A half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view:
"Love & Mercy." What a beautifully made film about Brian Wilson, the musical genius behind the Beach Boys.
Van Morrison, "Duets: Re-Working the Catalogue." He has re-recorded some of his beautiful songs with other great singers, including Mavis Staples, Natalie Cole, Michael Bublé and Bobby Womack. "Wild Honey" with Joss Stone is my favorite.
live.brucespringsteen.net. No more looking for bootlegs. Finally an official website where you can purchase and download great Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band concerts past and present.
joe abraham, Stillwater
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Twin Cities Jazz Festival. Now in its 17th year, this multiday, multivenue free fest keeps getting bigger and better. Not only did it attract a sizable and diverse crowd, but the signature event of Dr. John at CHS Field was an unqualified triumph. Such an afternoon as he played 90 minutes in the sunshine, graced the fans with New Orleans nuggets and Dr. John staples and smiled more than at any other of his previous shows in the Twin Cities. Props to executive director Steve Heckler and his TC Jazz Fest crew. What a gift to the community.
"The Second Coming of D'Angelo," Rolling Stone. The elusive and reclusive soul man opens up about politics; race relations; his stellar new album, "Black Messiah"; the long delay of the album's release; Kendrick Lamar; Questlove, and becoming a sex symbol with the 2000 video "Untitled (How Does It Feel)."
"In Performance at the White House: The Gospel Tradition." What a varied and roof-raising cast of singers for this T Bone Burnett-curated PBS special — from Bishop Rance Allen and Rhiannon Giddens to Lyle Lovett and Aretha Franklin to the duo of Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell — in such an intimate space. Amen!
Jon Bream, Star Tribune