Miles Davis: Jazz at the Plaza / At Newport 1958

These two albums bracket the summer of 1958—the first recorded at the Newport Jazz Festival in June, the second at a Columbia Records party in September—and document one of Miles Davis’ best bands at the height of its powers. Tenor saxophonist John Coltrane had worked with Davis since 1955,  ...

Mule Variations – Tom Waits

Does life seem nasty, brutish and short? Tom Waits certainly appeared to feel that way on 1992's Bone Machine, an almost unrelievedly stark and grim meditation on death that piled up critical accolades even as it struck many longtime fans as a creative dead-end. For years Waits had been  ...

Grateful – The Songs of John Bucchino

John Bucchino has been the saviour of many a cabaret singer. His lush melodies and clever, psychologically astute lyrics remain relatively unknown and can be counted on to grace any set and impress even the most jaded audience. Bucchino is not only a fine interpreter of his own work  ...

My Father, Dancing

Bliss Broyard’s collection of short stories, My Father, Dancing, is so splendidly nuanced that one is tempted to overstate the book’s low-keyed charms. In this era of blockbuster bestsellers and publishing "sensations," the small pleasures of Broyard’s stories are to be savored. The collection is dedicated "in memory of  ...

Need My Sugar – Kim Nalley

Kim Nalley has been a fixture on the San Francisco music scene for the best part of a decade and with this album, her sophomore release, looks set to increase her profile significantly in both her native US and Europe. In a world where any number of pretty young  ...

Narralogues: Truth in Fiction – Ronald Sukenick

Ronald Sukenick is one of the leading lights of postmodern literature in the United States. He was a founding member of the Fiction Collective, a famed alternative press started in 1974 and still thriving. His first novel was published in 1968. Since then, in over a dozen works, he’s  ...

Novel with Cocaine – M. Ageyev

Novel with Cocaine is narrated by a young Russian hedonist living in Moscow during the tumultuous years of 1916 to 1919. As the country plunges deeper into the First World War, Vadim Maslennikov plunges instead into prostitutes. When the Communist Revolution begins to unfold, Vadim prefers to unfold packets  ...

One Market Under God – Thomas Frank

Once Americans imagined that economic democracy meant a reasonable standard of living for all, that freedom was only meaningful once poverty and powerlessness had been overcome. Today, however, American opinion leaders seem generally convinced that democracy and the free market are simply identical. There is precious little that is  ...