Russell Carlson

Russell’s Contributions


January/February 2006    Gearhead

Tascam CD-GT1mkII Portable CD Guitar Trainer

I'm not old enough to remember the days when transcribing a solo meant slowing down a vinyl LP; I've only heard wiser elders go on about how easy us kids have it today. By the time I became crazy enough to attempt unraveling dense melodies by Barney Kessel...


January/February 2006    Albums

Sixty Six Steps
Leo Kottke and Mike Gordon

You'd never suspect that a cover of Aerosmith's "Sweet Emotion" is coming but, whoomp, there it is: track six of 14 on finger-picking wiz Leo Kottke and ex-Phish bassist Mike Gordon's second collaboration on disc. Prior to reducing the classic '70s rocker...


January/February 2006    Albums

Harrison on Harrison
Joel Harrison

Jazz guitarist Joel Harrison plays the music of rock guitarist George Harrison. That's one helluva dubiously concocted concept. Does the slight novelty of a shared surname justify paying jazz tribute to a rock god? About half the time it does. In league...


January/February 2006    Albums

Jonathan Kreisberg

It's little wonder that Mel Bay's Guitar Sessions label would follow a disc by the acclaimed Vic Juris with one by Jonathan Kreisberg, a guitarist with a similarly hazy tone and solid command of the postbop style. Leading a quintet for the first time on...


11/08/05    Concerts

Tampere Jazz Happening 2005

Mikko Innanen is the star of Finnish jazz. At least that’s how it appeared to me, while visiting Finland for three drizzly November days to witness the 24th International Tampere Jazz Happening. Before I left the U.S. for the festival, stateside journalists...


November 2005    Albums

East West
Bill Frisell

This two-disc set of live trio performances caught in Oakland, Calif., and New York City posit guitarist Bill Frisell as an artist at his best in the raw, when his imaginative explorations don't succumb to overworked studio arrangements. Coming off last...


October 2005    Albums

Live at the House of Tribes
Wynton Marsalis

With Wynton Marsalis' multimillion dollar JALC compound finally built, the trumpeter could have easily made this live recording an advertisement for the acoustics of its swanky Allen Room or Rose Hall. Instead he recorded in the modest surroundings of the...


October 2005    Albums

Harry Connick Jr.

Despite its overuse, the notion that great jazz sounds like a conversation between its makers continues to ring true, and Harry Connick Jr.'s latest is further evidence. Returning to the Marsalis label for the second installment of the Connick on Piano series...


September 2005    Albums

Swingin' on a Seven-String
Lenny Breau

Raised by a pair of country entertainers, and ultimately seduced by Tal Farlow’s cool, the late virtuoso guitarist Lenny Breau was a little bit country and little bit Jazzbo Jones—or actually, he was a lot of both. Country tunes regularly infested Breau...


September 2005    Albums

Back to Back
Tiny Moore & Jethro Burns

It’s hard believe that Jethro Burns and Tiny Moore hadn’t met each other until the rehearsal for the 1979 session that yielded Back to Back. You’d think the two master mandolinists, both 59 at the time, would have crossed paths long before producer and fellow...

08/11/05    News

JALC Offers Adult Jazz-Ed

Maybe you’re a lifelong jazz fan looking to force some jazz-ed on a friend; perhaps you’re a jazz know-nothing who came to this Web site looking for a clue. In either case (and if you’re local to New York City), you might wanna steer yourself toward Jazz...


July/August 2005    Guitartistry

Roni Ben-Hur

Roni Ben-Hur came to America from Israel in 1985, and his playing is imbued with a yearning quality that hints at his heritage. His fourth leader disc follows 2001's bebop-oriented Anna's Dance and sees the guitarist heading into more impressionistic territory...


July/August 2005    Guitartistry

Homage to Jobim: Live at the Fujitsu-Concord 26th Jazz Festival
Charlie Byrd

You'd think the last thing we needed is another set of Brazilian Byrd, but this live set from the 26th Fujitsu-Concord Jazz Festival in 1994 offers an uncommon collective sound in the Charlie Byrd discography. Just do what you're bound to do anyhow: Skip...


July/August 2005    Guitartistry

Bayshore Road
Peppino D'Agostino, Stef Burns

That especially pungent cheese known as guitar wankery, whose smell is ubiquitously generated in Guitar Centers around the nation by jean-shorts-clad ax-slingers auditioning news ways to impress commission-hungry salesman, can be sampled in great stinking...


July/August 2005    Guitartistry

Pork Chop Blue Around the Rind
Fast 'n' Bulbous

With one-time Magic Band guitarist Gary Lucas in tow, this instrumental salute to Captain Beefheart comes off like a Frank Zappa-directed jazz excursion, minus the tyrannical control-freak element. These tunes fly much like the wounded birds they were on...


July/August 2005    Guitartistry

66 2/3
The Frank & Joe Show

Just like a Hollywood studio attempting to make the magic happen again with a sequel, the Frank and Joe Show follow up last year's 33 1/3 with 66 2/3, another brilliant display of technical mastery and showmanship. Part deux it very much is, right down to...

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About Russell Carlson