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La Luz

La Luz – La Luz (Sub Pop)

25 October 2021

A pastel psychedelic haze, seasoned with notes of modern angst.

Chet Doxas - You Can’t Take It With You (Whirlwind)

25 October 2021

Tenor saxophonist Chet Doxas is probably best known for playing in the jazz supergroup Riverside with trumpet star Dave Douglas and bass god Steve Swallow. But there are good reasons he keeps such heady company, and they’re on display on his latest leader LP You Can’t Take It With You.

Lionel Loueke - Close Your Eyes (Sounderscore)

22 October 2021

Joined by bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland, one of the greatest, grooviest rhythm sections in jazz, Loueke focuses less on finger-twisting licks and more on using his impressive technique to convey the melodies in the most efficient way possible.

Sorry Ma - Box Set

The Replacements - 'Sorry Ma' Box Set: Top 10 Bonus Tracks

21 October 2021

A lifelong Replacements fan talks about his 10 favorite bonus tracks (so far…) from the definitive new ‘Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash’ box set.

Kazemde George - I Insist (Greenleaf)

21 October 2021

Saxophonist Kazemde George has performed alongside several certified badasses, including Jason Moran, David Murray and Solange Knowles – so you know he can play. What I Insist, his first album as a leader, proves is that he can write and lead a band as well.

Matthew Stevens - Pittsburgh (Whirlwind)

20 October 2021

Originally intended to be sketches for development at a later date, the songs settled into being complete in and of themselves, with Stevens generating patterns, following their offshoots, and adding smidgens of improvisation for spice.

Whit Dickey/William Parker/Matthew Shipp - Village Mothership (TAO Forms)

19 October 2021

As might be expected from three players who’ve been partners on and off for so long, the threesome connects on a level so deep it’s nearly spiritual.

Beatles

The Beatles – Let It Be Special Edition (Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe)

18 October 2021

The long and winding road of the Fab Four’s most troubled album.

Get Smart - Oh Yeah No (self-released)

18 October 2021

Exactly what you’d hope for from the prime era of “college rock” – catchy, smart, cheeky, with plainspoken girl/guy next door singing and a perfect balance between jangle and crunch.

Yuma Uesaka and Marilyn Crispell - Streams (Not Two)

15 October 2021

A longstanding practice in the jazz tradition is the concept of veterans collaborating with up-and-comers, and that’s what happens on Streams.

Thomas Anderson - Ladies and Germs (Out There)

14 October 2021

His boundless imagination and thirst for good stories beyond boy-meets-girl and this-is-why-I-killed-them-all fills his albums with songs that are structurally informed by the narrative flow, rather than melody or harmony. But that doesn’t mean they’re not musical.

Gojira - Revolution Concert House (Garden City, ID) - October 8, 2021

9 October 2021

Friday night’s performance by Gojira marked the first occasion on which the massively successful quartet played in proper support of Fortitude, one of the year’s best albums in rock music writ large.

Craig Taborn - Shadow Plays (ECM)

8 October 2021

Rightfully acclaimed as one of the most impressive and imaginative pianists currently treading the jazz boards, Craig Taborn has played everything from hard bop to avant-garde to fusion to electronica, sitting comfortably in every situation and bringing his own distinctive style to all of them.

The Green Pajamas - Sunlight Might Weigh Even More (Green Monkey)

6 October 2021

From Love to the Beatles to the Beach Boys, echoes of the sunnier side of the sixties abound, not to mention side glances at the PJs’ neo-psych peers. But they’re only implications – this band never rips off anyone.

Katie McGavin

MUNA - Stage AE (Pittsburgh, PA) September 17, 2021

5 October 2021

Days after the release of MUNA’s “Silk Chiffon”, their collaboration with Phoebe Bridgers, they took the stage in Pittsburgh shift attention from the doom and gloom of a pandemic, and remember – in their own words – “life’s so fun.”

Photo by Philamonjaro.

Alice Cooper – BMO Harris Pavilion (Milwaukee, WI) – October 1, 2021

3 October 2021

The music and sights did the talking during the tightly paced, theatrically produced show. As a parting blessing, Cooper exclaimed, “It’s very close to Halloween, so may all your nightmares come true.” Photos by Philamonjaro.

Black Tape For a Blue Girl - The Cleft Serpent (Projekt)

1 October 2021

This is the kind of music that could become overbearing in the wrong hands, a gloom-soaked ride to nowhere. But Rosenthal always drives his despairing themes with genuine emotional power, never toppling into melodrama or misery porn.

Helen Sung with special guest Harlem Quartet - Quartet+ (Sunnyside)

30 September 2021

Working with jazz violin maverick and co-producer Regina Carter, Sung and her cohorts have crafted a superb record that doesn’t so much push the boundaries of jazz as make clear how much discovery there still is within its borders.

Amir ElSaffar/Rivers of Sound Orchestra - The Other Shore (Out Note/Outhere)

29 September 2021

There are musicians who combine genres, to find the ways the frisson between styles can produce something interesting. Then there are the artists who want to simply obliterate genre designations altogether.

The Bootheels - 1988: The Original Demos (Omnivore)

28 September 2021

The Bootheels were one of many, many combos knockin’ it out with little goal in mind than making a big honkin’ noise and hoping someone might notice. It’s a familiar story, which begs the question: what makes the Bootheels special enough to earn 1988: The Original Demos, a collection from one of the country’s most respected reissue labels?

Mathias Eick - When We Leave (ECM)

27 September 2021

Eick’s focus is on ensemble playing and melody, often upbeat and overtly pretty melody, not rhythm or improv fire.

Eivind Aarset 4-Tet - Phantamsagoria (or) A Different Sort of Journey (Jazzland)

24 September 2021

Though formally trained, the Norwegian has spent nearly four decades standing consistently at a crossroads where rock, jazz, electronica, psych and ambient music meet, copulate, and produce healthy mutant children.

R&B in D.C.

Various Artists – R&B in D.C. (1940-1960) (Bear Family)

23 September 2021

Soulful stars and wannabes, from Lloyd Price and The Clovers to Baby Dee and TNT Tribble.

David Sanford Big Band featuring Hugh Ragin - A Prayer For Lester Bowie (Greenleaf)

23 September 2021

Sanford presents a wide program on A Prayer For Lester Bowie, encompassing all facets of his musical personality.

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan – Springtime In New York: The Bootleg Series Vol. 16 (1980-1985) (Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings)

21 September 2021

Dylan chases inspiration every which way, never pausing to rest.

Renee Rosnes - Kinds of Love (Smoke Sessions)

21 September 2021

The Saskatchewan native is at her best when she and her keyboard are up front, leading a band of excellent musicians in showcasing her own compositions.

Morrissey – Riot Fest (Chicago, IL) – September 16, 2021

20 September 2021

Despite controversial opinions and provocative statements offstage, Morrissey needn’t have questioned his fans’ ardor for his music.

Marc Cary - Life Lessons (Sessionheads United)

20 September 2021

Life Lessons, the latest album from prolific keyboardist and composer Marc Cary, is the kind of record one makes after many years of expansive experience.

The Delevantes - A Thousand Turns (Moonriver)

17 September 2021

Though they never hit the big time, the Delevantes – New Jersey-born brothers Bob and Mike – provided unsung highlights of the nascent Americana scene of the nineties.

Myra Holder - Four Mile Road (Coyote)

16 September 2021

Produced by Chris Stamey and considered a minor classic of the college rock era, Myra Holder’s Four Mile Road has been out of print for decades, but has now been resurrected in digital form for the first time.

Lady Blackbird - Black Acid Soul (BMG)

15 September 2021

The smoke, the glitter, the creeping misery, the fierce joy – it all comes together on Black Acid Soul, the debut LP from Lady Blackbird.

Jim Snidero - Strings (Savant)

14 September 2021

It sometimes seems like every jazz musician has that one specific fantasy – that of being backed by an orchestra, or at least a string section.

Marcin Wasilewski Trio - En attendant (ECM)

13 September 2021

In many ways, the Polish trio embodies the popular perception of the so-called “chamber jazz” that ECM has championed over the decades.

Aakash Mittal - Nocturne (self-released)

10 September 2021

The blend of Indian music and jazz is always an interesting one.

Cromm Fallon - Presents the P200 (Rum Bar)

9 September 2021

Multi-instrumentalist Cromm Fallon plies his trade with the psych popsters the Laissez Faire, among others. But he casts a much wider net when left to his own devices.

Bob Gorry/Pete Brunelli/Peter Riccio - GoBruCcio (NHIC)

8 September 2021

It may be noodling, but it’s noodling with a purpose.

Trivium - Revolution Concert House (Garden City, ID) - September 7, 2021

7 September 2021

From start to finish, neither the Floridians nor the crowd missed a moment to celebrate the band’s impressive catalog — and simply seeing live music again.

Green Lung - Black Harvest (Svart)

7 September 2021

London’s Green Lung follows up its debut album Woodland Rites with second LP Black Harvest, and if you’ve already guessed that we’re getting a metalized soundtrack to a folk horror epic that exists only in the band’s head, you’re dead on.

Kenny Garrett - Sounds of the Ancestors (Mack Avenue)

6 September 2021

When alto sax-wielding jazz warrior Kenny Garrett (Miles Davis, Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, and many more, including a ton of solo albums) decides to get spiritual, he reaches way back.

Booker T.

Booker T. & the MG’s – The Complete Stax Singles Vol. 2 (1968-1974) (Real Gone Music)

3 September 2021

Elegant instrumental gems from the impeccably funky Memphis quartet.

Jeff Lederer/Sunwatcher - Eightfold Path (Little (i) Music)

3 September 2021

Each of the eight tunes was recorded outside with no rehearsal, and only first takes were used.

Doctor Smoke - Dreamers and the Dead (Ripple Music)

2 September 2021

Taking its time in following up its 2014 debut The Witching Hour, Ohio’s Doctor Smoke sno time in distinguishing itself from the underground metal hordes on Dreamers and the Dead.

Dan Siegel - Faraway Place (self-released)

1 September 2021

Though he’s been a star on smooth jazz radio from pretty much the time he emerged in the early eighties, it’s not a comfortable fit, as his latest LP Faraway Place indicates.

Andrew Renfroe - Run in the Storm (self-released)

31 August 2021

For his first full-length album, up-and-coming young guitarist Andrew Renfroe recruits friends on whose records he’s recorded, including saxophonist Braxton Cook, keyboardist Taber Gable, bassist Rick Rosato and drummer Curtis Nowosad, all part of the new crop of young NYC jazz artists.

Marc Johnson - Overpass (ECM)

30 August 2021

Given the ECM label’s long tradition of solo bass recordings, it’s surprising that it’s taken this long for Marc Johnson to release one.

Andrew Cyrille Quartet - The News (ECM)

27 August 2021

While a long-respected and cherished sideperson in many different contexts, drummer Andrew Cyrille has been enjoying a renaissance as a leader. The News, his third album for ECM and second with his Quartet, may be his best for the label yet.

Divine Horsemen - Hot Rise of An Ice Cream Phoenix (In the Red)

26 August 2021

As with the Flesh Eaters’ comeback LP, the intriguingly titled Hot Rise of an Ice Cream Phoenix is a blend of covers, new songs, and updated older material.

Lyle Mays - Eberhard (self-released)

25 August 2021

Eberhard – dedicated to German bassist/composer Eberhard Weber, with whom Mays worked on Metheny’s pre-Group LP Watercolors – is both a tribute to an old friend and a good example of what Mays brought to the table in his various musical endeavors.

Cult of Fire performed at Psycho Las Vegas 2021

Psycho Las Vegas - Mandalay Bay (Las Vegas, NV) - August 20-22, 2021

24 August 2021

Even a global pandemic couldn’t stop the most revered heavy-music festival in the U.S. from taking place.