Arsenio Orteza

Arsenio is a music reviewer for WORLD Magazine and one of its original contributors from 1986. Arsenio resides in China. Follow him on Twitter @ArsenioOrteza.

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Maker of beautiful sounds

Music | A jazz giant passes from the scene
by Arsenio Orteza
Posted 4/09/20, 04:24 pm

McCoy Tyner, one of the truly monumental jazz pianists of all time, died on March 6. He was 81.

From the outset, Tyner attracted acclaim. As early as 1962, no less an authority than John Coltrane was praising his “melodic inventiveness,” his “exceptionally well-developed sense of form,” his “very personal sound,” and his “taste.” “He can take anything,” Coltrane said, “no matter how weird, and make it sound beautiful.”

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Lost and found

Music | New albums make the old sound new
by Arsenio Orteza
Posted 4/09/20, 04:04 pm

Sorry You Couldn’t Make It by Swamp Dogg: Technically, the version of Johnny Paycheck’s “She’s All I Got” on this part-country, part-soul, part-country-soul follow-up to 2018’s all-Auto-Tuned Love, Loss, and Auto-Tune isn’t a cover. Why? Because Swamp Dogg (under his real name, Jerry Williams Jr.) co-wrote it about 40 years ago, right around the time that he was springing his out-of-the-box soul-man routine on an unsuspecting public. That that public never paid much attention says more about it than it does about Williams.

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Stories and insights

Music | Noteworthy new or recent releases
by Arsenio Orteza
Posted 3/26/20, 02:14 pm

Not Now, Bernard and Other Stories by Alexander Armstrong, Orchestra of the Swan: Not Now, Bernard and ­Isabel’s Noisy Tummy are illustrated children’s books by David McKee that add a comic gloss to discomfiting childhood experiences. James Mayhew’s The Knight Who Took All Day adds amusingly quixotic, mildly PC kinks to a damsel-in-distress plot. And “Annabel Lee” is the Poe poem. Then there’s Thread!, a stroll through the Bayeux Tapestry.

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