Almost 30 years after their debut, 3 Feet High and Rising, transformed the possibilities of a rap record, and nearly 12 years since their last LP, De La Soul are still ambitious outliers. Financed by a Kickstarter campaign, constructed over breaks and beats mined from more than 200 hours of jamming by a live band, and stuffed with guest stars (Snoop Dogg, Damon Albarn, Jill Scott), And the Anonymous Nobody sometimes risks losing Posdnuos, Dave and Maseo in their own record. Tracks like the loopy "Snoopies" (with David Byrne) and old-school throwdown "Whoodeeni" (with 2 Chainz) are glorious bug-outs, but the urban cautionary tale "Greyhounds" (echoing Stevie Wonder's "Living for the City," with Usher on the hook) is a reminder that De La are often more powerful when they're less goofy – and that their greatest strength has always been not caring what hip-hop is supposed to sound like.
In the fourth decade of a jazz career in which he has always made a subtle art sound easy, US saxophonist still caresses old standards with the same urbane ecstasy he always has. In its hip-hop or contemporary-classical borrowings, free-improv extremes or north European minimalist whisperings, jazz is now a very different music to the sleek, swinging one Hamilton absorbed from his dad’s records as a boy. But nobody can accuse Hamilton of living in the past: it would be like telling someone they shouldn’t still be in love with a fascinating old partner.
Rick Wakeman's third solo album is among his best, as he employs his vast array of keyboards to their full extent, musically describing the characters pertaining to the days of King Arthur's reign. Now the album was re-recorded, and it's free of the studio limitations and single disc duration of the original and the new record will be a double album as it was originally intended to be.