus a keen songwriting sensibility make this an alt-country must-have from 2003.

Digby, Go Digby (Label X). Folk-pop fun like nobody's business. Guided by the unique vocal delivery of our boy Paul Moeller, it is awash in chiming guitars, happy key strokes and hooks, hooks, hooks. And it's Louisville music. Well, Indiana music.

The Singles, Better Than Before (Rainbow Quartz). If you liked Beatles For Sale, you'll like this too. Sure, it's derivative, but it's so much fun that you have to like it. If the Beatles, Buddy Holly, the Zombies and Eddie Cochran had been able to collaborate on an album, this would have been the result.

Scott Miller and the Commonwealth, Upside Downside (Sugar Hill). While not quite as long-lasting as his debut, Thus Always to Tyrants, this shows the many sides to the songwriter - the rocker, the country boy, the folk writer, and more. Not to be missed.

Fountains of Wayne, Welcome Interstate Managers, (S-Curve). Smart, infectious and memorable, this is easily the best album of 2003. Where else can you find songs about drunken salesmen, pro quarterbacks, your girlfriend's mom and gardening while stoned all on one disc?

Keith Clements:

Membership in the Kentuckiana Blues Society. $15 single/$20 couple per year. Best deal in town! You get a monthly newsletter, 10% off at EarXtacy, $1 off covers at Stevie Rays.

One year subscription to Living Blues magazine. $23.95 for five issues. If you order now you can get a free CD. This is still the best Blues magazine published with Blues Review a close 2nd.

All Music Guide to the Blues, 3rd Edition - Backbeat Books. This is the best reference for CD reviews with excellent bios of each musician. I frequently use this resource when I'm writing my articles.

The Blues: A Musical Journey. Video cassette or DVD. This is the seven-part series that was aired on PBS this fall. There is also a five-CD box and a book out on the same program.

Gift donation to the Public Radio Partnership. WFPK 91.9 is the only station that plays any Blues with Scott's "Saturday Night Blues Party" and "Woody's Roadhouse," which follows. WFPL 89.3 occasionally features stories on the Blues.

Martin Z. Kasdan, Jr.:

Hanukkah, the Winter Solstice, Christmas and Kwanzaa are rapidly approaching, so please e-mail me at my address below to obtain a full list of jazz related gifts I would like to have, together with my postal mail address so they can be delivered in time. On the other hand, if you are thinking of buying for the jazz lover on your holiday list other than myself, you may wish to consider the following suggestions. Of course, compact discs are always welcome. This past year has seen a wealth of new releases as well as reissues and box sets. For the Miles Davis fan, the classic blackhawk recordings have been reissued with enough bonus tracks to turn two LPS into four CDS, available as a pair of 2-CD sets (Friday Night and Saturday Night at the Blackhawk), or as one 4-CD box set. This was a transitional period for Miles, with the sometimes-underrated Hank Mobley holding the sax chair vacated by John Coltrane. For electric Miles aficionados, the remarkable Jack Johnson album has been turned into a five-CD set, including some previously released material but a wealth of newly available recordings (all on Columbia). A few single CDS might include either of the recent John Scofield releases on Verve. So is credited to Scolohofo, a true supergroup consisting of guitarist Scofield, saxophonist Joe Lovano, bassist Dave Holland and drummer Al Foster. Up All Night, credited to the John Scofield Band, is a logical extension of both electric Miles and of Sco's prior Uberjam CD, featuring high tech wedded to serious groove and Sco's nimble picking. Holland's Quintet has released a 2-CD live set, Extended Play: Live At Birdland (ECM), and Lovano has released a single live offering, On This Day ... At The Vanguard (Blue Note), with his nonet. The list could go on, but I'll spare you after mentioning that you owe it to yourself to pick up Rahsaan Roland Kirk's live Compliments of the Mysterious Phantom (Hyena), reviewed here in August, and either of the recent Larry Coryell releases, Power Trio - Live in Chicago (High Note), and Tricycles (In + Out, German import), reviewed here in October.

Besides recordings, subscriptions to jazz magazines are welcome gifts. Downbeat and Jazz Times are the leading contenders, while Jazziz tends toward the pop side of jazz. If you or your favorite jazz fan has trouble finding Louisville Music News, our city's only regular medium for jazz coverage, subscriptions are also available. Also, a membership to the Louisville Jazz Society (www.louisvillejazz.org) would help support the organization which promotes jazz here, and would also provide you with a year-end deduction. (Disclaimer: I am on the Board.)

Concert tickets are also sure to please, and a few upcoming special events would include the Kentucky Center's presentation of Wynton Marsalis leading the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra on February 10, 2004, and the University of Louisville's Jazz Week 2004, February 23 - 29, opening with the Ahmad Jamal Trio on the 23rd and closing out in grand style on the 29th with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. Look for more details here next month.

Rob Greenwell:

Toby Keith. Shock and Y'all.

Tim McGraw, Tim McGraw

Darryl Worley, Have You Forgotten

Gary Allan, See If I Care

Sara Evan, Restless.