Well... I know this blog has a little bit of readership in the Philly area, and I don't want to alienate any readers, so I won't go off on a tangent about Scott Hartnell and his fake-ass-drip-drip jheri curl, and really the entire Flyers squad, ruining my trip to the Penguins' home opener last night. Just want to drop a few quick reviews on some local Pittsburgh hip-hop talent, along with other records that are making their way through the current rotation:
• Vinny Radio, The Foundation/Slim Stario, A Star is Born - I highly recommend checking out both of these free mixtapes by Pittsburgh MCs. Vinny Radio rocks more uptempo, bouncy tracks, mainly supplied by producer P. Fish, to pair with his baritone flow, while Slim Stario slows things down with a heavier, grittier feel. Click on the links above to download both free albums.
• Dave Holland Octet, Pathways - You can't argue with a bass player who's gigged with Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock, just to name two. England son Dave Holland has put in more than four decades of work, and it shows in the shifty tempos of his compositions, whether they're by way of his quartets, quintets, or big-band arrangements. His latest octet record, Pathways, continues that tradition of excellence in a live setting, whether it's the burbling, chunky bass-walk that begins "How's Never?" or the lilting swing that rides through "Sea of Marmara." For me, what makes Holland's band so appealing is the inclusion of vibraphonist/marimbist (is that last one a word? Not sure) Steve Nelson, whose limber lines snake through the melody in all the best ways.
• Soulive, Rubber Soulive - Soulive has yet to release an album that I don't like. If there was going to be one, I was initially concerned that a record of Beatles covers might be it. It's not. You never heard "Revolution" be as funky as this. The audio clarity is a little muddy at times, but it's a solid set of Fab Four covers that James Brown would be proud of.