domingo, 30 de agosto de 2015

Barry Goldberg - Stoned Again 2002

A truly brilliant and original concept for a tribute album, Stoned Again can be classified as many things: a Barry Goldberg solo record (his first in 20 years), a Rolling Stones tribute, as well as a sort of modern-day Super Session album. Goldberg, a veteran keyboardist and songwriter who was one of the founding members of the Electric Flag, has also played on hundreds of sessions for artists ranging from Bob Dylan to the Flying Burrito Brothers. Aside from showing off his imposing keyboard skills,Stoned Again is a vital example of his ability as a tasteful and inventive arranger. A good illustration of this is the smoky barroom funk of "Jumpin' Jack Flash," which renders the actual tune almost unrecognizable, but nevertheless completely enthralling. Ditto for "Heart of Stone," which receives an extraordinarily jazzy, Booker T. & the MG's-soaked overhaul. Aside from Goldberg and his superb band -- which includes veterans Greg SuttonDon Heffington, and Denny Freeman -- there are several astounding guest performances. Ex-Rolling Stones lead guitarist Mick Taylor shines on two songs, most notably a slithering version of "Ventilator Blues." This track also features another Stonessideman, Ernie Watts, who also appears on several other cuts delivering his usual tasty sax runs. Producer Carla Olson also steps out of the booth, performing guitar on a few cuts, including an exceptionally soulful reading of "As Tears Go By." But in the end, Stoned Again -- despite all of the guest appearances and the Stones-based material -- is really a resplendent example of Barry Goldberg's incredible, underrated musicianship, and for that reason alone is well worth a listen. AMG.

listen here

Buy @ Amazon: USA - FR - UK

Pete Molinari - A virtual Landslide 2008

Pete Molinari's fondness for Bob Dylan is clear, as reflected in his vocal style as well as his songwriting, and if his bare-bones first album, Walking Off the Map, sounded a bit like one of Dylan's early John Hammond-produced sessions, his second disc, A Virtual Landslide, plays as if Molinarimade the leap overnight into a sound that combines the shades of both Blonde on Blonde and New Morning, with a dose of vintage pop shining through the cracks. Molinari cut A Virtual Landslide with a small but sympathetic backing band at London's home of vintage analog technology, Toe Rag Studios, and the sad, sweet beauty of B.J. Cole's steel guitar and the strong melodic moorings of Carwyn Ellis' keyboards give these 12 songs just the right ambience, a blend of folk, blues, pop, and country flavors that are the ideal complement for Molinari's road-worn tenor and roots-conscious melodies. WhileDylan has clearly been a major influence on Molinari, on A Virtual Landslide one hears the evidence in his vocal phrasing and the clean but strong lines of his melodies rather than aping Dylan's most obvious qualities, and while he certainly reaches for the great songwriter's literacy, the intelligence of this material doesn't sound derivative, dealing with stories of life and love that sound intelligent but don't wallow in self-pity or esoteric symbolism. If anything, Molinari's lyrics suggest the flinty wisdom ofDylan's Love and Theft and Modern Times, and if he isn't quite working at the master's level, he's gotten pretty close for a guy who hasn't been making records since 2006, and "I Don't Like the Man That I Am," "Look What I Made," and "One Stolen Moment" demonstrate Molinari has some tales of his own to tell that are well worth hearing. A Virtual Landslide is a smart and fully realized work from one of the U.K.'s most promising singer/songwriters. AMG.

listen here

Buy @ Amazon: USA - FR - UK

Stéphane Kerecki Quartet (feat. Jeanne Added) - Nouvelle Vague 2014

The complicity between the British master the piano, John Taylor, and our brilliant bassist Stéphane Kerecki is real. For proof drive their "Patience" duet (2011) and a beautiful memory of July 16, 2013 concert in Junas. Very touched by the cinema of the "New Wave", he composed the square of leading players and, in the image of his favorite filmmakers of the 60s, "calls into question the classical aesthetic concepts, claims the spatial deconstruction. .. "he said. Magnificent performance of Emile Parisien (the Antoine Doinel in French jazz!), Great when it joins the singing Jeanne Added to evoke "Pierrot le Fou". The Palm of homage to cinema returns to ... Stéphane Kerecki!

listen here

Buy @ Amazon: USA - FR - UK

Jon Batiste and Stay Human - Social Music 2013

The lively -- and seamless -- meld of ragtime and modern jazz, gospel, blues, contemporary pop, and funky New Orleans R&B put forth by Jon Batiste & Stay Human on their self-titled album is in ample evidence on the band's full-length Social MusicBatiste, alto saxophonist Eddie Barbash, drummerJoe Saylor, bassist Philip Kuehn, and tubaist Ibanda Ruhumbika are in joyous form on this 12-song set. The addition of the tuba replaces the double bass on certain tracks, including a deep, forceful reading of "St. James Infirmary," an uptempo version of John Hicks' glorious "Naima's Love Song," the modern gospel original "Let God Lead," the killer party jam "Express Yourself (Say Yes)," and the strolling, funky-butt NOLA piano groove on "It's Alright (Why You Gotta)." Field-recorded and vintage atmospheric sounds link the past with the present, exemplified by the sound of rain in the opening solo piano of "D-Flat Movement I," Jelly Roll Morton's spoken voice in Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag," and the slippery airy synth intro to "The Spirit Is with Us." The set closes with another piano solo offering, this time a gorgeously arranged version of John Stafford Smith's "Star Spangled Banner," letting us know what the tunes on this record all hold in common: they are elemental parts of the American musical patchwork. AMG.

listen here

Buy @ Amazon: USA - FR - UK

Baptiste Trotignon - Share 2008

At first impression, post-bop pianist/composer Baptiste Trotignon looks like a newcomer to the jazz scene, though he has recorded a number of CD since the mid-'90s as a leader on the Naive label. He will likely benefit from the wider distribution of his Sunnyside debut, which features Trotignon playing 11 originals with various lineups. A gifted pianist who shows lots of promise, Trotignon's works hold up well to repeated hearings, engaging his rhythm section and telling a story in the process, highlighted by the catchy "Mon Ange," and the wild uptempo blues "Red Light District." Most of the tracks feature the pianist with a trio consisting of bassist Matt Penman and either Eric Harland or Otis Brown II on drums, all of whom provide strong support. Of special interest are the tracks featuring guest Tom Harrell on flugelhorn and tenor saxophonist Mark Turner, who work together to flesh out the exotic ballad "Samsara" and the playful bop vehicle "Dexter." Turner's individual feature is the tense post-bop composition "Flow," while Harrell's showcase is "Blue," an intricate, somewhat pastoral duet withTrotignon. This outstanding release by Baptiste Trotignon will likely provoke investigation of his earlier CDs. AMG.

listen here

Buy @ Amazon: USA - FR - UK

Pavement - Slanted And Enchanted 1992

Even back in 1991/1992, fans, geeks, and critics found it irresistible to compare Pavement to Nirvana, the underground band that made the concessions to the mainstreams and reaped the rewards, expecting the group that remained doggedly underground to make a rush for the charts, even if it really never made sense, especially when you became acquainted with their debut. Ten years later, give or take a month, each group has a reissue in the store -- one with one track to bait collectors to buy 13 songs they already have, the other with B-sides, EPs, Peel sessions, unreleased sessions, and a full live concert, plus a 50-page booklet, all presented as enhancements to a seminal 14-track album. Generous really isn't the word for this lavish reissue of Pavement's first album, dubbed as Slanted and Enchanted: Luxe & Reduxe -- it offers an embarrassment of riches, with each new song proving that the band really was not just the best of its kind, but the best of its time. A heady statement, to be sure, but few classic albums would have their status bolstered the way that Slanted and Enchanted does here, with 34 (!) bonus tracks, enhancing an already legendary album in ways that are giddily revelatory. Those that trawl file-sharing services or trade CD-Rs might find that they have already heard most of the material here, but even so, nobody can argue with the scope of this reissue, especially since the music is of astoundingly high quality. There are wonders to behold everywhere: the surging "Baptist Blacktick," discovering that the previous unreleased "Nothing Ever Happens" is quoted after "Trigger Cut" as "Wounded-Kite at :17," two John Peel sessions consisting of songs that never made the LPs (and it all could, most notably "Kentucky Cocktail"), Watery, Domestic is revealed as a key transition from Slanted to Crooked Rain with its final song, "Shoot the Singer," standing as one of the band's unheralded classics, and the entirety of the December 14, 1992, concert at the Brixton Academy in London is phenomenal, capturing a notoriously erratic live band at the peak of their powers. There's so much material here, the album itself feels like the bonus! But this isn't rarities for rarities sake: it all has something to offer. No other reissue of a single album of any genre has covered its ground so completely and appealingly; there's simply nothing left in the vaults, or on singles, and everything that's been added is worthwhile. It's essential listening, not just for indie rockers, but any serious rock fan. And here's hoping that the rest of the Pavement catalog is subjected to a similar treatment -- there are great B-sides from Crooked Rain through Terror Twilight that should be preserved in this fashion. (And maybe Matador will be able to reissue Exile in Guyville in a similar fashion for its tenth anniversary in 2003, adding all the Girlysound tapes -- this reissue is so good, it makes you greedy for more.). AMG.

listen here

Buy @ Amazon: USA - FR - UK

Griot Galaxy - Opus Krampus 1984

On Opus Krampus, Detroit's Griot Galaxy bring with them their usual sense of weirdness and entropy, all the while injecting incredibly paced rhythms and a mix of avant-garde and straight-ahead beats. Saxophonist Faruq Z. Bey leads the band with his furious accents and choppy rhythms that scurry by so quickly they almost sound smooth. His support's off-kilter time signatures work out minimal phase shifting patterns to temper Bey's perfectly unresolved tones. Considering the recording is culled from a live performance, one can only imagine Griot Galaxy's stage get-up at the time, usually comprising of mime-painted faces and gaudy, new wave-inspired dress, crossing Sun Ra with Art Ensemble of Chicago. Certainly, many of the sounds here match that comparison as well. This 1984 recording from Austria is crisp and true, as its near studio-like quality is definitely a testament to impeccable engineering. It consists of a mere three tracks, one of them utilizing the entire second side. This track, the 25-minute "Necrophilia," is a full-out assault on the audience with deafening sax skronks and squeals, complex percussion, and three-voice poetry lending an eerie, cult-like vibe to the recording. Opus Krampus is hardly a record that one might expect to come out of Detroit in the '80s, one of the city's roughest decades. And partly because of that assumption it proves to be a brilliant one. AMG.

listen here

Buy @ Amazon: USA - FR - UK

The Redlands Palomino Company - Broken Carelessly 2014

It’s looking to be a good year for what one might loosely term “alt country” albums with Scots acts the New Madrids and Red Pine Timber Company handing in excellent efforts so far. Time now to look to London to see what’s cooking down there and keeping their end up are The Redlands Palomino Company whose fourth album, Broken Carelessly is released this week. The Palominos are a classic UK “Americana” band with a sound that ranges from pedal steel laced country songs to jangled pop and rock while remaining true to their local roots. In addition their not so secret weapon is the wonderful voice of Hannah Elton-Wall (who’s had several mentions on Blabber’n’Smoke recently as backing or harmony singer on various albums). Here she sings like an angel and is the primary songwriter while hubby Alex adds his voice to several of the songs and produces. Recorded almost live in a Methodist Chapel in rural Gloucestershire within the space of a week there’s an immediacy and intimacy to the songs that is welcoming and reflects the recording environment which took on an air of a farewell party for drummer Dan Tilbury who emigrated to Denmark immediately the recording was over.

listen here

Buy @ Amazon: USA - FR - UK

Charlie Hunter Quartet - Natty Dread 1997

In choosing to record Bob Marley's classic 1974 reggae album Natty Dread track-for-track in an instrumental jazz style, eight-string guitarist Charlie Hunter opened himself up for skepticism. Yet an idea that looked questionable in theory would prove stellar in practice, as Hunter turned Natty Dread -- with the songs sequenced exactly as they were on Marley's original release -- into one of the best CDs of his career. Hunter's customized eight-string instrument and prodigious talent allow him to play simultaneous guitar melodies and basslines, but his Wurlitzer organ simulations and walking bass aren't the only highlights of the opening "Lively Up Yourself." Alto saxophonist Calder Spanier and tenorman Kenny Brooks alternate between swinging leads and supportive harmonies, and drummerScott Amendola gets in creative solo flurries near the end. Hunter's beautiful intro to "No Woman, No Cry" echoes both Pat Martino and Django Reinhardt; the saxophonists' interplay and Amendola's clever rimshots, tom-toms, and cowbell work lively up "Them Belly Full." The secrets to Hunter's success lie in separate amplifiers for his instrument's guitar and bass portions; great wah-wah pedal work to achieve keyboard tones, and the requisite brain power to play basslines with both thumbs while fretting and fingerpicking the melodies. All are illustrated in readings of the tranquil "Rebel Music," energetic "So Jah Seh" and the shuffling title track. Throughout Natty Dread, reggae is implied more often than played, as Hunter and his quartet portray the fun they had in arranging these pieces with performances both swinging and stirring (even dropping an "I Shot the Sheriff" quote into "Bend Down Low"). Spanier died after Natty Dread's release when he was struck by a car, and Huntersubsequently moved from California to New York and restructured his band. There's no telling what might have come afterward from this quartet of two saxophonists, a drummer, and Hunter, the one-man guitarist, keyboardist, and bassist. AMG.

listen here

Buy @ Amazon: USA - FR - UK

Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs - All Her Fault 2014

British-born garage rock queen Holly Golightly has a long history of throwing down raw, scuffy recordings at a prolific rate, with some of her best albums being gorgeously unpolished classics that don't fuss with much more than the bare bones of rock & roll. The quick and dirty productions often captured an electric spontaneity and highlighted the various layers of humor, pathos, and gritty attitude in Golightly's one-of-a-kind voice. All Her Fault, the seventh full-length from Golightly and her partnerLawyer Dave (the sole member of "the Brokeoffs"), took a much different path, with the recording process stretching out over a series of many months, hindered by day jobs, summer thunderstorms, and intermittent power outages. While by no means overwrought or over-produced by almost anyone's standards, All Her Fault has a deeper refinement than most of Golightly's back catalog, with the heightened focus of the album giving it a somewhat more serious feel, even in its moments of lightheartedness or drunken blues-rock shambling. Stylistically, Golightly and Lawyer Dave have been tending more and more toward rollicking country-rock sounds for a while, and the 12 songs here infuse a little more rural folk-blues influence, going so far as to cover Richard M. Jones' stomping "Trouble in Mind." Songs like this, the lurching and murky "1234," and the barroom singalong of "Bless Your Heart" recall the same glorious haziness of rock & roll masterpiece Exile on Main St., where more stripped-down tunes like "The Best" highlight Golightly's eternally badass persona with sharp clarity. The album continues the trend of recent output from the duo, romping through honky tonk Western flavors like "Pistol Pete" and the occasional hint of punk blues like raging album opener "SLC," but there's something different about this record. Possibly the result of a protracted recording process, the album retains its rough edges while expanding the duo's sonic breadth. The darkness seems more dire and the fun moments feel more exciting and reckless, making All Her Fault a new chapter in a history of successes. AMG.

listen here

Buy @ Amazon: USA - FR - UK

quinta-feira, 27 de agosto de 2015

Power Tools - Strange meeting 1987

Power Tools was a one-off semi-supergroup that, if it didn't quite fulfill expectations, at least offered up this enjoyable album. It's an odd mixture; drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson was in the midst of his time with the free-metal-noise band Last Exit, bassist Melvin Gibbs was involved with various avant funk bands (including that of Arto Lindsay), and the pre-Naked City Bill Frisell was beginning to delve into that hazy area between country/Americana and jazz. Things don't gel so well when the band gets closer to free improv, as Frisell's inherent gauziness conflicts and deadens the impact of Jackson's more rambunctious approach. Things work better with the more song-oriented pieces, particularly those penned by Gibbs. His "Wadmalaw Island" and "Howard Beach Memoirs" both strike an appropriate balance, allowing Frisell to build on more solid structures while at the same time leaving room for Jackson to embroider freely. Much of the recording ping-pongs between these two poles: pleasant, if overly languid pastoral songs and higher-energy pieces that never quite rev up high enough. The closing rendition of "Unchained Melody," a song dear to Frisell's heart, is very effective.Strange Meeting, an apt title, is worth checking out for Frisell fans who only came to hear his work in the following years. AMG.

listen here

Buy @ Amazon: USA - FR - UK

Talk Talk - The Colour Of Spring 1986

With It's My LifeTalk Talk proved that they could pull off an entire album of strong material. With The Colour of Spring, they took it one step further, moving to a near-concept song cycle, following the emotional ups and downs of relationships and pondering life in general. Musically, they built on the experimental direction of the previous album with interesting rhythms, sweeping orchestration, complex arrangements, and even a children's chorus to create an evocative, hypnotic groove. Though the songs were catchier on the earlier efforts and the ambient experimentation was more fully achieved later on,The Colour of Spring succeeded in marrying the two ideas into one unique sound for their most thoroughly satisfying album. AMG.

listen here

Buy @ Amazon: USA - FR - UK

David Fiuczynski - Amandala 2001

Guitarist David "Fuze" Fiuczynski served up jazz/rock and fusion-based renditions of Pat Metheny's "Bright Size Life," Jimi Hendrix's "Third Stone From the Sun," and Chopin's Prelude Opus 28 no. 4 on his curiously interesting and altogether impacting 1999 release titled Jazz Punk. Now in 2001, the artist cranks out a set consisting of blazingly executed original compositions, augmented by a powerhouse band. Fiuczynski's now trademark style of execution comes to fruition in gleaming splendor with this enthusiastic melding of electrified interplay with rock-solid and often steamy rhythmic developments amid tricky time signatures and propulsive undercurrents. However, percussionist Daniel Sadownicksupplements the overall proceeding via his shrewd employment of worldbeat and loosely structured accents while drummer Gene Lake and bassist Fima Ephron prove to be near perfect foils for the guitarist's emphatic lines, rippling harmonics, and enticingly unorthodox phraseology. And while theHeadless Torsos are not for the faint of heart, this recording dutifully highlights David Fiuczynski's distinct artistry. AMG.


listen here

Buy @ Amazon: USA - FR - UK