"We take it back to the days of yes y'allin,' " Jurassic 5 rhymed to the sold-out House of Blues, effectively drawing out the blueprint for the Cali-based hip-hop collective's success: old-school hip-hop upgraded for the 21st century.
New York's Apollo Theater was the perfect setting for a stop on Billboard Century Award honoree Annie Lennox's first solo tour. Bare, the singer's forthcoming J Records album, delves deeper into the blue-eyed soul she hinted at on her previous two solo albums, and the mix of music representing her career was right at home in the storied R&B venue. "I think that's pretty cool," a beaming Lennox said in acknowledging that she was standing on the floorboards of the legendary Apollo. "I love being here."
On Oakland Zone, Tower of Power gets back to its rather considerable roots. The band formed in Oakland in the late '60s, and—with its horn-driven funk—quickly became a fixture on the thriving Bay Area music scene. In the decades since, Tower of Power has also proved astonishingly resilient, surviving numerous personnel changes and the vagaries of the recording industry. However, through relentless touring, the band built and maintained a solid following that should warmly welcome Oakland Zone, Tower of Power's first new studio release in six years. Drummer David Garibaldi returns to the fold for the first time since the 1979 set Back to the Streets. Tom Flye,