Mike McGonigal runs the literary magazine Yeti. In his spare time, he's been collecting gospel 45s on vanity and tiny independent labels for years. He's now released a pair of three-CD sets featuring amazing, long-forgotten African-American gospel tracks from his collection.
Rock critic Ken Tucker checks out singers Michael Bolton and Lisa Stansfield. Ken says Bolton's nothing to sing about, despite his recent Grammy for best pop male vocal. However, Ken says Stansfield's done a good job in mixing 70's disco-soul with 90's dance music.
Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews clarinetist John Carter's new album, "Shadows on a Wall." The album concludes Carter's 5 album musical saga of the African-American experience. Kevin says the series doesn't recreate history, but it DOES reimagine it.
Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews "The Cinderella Theory," the new album by the master of funk, George Clinton. Clinton began his musical career when he formed The Parliaments. But it's with his densely layered rhythm lines and rap that Clinton has made his mark on music, defining the funk sound and culture. His best-known songs include "Tear the Roof Off the Sucker," "Atomic Dog" and "Think! It ain't illegal yet."
Rock Critic Ken Tucker reviews three albums by older black male vocalists who are trying their hand at new genres, or trying to extend the traditions they first performed in. The albums are "Forever and Ever," the second solo album by Howard Hewett, a former singer with the black rhythm and blues group Shalamar, "On the Strength," by the rap group Grandmaster Flash, and "I Need Money Bad," by John Whitehead.
Jazz Critic Kevin Whitehead reviews "Repercussions," the British documentary series on African and Afro-American music. One segment features American jazz drummer Max Roach; another highlights the Los Angeles rhythm-and-blues scene and "highlife" musicians from Ghana. The series is now available on home video.