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Jazz

James Last Dead At 86

June 11th, 2015 3:51pm EDT
James Last, King of Easy Listening, Dead At 86
He was called the Emperor of Elevator Music.

James Last, one of the world's most commercially successful bandleaders, died this week at the age of 86.

Last, also called the King of Easy Listening, recorded more than 200 albums and sold more than 100 million records over a career that spanned decades. Last had said last year that he had an illness, but the specifics were not disclosed.

Last's best years were the 1970s, when Easy Listening was in vogue. He was Billboard Magazine's star of the year in 1976. But anyone who has ever stood in a hotel lobby or inside of an elevator has probably...
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These Bands Have Bold And Controversial Names

May 31st, 2015 3:00pm EDT
15 Bold And Sexual Band Names
Not all band names were created equally. Some are clearly down to earth while others are bold and filled with controversy. A down to earth post of the best band names would be boring, SO, why not examine some of the boldest band names out there, shall we? No, this list doesn’t “go for the kill” – some are too hot for Starpulse or really anybody – but there are definitely 15 great, bold bands that grace this list.

1) N.W.A.

One of the boldest, most controversial names (and collectives) has to be N.W.A., which stands for N***az Wit Attitudes. As shocking as the name is outside of it...
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A$AP Rocky And Other Albums To Check Out

May 26th, 2015 9:45am EDT
A$AP Rocky
In what was poised to be a ‘slower’ release week, a surprise happened – A$AP Rocky’s sophomore album, AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP. Besides A$AP, another rapper sports week’s next biggest release, Boosie Badazz. The rest of the releases are somewhat underrated and unsung, but there’s still a worthwhile crop of new albums to check out.

1) A$AP Rocky, AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP (RCA)

Ah, these days there’s nothing like the surprise album, particularly the one that rewrites the featured album of the week at the last minute (literally). A$AP Rocky adds some ‘punch’ to this week’s new releases, particular...
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Moody Blues Alan Hewitt Talks New Album & More

May 18th, 2015 11:22pm EDT
Alan Hewitt promo photo
Alan Hewitt, the multi-talented keyboardist for The Moody Blues and platinum keyboardist/producer to the stars, has a new album out called, ‘Evolution’ (Red River/RED/Sony Music). It's a mix of rock, fusion, and jazz music with his supergroup, One Nation. He’s been the keyboard player for The Moody Blues since 2010 and he’s had solo smooth, romantic jazz albums including, 'Noche De Pasion' (2004) 'Retroactive,' (2009) 'Metropolis,' (2006) and 'High Fidelity' (2012) which he lends his vocals on the album. The other three albums he plays keyboards.

The band’s line-up includes, Alan Hewitt,...
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Lili K's Ruby Is A Must Listen

April 27th, 2015 8:40am EDT
Review: Lili K Delivers A Jazzy, Soulful Smash On 'Ruby'
Chicago musician Lili K represents fresh blood in the music game with a distinct throwback vibe. On her debut Ruby, Lili K showcases her exceptional musicianship, producing the effort herself and most of all, sharing her prodigious pipes for all to hear in their nuanced glory. Lilli K blends jazz and soul music like a champ throughout her debut, and her classical vocal training is always apparent; she’s flawless when it comes to developing a complete performance. Given her fine talents, Ruby proves early on to be a ‘must hear.’

“Mama Told Me” opens Ruby soulfully, offering a taste of wh...
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Albums To Check Out This Week

April 7th, 2015 10:07am EDT
All Time Low Leads Albums To Check Out: This Week In Music
After a star-studded assortment of new albums last week, this week is much more subtle. The same bombast that greeted a long-awaited comeback by Ludacris, The Album About Nothing courtesy of Wale, and an album named after a Japanese repair technique (Kintsugi) by Death Cab For Cutie isn’t apparent this week. Even so, there are some interesting new efforts, led by irresistible Baltimore quartet All Time Low with their affinity for emo lyrics and the occasional dash of salty language. All Time Low and four others lead albums to check out this week.

1) All Time Low, Future Hearts (Hopele...
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Jeff Bradshaw Delivers Some Serious Ear Candy

March 30th, 2015 3:15pm EDT
Review: Jeff Bradshaw Delivers A Brilliant, Star-Studded Live Al
Few will deny how rewarding a dynamic, new studio album can be musically – it’s something like ‘ear candy.’ An experience just as rewarding, if not more so, is a dynamic live album. Live albums provide a more organic experience, one less concerned with the perfection of the studio and more focused on a rawer, looser, and oft-times more intimate experience. For trombonist Jeff Bradshaw, his latest live album Home: One Special Night At The Kimmel Center exemplifies the virtues of the live album, delivering an exceptional musical experience.

Over the course of Home, a takeaway is the fact...
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Jay Z Forced To Pay Out Royalties

March 13th, 2015 11:58am EDT
Jay Z Will Pay Royalty Money To Swiss Jazz Artist After Copying
Many music industry experts predicted there would be fallout from the ruling requiring artists Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams to pay millions of dollars to Marvin Gaye's family for copying one his songs on their hit "Blurred Lines." It now appears that the first artist who might have agreed to a settlement in the aftermath of the court ruling is rapper Jay Z.

Hova has agreed to pay 50 percent of the royalties from his song "Versus" to a Swiss jazz musician named Bruno Spoerri. Jay Z had originally denied copying Spoerri's instrumental "Lilith - on the way" on his 2013 song "Versus".

B...
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Big Sean Leads Albums To Check Out

February 24th, 2015 9:33am EST
Big Sean Leads Albums To Check Out: This Week In Music
It’s another new week and you know what that means? New music releases to infuse life into the Billboard 200 of course! Last week, a lift to the charts itself came by way of Drake’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late and the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack. As far as new album releases, the crown jewel from last week came courtesy of Imagine Dragons’ sophomore album, Smoke and Mirrors. Who’s the crown jewel of this week’s new releases? How about I.D.F.W.U. MC Big Sean, who drops Dark Sky Paradise? Here are six new albums to check out this week!

1) Big Sean, Dark Sky Paradise (Def Jam)...
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Does The 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Soundtrack Deliver?

February 11th, 2015 11:00pm EST
Fifty Shades of Grey Soundtrack
Fifty Shades of Grey isn’t just a book or a motion picture – it’s a movement! No the presence of Fifty Shades of Grey isn’t changing something of macro importance, but it certainly expounds upon sex in ways many have never experienced - understatement. That said, the relationship between Ana and Christian is not the focus here – it is the accompanying original motion picture soundtrack. Such a bold film requires a soundtrack to match, and overall, the ‘nifty’ Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack does the job.

Fifty Shades of Grey mixes old and new throughout its course. It opens soundly wit...
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