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.

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Leaving their marks

Music | Bill Withers and Ellis Marsalis won't be forgotten
by Arsenio Orteza
Posted 5/07/20, 05:11 pm

Cardiovascular disease claimed the R&B singer-songwriter Bill Withers on March 30. He was 81.

Of the 29 singles that Withers released between 1967 and 1985, only six reached the Top 40. Four of those, however—“Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Lean on Me,” “Use Me,” and “Just the Two of Us”—left such an impression that even now their opening bars fan emotional flames.

Read more

Handout

Marx and Marks, Taylor and Taylor

Music | New albums from artists with familiar music names
by Arsenio Orteza
Posted 4/23/20, 04:10 pm

What’s in a name?” asked Shakespeare’s Juliet. “That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet.” True enough in principle, the statement will provide little comfort to fans of Richard Marx who accidentally buy the new album by Richard Marks or fans of James Taylor who accidentally buy the new album by the James Taylor Quartet.

And vice versa.

Read more

Robin Holland/Contour by Getty Images

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.”

Read more