Recorded live at a Willie fete in Nashville's venerated Ryman Auditorium, this scruffy but heartfelt tribute (to the red-headed stranger himself) boasts an eclectic list of guests that ranges from Jon Bon Jovi to Ray Price.
In Hecho a Mano (Handmade), Spaniard Chano Domínguez undertakes the difficult challenge of taking flamenco forms to the piano—specifically to the jazz piano format—with exquisite results. This is not merely a translation of guitar or flamenco vocals onto piano; it's a spectacular—and seamless—transfiguration of genres where the listener finally believes the blend is the natural state of this music. The prolific Domínguez, a pianist/composer who's delved in jazz and pop,
The opening track of Steve Howe's Skyline sounds like it could have come off a Yes album, with its heraldic synthesizer chords trumpeting a grand entrance while Howe's electric guitar rips out the soaring melody.
The U.K. label Ace has produced this exhaustive compilation of B.B. King's early recordings, beginning with "3 O'Clock Blues" (1951) and concluding with "That Evil Child" (1971). The four-CD boxed set includes a booklet that chronicles King's early career, including many vintage pics, as well as providing photos of famous "chitlin' circuit" clubs. Also included is an extensive discography, and notes on every track in the collection, written by Colin Escott.
On The Last Temptation, rapper/actor Ja Rule picks up where his 2001 release, Pain Is Love, left off, further favoring radio-friendly thug ballads with wispy-voiced chanteuses over the hardcore hip-hop that marked his early career.
Steal This Album! is a compilation of previously unreleased tracks by the ever-aggressive, always compelling hard-rock outfit. Much of the material reaches as far back as the early '90s (before the band signed with American) and as recent as the sessions for the massive 2001 release, Toxicity.
From the sweetly romantic tone of its lyrics to the dreamy, fresh-outta-bed style of its CD artwork, this sumptuous, downright irresistible project could easily have been titled J-Lo in Afterglow. Lopez unabashedly essays her much-publicized relationship with actor Ben Affleck on a set that strives to establish her as an artist of more depth than previously displayed.
Dylan's free-form musical gypsy caravan of '75—previously documented by the album and TV show Hard Rain and the catastrophic film Renaldo & Clara —receives Cadillac treatment by Legacy. Drawn from performances in Massachusetts and Montreal, the two-CD set unearths 22 dramatic, hitherto-unheard live tracks by Dylan's storming 10-piece band.