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Guest Thom Jurek   
Guest Thom Jurek

Yes, a new Jose James single at last! the cat's among my very favorite vocalists the way he phrases--he's a jazz singer (his phrasing is outstanding) with a soul music heart. "Trouble" lifts a little from Sly's "If You Want Me To Stay" in the melody, but the arrangement quite unusual and very catchy. The remix is happening too. A fingerpopper to be sure.

Check it out via soulbounce

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Guest Thom Jurek   
Guest Thom Jurek

Meshell Ndegeocello - Weather (produced by this site's resident icon that isn't T Bone Burnett). Her moodiest and strgnely orchestral recording yet.

Cem Karaca - Kardaslar & Apaslar (Turkish psych rock by its REAL pioneer (Erkin Koray is next in line) with recordings from 1969-71.

Dave Douglas - Bad Mango

Kate Bush - 50 Words For Snow

Marilyn Carino - Little Genius (unusual, but beguiling self-written, performed and produced debut album by a quirky, moody, atmospheric artist. Elements of everything from Glodfrapp and Fesit to pomo soul music.) The lone cover is the most out version of Bowie's "Modern Love" you're likely to hear.

Vince Gill - Guitar Slinger (a very misleading title for a record of excellent pop and country songs).

Anastazia Barzee- The Dimming Of The Day, Yes, the actress. Despite that, this is an excellent collection of covers by a an accomplished vocalist with a stellar cast of players including Larry Campbell--who has never done ANYTHING just for a paycheck-- Kendrick Scott, and Steve Wilson. It's produced by Matt Pierson and arranged by Gil Goldstein.

Jorge Calderone - Blue City & Ojn Mardis Gras Day (new single featuring Ry Cooder)

Carley Tanchon - Leave The Light On

Group Inerane - Guitars From Agadez, Volume 3

Russian Circles - Empros

Willy Nile - The Innocent Ones

Steve Reid/Kieran Hebden (Fourtet/Fridge)/Mats Gustafson - Live At The South Bank. Steve Reid's final concert.

Another pitch for this because it's so great :

Mark McGuire - Get Lost

Edited by Thom Jurek

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Meshell Ndegeocello - Weather (produced by this site's resident icon that isn't T Bone Burnett). Her moodiest and strgnely orchestral recording yet.

Yes-- this is an odd little record, and not necessarily an easy one to find your way into. To boot, it is very uncharacteristic of JH's usual production work. With all that said, I've taken quite a shining to it. The title song alone is worth the price of admission.

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Guest Thom Jurek   
Guest Thom Jurek

Loren Connors- Red Mars (Minimal guitarist's first new studio work in seven years, and a compelling new direction)

This is great news. Loren Connors is a superb, creative guitarist.

John Fahey: Your Past Comes Back To Haunt You (The Fonotone Years: 1958-1965) All of John Fahey's recordings for the label (five CDs worth)--most of them 78 rpms--assembled and exhaustively edited by Glenn Jones of Cul De Sac. He spent 11 years putting this together for Dust To Digital.

What? Wow, I didn't know that Fahey recorded before the mid-'60s. I'm extremely excited to hear this.

Various - This May Be My Last Time Singing : Raw African-American Gospel on 45RPM (1957-1982) Forthcoming from Tompkins Square

And wow again. This is brought to you by the same folks who brought you the superb 3-disc gospel set Fire In My Bones a couple years back.

Thanks, Thom. There's some great music there.

Andy,

It turns out that Loren has TWO new records out. The other is with the band Haunted House--a group he was in in the 1990s, with his wife, vocalist Suzanne Langille, guitarist Andrew Burgess, and drummer Noel Murgai. They released one previous offering before Andrew moved to Georgia and they quit playing together. This one is called Blue Ghost Blues (named for the Lonnie Johnson Song) on Northern Spy Records. It's very heavy. even though thereis no bass. Connors is in full on electric mode, but even then he sounds like no one but himself. There are five tracks including the4 title. IF Sonic Youth could play together enough to try on the blues, they MIGHT approach something like this, but Loren is in a league of his own and is one of the most original guitar players ever. Just thought you'd like to know.

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Crow   

Children of a Factory Nation by Jordan Reyne. If there is such a thing as steampunk music, this is it. Dark folk punctuated by the clangs and whistles of machines. Stories of people living in the dawn of the Industrial Revolution and how their lives are disrupted by the invention of these new machines. Her voice is dusky and haunted, as if conjuring ancient ghosts. Enjoying this one a lot.

Edited by Crow

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Greg P   

I'm streaming Real Estate's "Days" right now and getting a kick out of it because suddenly it's 1982 in Mitch Easter's studio... There's nothing here with the substance of Chronic Town, Murmur or even The Good Earth, but it's a pleasant, summery excursion nonetheless.

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I'm streaming Real Estate's "Days" right now and getting a kick out of it because suddenly it's 1982 in Mitch Easter's studio... There's nothing here with the substance of Chronic Town, Murmur or even The Good Earth, but it's a pleasant, summery excursion nonetheless.

Greg, I streamed it a few times last week after reading the reviews. It's pretty good, but if I never heard it again I would be ok.

I wonder if my ability to access any music at any time contributed to this. I spent last night listening to every Shakti album, which I never could have afforded around the time Murmur was one of 20-30 albums I owned.

I hate to admit how quickly I would have skipped so many of the songs on a first listen.

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I basically don't pay any attention to mainstream country music, but I've now heard two records, within the span of a week or so, that have really grabbed my attention. There was the Vince Gill album, of course, and now the new Miranda Lambert, Four the Record-- which, despite its fiery cover art, doesn't play up her Crazy Ex-Girlfriend persona so much as her own eclecticism. She plays with a lot of different styles and ideas and really focuses on the MUSIC, and I think the result is really excellent, nearly as good as the Crazy Ex- album. Plus: A really lovely cover of the Welch/Rawlings tune "Miss Ohio."

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Greg P   

New Bees album streaming in its entirety. As usual, this one's an aural feast...

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Craig Taborn - Avenging Angel (debut solo piano record Detroit piano wizard on ECM)

So this is a new release? I just saw it mentioned as one of the "new classics" of the millennium:

Wholly improvised but rigorously controlled, the 70-plus-minute set of Taborn at a grand piano bears an incredible, unmistakable intensity—even when Taborn is just barely pressing the hammers to the strings. As the contemplative minimalism of opening track “The Broad Day King” gives way to the dreamy sustain of “Glossolalia,” you’ll be hard-pressed to recall any other jagged left turn executed with comparable fluidity. And when Taborn—a powerful keyboard-abuser—finally does start in with the contrapuntal pounding (during the title track, among others), Avenging Angel doesn’t just seem like an “album of the year” candidate, but something destined to have one of those “crown” icons next to its four-star rating in the 30th Penguin Guide to Jazz, however many years from now. Anyone who wonders why their “indie” music has become so familiar as to be arguably equated with “adult contemporary” should take a tour of Taborn's sound-world: a place where echoes of Debussy, ’70s AACM-school jazz, and minimal techno collide with a force that could easily preclude intelligibility. In Taborn’s hands, that radical chorus really sings.

Guess I need to check this one out.

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Craig Taborn - Avenging Angel (debut solo piano record Detroit piano wizard on ECM)

So this is a new release? I just saw it mentioned as one of the "new classics" of the millennium:

Wholly improvised but rigorously controlled, the 70-plus-minute set of Taborn at a grand piano bears an incredible, unmistakable intensity—even when Taborn is just barely pressing the hammers to the strings. As the contemplative minimalism of opening track “The Broad Day King” gives way to the dreamy sustain of “Glossolalia,” you’ll be hard-pressed to recall any other jagged left turn executed with comparable fluidity. And when Taborn—a powerful keyboard-abuser—finally does start in with the contrapuntal pounding (during the title track, among others), Avenging Angel doesn’t just seem like an “album of the year” candidate, but something destined to have one of those “crown” icons next to its four-star rating in the 30th Penguin Guide to Jazz, however many years from now. Anyone who wonders why their “indie” music has become so familiar as to be arguably equated with “adult contemporary” should take a tour of Taborn's sound-world: a place where echoes of Debussy, ’70s AACM-school jazz, and minimal techno collide with a force that could easily preclude intelligibility. In Taborn’s hands, that radical chorus really sings.

Guess I need to check this one out.

Christian, Avenging Angel was released in June of this year. It's a bit much to take in in one sitting, but that's a minor criticism. It's beautiful, strident, modern, and classic, depending on the moment. Solo piano albums aren't usually my cup of tea, but this one is stellar. Whether it's a "classic" is, of course, up for debate. But it's certainly very, very good.

Edited by Andy Whitman

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Craig Taborn - Avenging Angel (debut solo piano record Detroit piano wizard on ECM)

So this is a new release? I just saw it mentioned as one of the "new classics" of the millennium:

Wholly improvised but rigorously controlled, the 70-plus-minute set of Taborn at a grand piano bears an incredible, unmistakable intensity—even when Taborn is just barely pressing the hammers to the strings. As the contemplative minimalism of opening track “The Broad Day King” gives way to the dreamy sustain of “Glossolalia,” you’ll be hard-pressed to recall any other jagged left turn executed with comparable fluidity. And when Taborn—a powerful keyboard-abuser—finally does start in with the contrapuntal pounding (during the title track, among others), Avenging Angel doesn’t just seem like an “album of the year” candidate, but something destined to have one of those “crown” icons next to its four-star rating in the 30th Penguin Guide to Jazz, however many years from now. Anyone who wonders why their “indie” music has become so familiar as to be arguably equated with “adult contemporary” should take a tour of Taborn's sound-world: a place where echoes of Debussy, ’70s AACM-school jazz, and minimal techno collide with a force that could easily preclude intelligibility. In Taborn’s hands, that radical chorus really sings.

Guess I need to check this one out.

Christian, Avenging Angel was released in June of this year. It's a bit much to take in in one sitting, but that's a minor criticism. It's beautiful, strident, modern, and classic, depending on the moment. Solo piano albums aren't usually my cup of tea, but this one is stellar. Whether it's a "classic" is, of course, up for debate. But it's certainly very, very good.

Very, very, very good. I'm used to hearing Taborn in the context of his collaborations with more "outside" jazz musicians such as Evan Parker, Tim Berne, and Roscoe Mitchell. Avenging Angel is anything but outside. It's lovely and highly melodic. In fact, it's hard to think of it as a jazz album at all. It's much more classical in orientation -- think Debussy impressionism and Rachmaninoff sturm und drang -- but it's wholly improvised, of course. It mostly conjures up associations with Brad Mehldau's Elegiac Cycle from 1999, another "third-stream" solo piano work that defies easy categorization. That particular album is in my Top 10 of all time, so it's a hard act to follow. But it comes very close. It doesn't have the cyclical inevitability of Mehldau's work, but it's an absolutely terrific album; creativity in full flight, with the chops to match.

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In fact, it's hard to think of it as a jazz album at all. It's much more classical in orientation

This was my problem with it. I know I should appreciate what he's trying do -- I like to think I appreciate what Mehldau tries to do, although I don't always understand it -- but I have a hard time breaking into the material. I've only listened to the CD one time and should probably give it more time, eh?

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Greg P   

It doesn't have the cyclical inevitability of Mehldau's work...

Favorite review line of the month!

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WOW! Lots of enticing selections there, Thom-- will look forward to hearing your take on the Glasper, in particular. Also very interested in the Payton and the Douglas.

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Guest Thom Jurek   
Guest Thom Jurek

WOW! Lots of enticing selections there, Thom-- will look forward to hearing your take on the Glasper, in particular. Also very interested in the Payton and the Douglas.

My Douglas review is up, or should be today, but there are many good ones up already.

I'm still so shocked by the Payton record I don't know what to say. This doesn't even jibe with his jazz-funk records. I'll review it today or tomorrow. It is a straight up, dirty ass soul record with the weirdest production imaginable. His trumpet playing is effects laden and crunchy. I know I like it, but why or how much is difficult to weigh at the moment. I really dig the Glasper. Seamless, beautifully realized. Nothing phoned in, everything done on the spot.

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Tyler   

One of my favorite bands from my teenage days, Five Iron Frenzy, have announced they're back together after an eight-year layoff. They're going the Kickstarter route, and they raised their initial goal an hour after they made the announcement. They have a new song on the their website, too.

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The transformation of Early Day Miners continues. They've been shifting away from the rustic, long-playing post-rock for the past few albums. Their newest album, Night People, is a near complete move into pop territory. Oh, and they've shortened their band name to EDM. (Not to be confused with the other EDM, of course.)

I'm surprised at how much it really works. I guess it's because the band has been telegraphing this move for a while now, but the hooks and choruses here work a lot better than the line-straddling the band tried on their previous album, The Treatment (which, by the way, has not aged well in the past two years). Almost all of the songs are in the three-minute range, there are harmonized vocals and big power chords. Some of it is kind of same-y, but that's a problem Early D...er, EDM has had since the beginning. Still, I'm surprised at how much I'm enjoying Night People.

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Another 2011 release I initially missed: Craig Wedron's W.A.N.D. Wedron was/is the frontman of legendary (to some) post-punk band Shudder to Think. StT's Pony Express Record is one of my favorite releases from the '90s (though, several years after buying it, I'm still trying to wrap my head around it). Wedron's W.A.N.D is a mess, stylistically — tunes jump from bouncy pop to noisy math rock to almost operatic vocal experiments. But there lots of hooks here. I don't know if this is going to be one of my favorites overall, but I have a feeling a tune or two will be on my best-of song list.

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Greg P   
Post Jazz Mistress - Global Warming (Despite the terrible title, this Italian trio (acoustic or electric guitar, double bass, drums), know how to warm up a room.)

Streaming at their site and very tasty indeed.

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Greg P   

I was very pleased this morning to find out that my all time favorite Swedish psychedelic band has a new album coming out in April. The single sounds like everything I want and expect from them... Have any of the music critics here heard it yet?

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