One of the primary goals of any artist, especially a jazz musician, is to have a distinctive style. Knowledgeable jazz musicians and even fans can hear just a few bars of Clark Terry, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Milt Jackson, Thelonious Monk, and many others and easily recognize who is playing.

• I let out a holler and a hoot over the smashing success of the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack at the 35th annual Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, as the set won best album and single for "I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow" by the Soggy Bottom Boys featuring vocalist Dan Tyminski.

The man who goes by the name Fuzz might not realize just how appropriate his moniker is. In talking about his eight-piece funk band Deep Banana Blackout, Fuzz (née James San Giovanni) pretty much apologizes for every decision he and his cohorts have made over the past year.

Sergei Rachmaninoff was an average composer and an excellent performer. He composed mainly in the 20th Century, yet the Romantic idiom dominated his work; while other composers were exploring the edges of modern composition, Rachmaninoff was unable to move beyond the high drama of the 1800s.

• Painfully poignant as today's headlines bring us closer to adopting a Robocop reality, I beg of everyone to stop and listen to a simple question: "What's Going On?" A star-studded re-mix CD posing Marvin Gaye's soulful question has just hit store shelves, a puff of hope and harmony from the lips of the next generation to keep the dream of brotherhood afloat.

The Quad City Symphony Chamber Series is quickly becoming a favorite. Beginning its second year as a concert staple, the regular symphony players kicked the sub-season off on October 21 with a performance at Augustana College’s Wallenberg Hall.

Eastern Iowa is fast becoming a cultural hub between Chicago, Minneapolis, and Omaha. With stops in Iowa City by the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Houston Ballet, and most recently mezzo-soprano Frederica Von Stade, Quad Citians have been within a 40-minute drive and a $10 ticket price of world-renowned performers.

• Blast those little window-soapin' goblins with a sonic slap of the original monsters of rock, The Misfits, as the band is finally releasing its rare Mars Attacks! demo sessions just in time for Hallow's Eve. On Tuesday, the Roadrunner Records label is spitting out this 19-track collection of odd nuggets from 1996 through 2001, entitled Cuts from the Crypt.

• This Tuesday, the master musicians of four-string funk show up as guest players on the new Gov't Mule album, The Deep End Volume 1. The record, on the ATO label, marks the band's first studio recordings since the death last year of founding bassist Allen Woody.

When the Quad City Symphony Orchestra (QCSO) kicked off its concert season on October 6 at the Adler Theatre, the performance couldn't help but be partly covered in darkness. The shroud of pain and uncertainty and musical weeping of the first half seemed fitting given the tragedies in New York, Washington, D.

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