Record Collector (magazine) (p.91) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[W]ith molasses-rich harmonies and easy-on-the-ear antiphonals....This CD is a must-have for serious scholars of antique African-American music."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.100) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "This volume provides an immaculately selected 30 tracks that actually pre-date the era of street corner groups."
Entertainment Weekly (p.69) - "[O]ld-time country music, early blues, and gospel....The recordings -- of varying brilliance -- are grail-like rarities."Living Blues (p.76) - "House was the greatest of all the 'deep' Delta singers, and this was his greatest recording session. The guitar work is crisp, with his usual unerring rhythmic control, and his voice is magnificent."No Depression (p.100) - "There are fetching country blues tracks.....It's all put together with enthusiasm and tongue-in-cheek ribbing of the collecting bug."Mojo (Publisher) (p.110) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] glittering parade of mountain stringbands and sanctified preachers, fiddle and harmonica tunes, banjo songs and guitar blues..."
Q (8/01, p.150) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Lanegan had found his niche....scratching a deep-seated existential itch, mustering tragi-comic bleakness normally the sole province of Johnny Cash."Magnet (p.114) - "'Kingdoms Of Rain' and 'Riding The Nightingale' are laced with the sort of Catholic guilt and survivor's wisdom that point to Lanegan's Yoda-like future status as the last of his track-scarred peer group to live to tell the tale."Option (8/94, p.109) - "...This is grunge's soft underbelly, the land where trance meets folk and boys are sensitive, strong and extremely well-connected...Lanegan isn't afraid to go fast, but follows his rants with dusky ballads..."Melody Maker (1/29/94, p.32) - "...Brilliant...a monument to morbid, magnificent self-absorption...a dense but intensely moving piece of work..."Musician (3/94, p.87) - "...this isn't a `Seattle' album, at least in the obvious sense. What we find on WHISKEY FOR THE HOLY GHOST is the dreamscape version of that world...Lanegan is perfect in the role of tortured obsessive, locked in a world of uncomfortable urges..."NME (Magazine) (2/5/94, p.39) - 7 - Very Good - "...Inhabiting an instrumental landscape more sparsely populated than Greenland, sparked by low-riding acoustic guitars, glowering organ and a blackboard-scraping violin, WHISKEY is nothing less than a vocal tour de force..."
Hagar's Song is a deeply intimate, intuitive offering from saxophonist Charles Lloyd and pianist Jason Moran, who has been a key part of Lloyd's quartet since 2008. The program is a collection of standards and originals, as well as one thorny, angular free improvisation ("Pictogram"). The title piece is a five-part suite dedicated to the memory of Lloyd's great-great grandmother, who spent most of her life as a slave. Its various sections reflect the harshness of that life, as well as moments of hope and determination. This work is not always "comfortable" to listen to, and it's not meant to be, but it is musically rich and emotionally taut. Lloyd has always celebrated his deep love of jazz and pop traditions, and those are in abundance here. The near-symbiotic dialogue the pair share on Billy Strayhorn's "Pretty Girl" and George Gershwin's "Bess You Is My Woman Now" offers both dialogic imagination as well as deep listening. (On the latter, Lloyd reveals how supple his tonal reach remains on the tenor as he nears 75; he sweeps from its middle register to something closer to the alto's.) The swinging read of "Mood Indigo" commences conventionally, but Moran's deft, blues-drenched, physical stride lends an urgency to the conversation. Likewise his punchy approach on Earl Hines' "Rosetta," where Lloyd takes the melody and opens up its joy vein, while Moran pumps it with rhythmic and lyric invention courtesy of his amazing left hand. Lloyd's love of rock and pop has its place here, too. On Bob Dylan's ballad "I Shall Be Released," Moran begins with a single repeating note, then a lone chord, as Lloyd tentatively states the melody. But by the second verse, he's quoting from Leon Russell's "A Song for You," as Moran moves its harmonic base to the modal. Lloyd brings it back via an emotional blues, but his tenor moves through its registers picking bits and pieces of the lyric line to meditate upon and explore with Moran. The closer, a reading of Brian Wilson's "God Only Knows" is just gorgeous. Moran's elaboration on the harmony in the intro sets it up outside its known parameters. Lloyd quotes the refrain and then takes the lyric line, exploring time and memory -- Lloyd ran around with the Beach Boys in Southern California in the late '60s. Satisfied, he turns it over to Moran to finish with a close, tender harmonic statement that whispers to a finish. Hagar's Song finds Lloyd and Moran at their most naturally curious and deeply attentive best, offering a conversation so intimate the listener may occasionally feel she is eavesdropping. ~ Thom Jurek
Record Collector (magazine) (p.105) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Vocal groups including The Fleetwoods, Tokens, Ad Libs, and oddities like an early outing of Andy Kim complete a sparkling tribute to one of the greatest songwriting partnerships of all time."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.104) - "This is a beautifully sequenced collection that takes you on a trip through some great, refreshingly unfamiliar music linked by mood, spirit and intent."Uncut (magazine) (pp.87-88) - "[T]he pulse of its heartening story is captured here."