Tom Moon

Tom Moon has been writing about pop, rock, jazz, blues, hip-hop and the music of the world since 1983.

He is the author of the New York Times bestseller 1000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die (Workman Publishing), and a contributor to other books including The Final Four of Everything.

A saxophonist whose professional credits include stints on cruise ships and several tours with the Maynard Ferguson orchestra, Moon served as music critic at the Philadelphia Inquirer from 1988 until 2004. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone, GQ, Blender, Spin, Vibe, Harp and other publications, and has won several awards, including two ASCAP-Deems Taylor Music Journalism awards. He has contributed to NPR's All Things Considered since 1996.

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4:50pm

Wed February 13, 2013
Music Reviews

Jim James: On A Spiritual Quest In The Digital Age

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 9:44 pm

Jim James' solo debut is titled Regions of Light and Sound of God.
Neil Krug Courtesy of the artist

4:29pm

Mon February 4, 2013
Music Reviews

Is Fleetwood Mac's Expanded 'Rumours' A Bit Much?

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 10:29 am

Courtesy of the artist

An expanded version of Fleetwood Mac's 1977 album Rumours comes out this week, to mark the 35th anniversary of one of the top-selling albums of the '70s. The deluxe set includes demos, outtakes from the recording sessions, live recordings and a documentary DVD, along with a vinyl pressing of the original album.

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3:27pm

Wed January 30, 2013
Music Reviews

A 1969 Bootleg Unearths Miles Davis' 'Lost' Quintet

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 6:18 pm

Miles Davis' Live in Europe 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 2 is a compilation of previously unreleased material performed by a short-lived incarnation of his touring band.
Courtesy of the artist

After a slew of multidisc sets devoted to key points in the career of Miles Davis, you'd think Columbia Records would have unearthed every speck of consequential music by now. But not quite.

This week, Columbia brings out Live in Europe 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 2 — a three-CD, one-DVD set devoted to the jazz maverick's "lost" quintet, his touring band from 1969.

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3:13pm

Tue December 11, 2012
Music Reviews

Bruno Mars Goes Anyplace And Everyplace On 'Jukebox'

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 9:34 pm

Bruno Mars draws inspiration from across the pop landscape on his second album, Unorthodox Jukebox.
Courtesy of the artist

2:03pm

Tue October 30, 2012
Music Reviews

Neil Young Still Vital On 'Psychedelic Pill'

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 12:51 pm

Crazy Horse doesn't just redeem Neil Young's mawkish moments — it transforms them. From left, Ralph Molina, Poncho Sampedro, Neil Young and Billy Talbot are Neil Young and Crazy Horse.
Julie Gardner Courtesy of the artist

2:58pm

Fri October 19, 2012
Music Reviews

Elina Duni: Love, Lust And Albanian Folk Songs

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 7:12 pm

On Matane Malit, the Elina Duni Quartet lays expansive instrumentation over traditional Albanian folk melodies.
Blerta Kambo Courtesy of the artist

The spread of formal jazz education has created a new breed of global musician: one who uses improvisation, and other devices associated with jazz, to transform folk and traditional music. The Albanian singer Elina Duni is part of this rising class. Her latest release, Matane Malit ("Beyond the Mountain"), offers a transfixing balance of old and new.

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4:34pm

Wed August 8, 2012
Music Reviews

Lianne La Havas: A Cool Antidote For Late Summer's Heat

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 9:24 am

Lianne La Havas' debut album is titled Is Your Love Big Enough?
Courtesy of the artist

It's gotten to that point in the dog days of August where the air is stale and nothing seems to be moving. But sometimes all it takes to snap me out of a late-summer heat coma is the sound of a new and electrifying voice — like that of Lianne La Havas.

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4:10pm

Mon June 25, 2012
Music Reviews

A Posthumous Masterpiece Adds To E.S.T.'s Legacy

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 10:51 am

E.S.T. was Esbjorn Svensson, Dan Berglund and Magnus Ostrom.
Jim Rakete

When the pianist Esbjorn Svensson died in a scuba accident in 2008, many fans of his group, the Swedish trio known as E.S.T., wondered if there might be some unreleased experiments lurking in a studio vault. There were. Just out is a disc called 301, which was recorded in 2008 during sessions for the group's final album.

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3:10pm

Tue April 3, 2012
Music Reviews

Dr. John: Swamp Grooves From The Bayou Underworld

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 10:41 am

Dan Auerbach (left) joins Dr. John on the latter's new album, Locked Down.
Alysse Gafkjen

Right now, Dan Auerbach is living a rock-star moment, with his hard-hitting blues-rock duo The Black Keys selling out arenas all over the country. Lots of people want him on their records. So what does he do? He seeks out the 71-year-old Dr.

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4:04pm

Tue February 28, 2012
CD Reviews

Heartless Bastards: Rousing Songs, Born On The Road

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 3:00 pm

Heartless Bastards' fourth album, Arrow, was released earlier this month.
Nathan Presley

It's true that you can still get by in rock 'n' roll on the strength of a unique voice. But it helps if said voice has something interesting to work with.

On the first three records by Heartless Bastards, that wasn't always the case. The Mountain, from 2008, had some terrific songs about a breakup, and a few that got bogged down in a rut. But on the band's latest release, Arrow, every song has a powerful, almost magnetic melody.

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4:09pm

Tue February 14, 2012
Music Reviews

Dr. Dog: A Standout Among Stereotypes

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 6:16 pm

Dr. Dog's sixth studio album is titled Be the Void.
Chris Crisman

Sometimes I wonder: Do the members of young indie-rock bands know that they're walking stereotypes? There's the scruffy dude who's obsessed with everything vintage and analog, the Pavement-worshiping, whiny-voiced lead singer, the rhythm section that knows its way around every oddity recorded by The Kinks. That's pretty much how I pegged the Philadelphia sextet Dr.

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