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The Big Takeover Issue #88
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Greg Skaff - Polaris (SMK Jazz)

22 June 2021

There’s a real joy to these performances – you can easily imagine the musicians grinning the whole time the tapes rolled.

Guttercats - Eternal Life (Wishing Well/Take the City/Sweet Grooves)

21 June 2021

Fifth LP Eternal Life finds leader Guts Guttercat and his merry crew eschewing irony, flash and trendiness for sincerity, style and classicism.

Ben Goldberg - Everything Happens to Be. (BAG Production)

18 June 2021

Everything Happens to Be. just happens to be a perfect example of adventurous jazz in the twenty-first century.

Lunar Octet - Convergence (Summit)

17 June 2021

The songs serve up memorable hard bop melodies over infectious rhythms, while the group’s interest in Latin and African music gives every cut buoyant grooves that make the songs danceable without being anything so crass as crossover.

Todd Cochran TC3 - Then Again, Here and Now (Sunnyside)

16 June 2021

What makes the record stand out isn’t just the confident swing of the band or the easy melodicism of the leader. It’s also the thought put into the programming.

Knife Crime-Lovely Gary

Knife Crime – Lovely Gary (Black Site)

15 June 2021

Though Kansas City foursome Knife Crime has been together a decade, Lovely is only their first LP. But founding brothers Byron and Brad Huhmann, Jeremiah James Gonzales, and Jake Cardwell have honed their skills in 16 bands between them.

Chess Club-You're Lucky I Like You

Chess Club – You’re Lucky I Like You (Black Site)

15 June 2021

On album #2, Lawrence, KS trio Chess Club sharpens their songwriting and attack – and ditches the sporadic lapses into screamo – over 2018’s haphazard Hit the Ball.

Harold Land - Westward Bound! (Reel to Real)

15 June 2021

Westward Bound! is a prime showcase for Land’s talents as a bandleader and improviser.

The Chris Ruben Band - Madness on Repeat (Self-Released)

14 June 2021

Madness on Repeat which fantastically showcases the tight, telepathic communication between the members and their impressive musicianship.

Simon Mouiller Trio - Countdown (Fresh Sound New Talent)

14 June 2021

Moullier’s focus here is on the song, rather than virtuoso displays – not that there aren’t a few of those.

Juana Molina

Juana Molina – Segundo (Crammed Discs)

11 June 2021

A 2000 psychedelic gem from Argentina resurfaces in the material world.

The Scientists - Negativity (In the Red)

11 June 2021

When Australia’s Scientists reunited for wildly received tours and performances in support of their massive 2016 boxed retrospective A Place Called Bad, a new record seemed inevitable.

Julian Lage - Squint (Blue Note)

10 June 2021

This is no blowing session, where he shows off every style he can play. Instead Lage uses just the right bits of his experiences to serve each song.

Dan Wilson - Vessels of Wood and Earth (Brother Mister/Mack Avenue)

9 June 2021
Vessels of Wood and Earth, Wilson’s third album as a leader after working with luminaries like Joey DeFrancesco and Christian McBride, showcases a gifted player who knows how to balance technique with an understanding of the song.

Lanterna - Hidden Drives (Badman)

8 June 2021

The seventh album from Lanterna, Hidden Drives finds Frayne in top-notch form, spinning dreamy, tuneful webs of six-string sorcery that recall wide vistas, sunny mountainsides, and rivers running alongside green shores.

Dahveed Behroozi - Echos (Sunnyside)

7 June 2021

Bay area pianist Dahveed Behroozi has long split his time between jazz and classical music, and it shows on his second album Echos.

The John Williams Syndicate - Out Of Darkness (Wulfrun)

5 June 2021

The producer with the midas touch John Owen Williams releases his debut album Out Of Darkness, and all expectations are fulfilled

Kevin Hays/Ben Street/Billy Hart - All Things Are (Smoke Sessions)

4 June 2021

The record may have been intended to celebrate its legendary timekeeper’s birthday, but it sounds instead like the inauguration of jazz’s latest great new band.

Brad Marino - Looking For Trouble (Rum Bar)

3 June 2021

His third LP, Looking For Trouble keeps the faith with the vision he established long ago – raw, melodic ditties with touches of glam and Americana for extra flavor.

K4LT - Endgame (Self-Released)

2 June 2021

Perched somewhere between dark pop and the avant- garde, Endgame is a tricky work of art to unravel, but there are plenty of rewards for those who try.

Sinikka Langeland - Wolf Rune (ECM)

2 June 2021

Armed only with three varieties of kantele (a Finnish table harp that’s like an autoharp, but with a much wider range) and her rich voice, Langeland essays a program of traditional and original tunes, plus poetry set to her own music.

Maria Grand - Reciprocity (Biophilia)

1 June 2021
Taking inspiration from the arrival of her son – indeed, recording and touring while she was pregnant – Grand uses her spiritual jazz influences to develop a powerful statement on creation itself.

Pale Lips - After Dark (Rum Bar)

31 May 2021

The debut album from Montreal garage pop quartet Pale Lips is a perfectly sweet ‘n ‘ sour gumball of tight melodies and trashy energy.

Bachelor

Bachelor – Doomin’ Sun (Polyvinyl Record Co.)

28 May 2021

Jay Som + Palehound = a gentle, idiosyncratic gem.

Will Jackson - Songs from the Briarpatch (Self-Released)

28 May 2021

Like the “old cedar box” described in “Polaroid Parade,” Songs from the Briarpatch plays like a collection of memories—some good, some bad, some in between—and the resulting feelings that emerge are not easy to pick apart.

The Enigmatic Foe-The Original Plan

The Enigmatic Foe – The Original Plan [double 12”]; “The Kids Are Alright” EP; “The Suffering Art” EP; “Ms. Fortune and Her Mate” EP (The Enigmatic Foe)

28 May 2021

Knoxville, TN singer, guitarist, bassist, and keyboardist Jared Colinger began The Enigmatic Foe with 2005’s self-recorded The Titular Project; having since expanded to a full band, this 14-song double LP is their fifth album.

Almog Sharvit - Get Up Or Cry (Unit)

28 May 2021

For Sharvit, all facets of this diamond called jazz have something to offer, and he’s happy to indulge in all of it…all at once.

Barista - Open Sesame Vol 1: Her Dress (Monoplay Records)

27 May 2021

Every song on Open Sesame is like some song you heard on the radio in the 70s once and blew your mind even if you never found out the name of the artist. And I think that’s the point.

Nadja - Luminous Rot (Southern Lord)

27 May 2021

Multi-instrumentalist Aidan Baker and bassist Leah Buckareff eagerly but gracefully take bits of shoegaze, noise rock, ambient electronics, doom metal and early nineties post-punk and mix them into a thick, plangent hellbrew that somehow manages to be both luscious and noxious.

Waves of Distortion - Race Against Time (Self-Released)

27 May 2021

Race Against Time acknowledges that such a race as its title suggests is ultimately impossible to win, and thereby the album ends up one of the genre’s most thoughtful and intelligent entries in a long time.

Jeffrey Dean Foster-I'm Starting to Bleed

Jeffrey Dean Foster – I’m Starting to Bleed EP (Jeffrey Dean Foster)

26 May 2021

With only three solo LPs since 2001, this June 12, 2021 Record Store Day EP from Winston-Salem, NC singer/guitarist Foster (ex-Right Profile/Carneys/Pinetops) is welcome.

WRD - The Hit (Color Red)

26 May 2021

Take three guys with loads of experience in jazz, rock, funk and anything that jams, put ‘em in a recording studio (or onstage), and you might well get something like WRD’s The Hit.

Thomas Strønen/Ayumi Tanaka/Marthe Lea - Bayou (ECM)

25 May 2021

Though the music was collectively improvised (with the exception of the title track, which is based on a Norwegian folk tune), the trio avoids discord – everyone plays with like minds, seeking out spontaneous melodies and arrangements and sticking to them.

Jowe Head - Strawberry Birthmarks (Glass Records Modern)

25 May 2021

Released June 4th on deep red vinyl and digital, Strawberry Birthmarks is a collection of unreleased recordings from post punk artist Jowe Head

Watts - Shady Rock & Rollers (Rum Bar)

24 May 2021

Watts’ combo of Midwestern fire, L.A. flash and Northeast sneer means it pretty much has no choice but to write tunes with titles like “Shocking Pink,” “Heavy Metal Kids” and All Done With Rock & Roll.”

The Swindon Lot-The Scariana Trench

The Swindon Lot – The Scariana Trench (Braxeling)

22 May 2021

I dug Portland, OR noise-pop foursome The Honus Huffhines’ 2014 second LP Feel Safe, Be Safe; named for a put-down line from The Office UK, The Swindon Lot is their singer/multi-instrumentalist Andy Giegerich’s solo project.

Kimberley Rew And Lee Cave-Berry - Purple Kittens (Self-Released)

21 May 2021

On June 18th, Kimberley Rew and Lee Cave-Berry return with a new long-player titled ‘Purple Kittens’, a tour-de-force of styles and perfectionism.

Trees Speak - PostHuman (Soul Jazz)

21 May 2021

The LP-plus-bonus-7-inch continues the good work of past albums, blending motorik beats, brooding kosmiche electronics and sun-blasted desert landscapes – think Tangerine Dream if they’d come from the American Southwest.

Skúli Sverrisson & Bill Frisell - Strata (Newvelle)

20 May 2021

Originally released only on limited edition vinyl as part of a box set subscription service, Strata – the debut album from Icelandic bassist/composer Skúli Sverrisson and maverick American jazz guitarist Bill Frisell – finally sees release for the less-well heeled music fan, if only in digital form.

Desertion Trio - Numbers Maker (Cuneiform)

19 May 2021

Infused equally with improvisational acumen and rock & roll power, Numbers Maker reintroduces Desertion Trio in a shower of sparks.

Suneaters-Loving Relationship

Suneaters – Loving Relationship (Lotuspool)

18 May 2021

For this Kansas City, MO psych-rock sextet’s 2015 third album II:Loving Relationship, member W. David Keith directs this highly engaging, beautifully shot, and intricately choreographed 42-minute movie montage. In film parlance, it’s a fun romp!

Joe Lovano & Dave Douglas Sound Prints - Other Worlds (Greenleaf)

18 May 2021

Saxophonist Joe Lovano and trumpeter Dave Douglas are both two of modern jazz’ most acclaimed and creative bandleaders, throwing their long arms around a wide variety of stylistic permutations and bending them to their wills. Thus Other Worlds, the duo’s third record together with their Sound Prints project, finds them in typically eclectic form.

Jerry Oliver-Zombification of a Nation

Jerry Oliver – Zombification of a Nation (Odd)

17 May 2021

Throughout Zombification, Nashville-based, Minneapolis-raised singer/songwriter Oliver flails and massages his contorted, misshapen acoustic, while his distressed, rasping vocals sound like he’s having a hallucinogenic acid trip.

Zombi - Liquid Crystal EP (Relapse)

17 May 2021

Apparently not wanting to waste any time, Pittsburgh’s premiere electronic rock band Zombi follows up on last year’s 2020 with the five-track EP Liquid Crystal.

Philip Goth-Philip Goth

Philip Goth – Philip Goth (Team Love)

14 May 2021

Not an actual person, Philip Goth is the moniker for the new project of Josh Rawson, former bassist of folk-rockers The Felice Brothers; this debut was recorded by him in Philmont, NY over three years.

Three-Layer Cake - Stove Top (RareNoise)

14 May 2021

Despite the long distance nature of this collaboration, the band manages a high degree of spontaneity.

Benito Gonzalez - Sing to the World (Rainy Days)

13 May 2021

Born in Venezuela and based in New York City, jazz pianist Benito Gonzalez has amassed quite a resumé in his years on the scene. The 44-year-old has stints with heavyweights like Jackie McLean, Kenny Garrett and Azar Lawrence under his belt, and today acts as pianist and musical director for spiritual jazz pioneer Pharoah Sanders. He also has half a dozen albums as a leader, of which Sing to the World is the latest.

Tony Joe White

Tony Joe White – Smoke from the Chimney (Easy Eye Sound)

11 May 2021

The Swamp Fox receives a thoughtful assist from Dan Auerbach.

Blueanimal - Figment That Was Me (Self-Released)

11 May 2021

This album sits on the more introspective end of the grunge spectrum, and is undoubtedly best enjoyed in the dark of one’s bedroom than dancing riotously in a crowd.