Showbiz is the debut studio album by English alternative rock band Muse, released in the United Kingdom on 4 October 1999 through Mushroom Records. Upon its release, the album received positive to mixed reviews from music critics, who saw the young band's potential, but were also quick to dismiss the album as promising yet derivative of other alternative rock bands of the 90s. Several critics drew comparisons to Radiohead, due to the fact that Showbiz was produced by John Leckie, who also worked on the aforementioned band's album The Bends.
A later set from Shirley Scott, but one that's recorded with an old school lineup that includes Art Harper on bass and Mickey Roker on drums – plus some guest tenor work from the mighty Buck Hill! The tunes are a lot more open and fluid than Scott's sound on Prestige in the 60s – with a bit of the vibe she picked up during her 70s years, as she really started to loosen up from before. And although the tunes are mostly familiar numbers, this approach really changes them up – moving them farther from the standard ballad mode of earlier Scott albums. Shirley plays piano on one track – "Yours Is My Heart Alone" – and all others feature organ, on titles that include "Skylark", "Triste", "More Than You Know", "Blues For Groove", and "Have You Met Miss Jones."
Pat Martino excited the jazz community with his exciting reentry into the scene in 1987 with his live recording, The Return. He surprised more than a few by demonstrating such impressive taste and technique, almost as if he had never lost the ability to play the guitar due to a severe brain aneurysm. Perhaps almost as surprising was his disappearance once again from the public eye (due to his parents' illnesses), until he reemerged with this recording in 1994. Here, Martino is teamed with pianist James Ridl, whom he happened upon in a Philadelphia club. Martino was so impressed and inspired that he invited the pianist to form a musical partnership.
Vibraphonist Jay Hoggard gained his initial recognition for his playing in avant-garde and adventurous settings. By the late 80s, Hoggard had decided to explore hard bop and straight-ahead jazz. On this out of print but worthy CD, the vibraphonist recalls Bobby Hutcherson and Milt Jackson in spots, swinging on a variety of originals, Stevie Wonder's "You And I" and "Sonny's Themes" (which covers Sonny Rollins' "Alfie" and "Sonnymoon for Two"). The young Benny Green is a major asset on piano, bassist Marcus McLaurine and drummer Yoron Israel are excellent in support, and Hoggard's songs are full of variety and color.
Muse, and Matt Bellamy in particular, make no bones about Drones: their seventh album is political through and through, a bold statement concerning the dehumanization of modern warfare. As Muse is not a subtle band – any suspicion they were is erased by the artwork depicting a hand controlling the joystick of an office drone controlling a joystick directing drones – it's hard to avoid their conclusion that war is bad, but this inclination to write everything in bold, italicized capital letters is an asset when it comes to music, particularly here where they've teamed with legendary hard rock producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange.