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The Big Takeover Issue #91
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Al DiMeola, Jean-Luc Ponty, Stanley Clarke – Rite of Strings: Live at Montreaux 1994 (Mercury Studios)

2 February 2023

This live set captures a summit meeting of iconoclastic musicians as it happened nearly 30 years ago at the famed and influential Montreaux Jazz Festival. The concert predates and foreshadows a classic album for fans of ’90s fusion.

Robert Forster - The Candle and the Flame (Tapete)

2 February 2023

The Candle and the Flame, the eight solo album from former Go-Betweens co-leader Robert Forster, was made under trying circumstances: Forster’s wife Karin was battling ovarian cancer.

Paul Lewis & Romeo Rage - Sky’s Rust (Realize Records)

1 February 2023

Sky’s Rust transcends genres and resists categorization but it will easily appeal to fans of Romeo Rage’s influences.

Ben Wolfe - Unjust (Resident Arts)

1 February 2023

A bassist and composer of some twenty-five years’ standing, Ben Wolfe has attracted as much acclaim for his compositions as for his playing, with a career in chamber music alongside his jazz work.

The Royal Arctic Institute - From Coma to Catharsis (Already Dead)

31 January 2023

One of the hidden jewels of the urban Northeast, the Royal Arctic Institute returns with From Coma to Catharsis, a sequel of sorts to its prior EP From Catnip to Coma.

A Cast of Thousands-Songs From the Second Floor

A Cast of Thousands - Songs From the Second Floor (Record)

30 January 2023

On their eighth album, this Auburn/Finger Lakes, NY outfit, led by husband and wife co-lead singers Terry Cuddy and Beth Beer, further sharpens the stylistic breadth shown on 2019’s Sleeping World.

Demi Ramos - Just A Phase ft. Garzi (self-released)

30 January 2023

New York, NY: Pop-rock artist, Actor, Elite model, popular podcast host, and all-around shero Demi Ramos has already dropped the song of the summer with the infectious indie banger “Just a Phase.”

Skip Grasso - Becoming (Barking Coda Music)

30 January 2023

Though better known around his home base of Baltimore than in the rest of the world, guitarist Skip Grasso clearly commands respect.

Johnny Moezzi - Funky Papu (self-released)

28 January 2023

Born in Tehran, Iran to a Persian Father and an Italian Mother his family fled when Moezzi was four years old, he grew up in Salinas, CA, and attended college in Washington DC. His lifelong love affair with music was sparked by sneaking into a BB King performance as a kid and mentoring by a member of Richie Valens’ family from the Backyard Blues Band. It’s a cultural and creative journey that is reflected in the music of his latest release, Funky Papu.

East Axis - No Subject (Brother Mister Productions/Mack Avenue)

27 January 2023

Dismissing any notion of the conglomeration being a one-off, the quartet returns, with Scott Robinson in place of Allen Lowe, for sophomore effort No Subject.

Sebastian Rochford & Kit Downes - A Short Diary (ECM)

26 January 2023

Scottish drummer Sebastian Rochford was inspired – nay, compelled – to write the music for A Short Diary after the loss of his father, poet Gerard Rochford.

Lakecia Benjamin - Phoenix (Whirlwind)

25 January 2023

With a ton of jazz veterans and soul luminaries on her resumé, it’s no surprise Lakecia Benjamin comes across as assured and confident in her abilities and her message on Phoenix, her fourth album as a leader.

Joobieseaz-Pitch Black (The Singles)

JoobieSeaz - Pitch Black (The Singles) (Pyrrhic Victory)

24 January 2023

Based in Lille, France, this duo of Lola (singer/guitar/bass) and Alex (bass/guitar) worked in video production at the Academy of Cinema; since 2020, they’ve been releasing singles of their narcoleptic, sinuous dreampop, a dozen of which are collected here.

András Schiff/J.S. Bach - Clavichord (ECM)

24 January 2023

Though it’s been disputed, it’s said that composer Johann Sebastian Bach preferred the clavichord over the harpsichord or the piano as an instrument for his compositions.

Fred Frith/Susana Santos Silva - Laying Demons to Rest (RogueArt)

23 January 2023

Over the course of forty-odd minutes, the duo make all kinds of noises, from pick scrapes and mouthpiece burps to rumbling fret taps and haunting legato – but rarely do they descend into straightahead noisemaking.

Globus - Cinematica (Imperativa Records)

22 January 2023

Globus have really delivered a rollercoaster ride of an album that surpasses the already high bar set by the band.

Queen Kwong-Couples Only

Queen Kwong - Couples Only (Sonic Ritual)

21 January 2023

Discovered in 2005 at age 17 by Trent Reznor — she’s opened three Nine Inch Nails tours — L.A.’s multi-talented Carré Callaway (who’s also an actress, sculptor, podcaster, and skincare product founder) has released three albums as Queen Kwong.

Clay Joule - Realm (Truwan Studio)

20 January 2023

Clay Joule is back with a new single, Realm, again blending great music with a poignant and timely message.

Art Ensemble of Chicago - The Sixth Decade: From Paris to Paris (RogueArt)

20 January 2023

For its fiftieth anniversary, groundbreaking collective Art Ensemble of Chicago staged a special concert in a country near and dear to their hearts.

John Cale - Mercy (Domino)

19 January 2023

On Mercy, Cale brings his classical training and avant-garde sense of pop music into the 2020s, collaborating with younger artists and generally making it clear he’s paying attention to modern music without jumping on trends.

Elvis Presley – Elvis on Tour (RCA/Legacy Recordings)

18 January 2023

The King struts his stuff on big stages and goes small behind the scenes.

Tyler Mitchell Octet featuring Marshall Allen - Sun Ra’s Journey (Cellar Music)

18 January 2023

Tyler Mitchell may be a longstanding member of the Sun Ra Arkestra, but the bassist also leads his own bands, often with his Arkestra boss Marshall Allen in tow.

Mette Henriette - Drifting (ECM)

17 January 2023

Part of the new generation of ECM players taking the label tradition down new trails, Mette Henriette presents her second album.

Lord Sonny The Unifier - America's Newest Hitmaker (Interstellar Smoke Records)

16 January 2023

The production on the album was aided by Tony Maimone of Per Ubu, and the songs truly benefit from a bombastic, larger-than-life sound. Lord Sonny the Unifier truly outdid himself here.

Kenny Barron - The Source (ArtWork/[PIAS])

16 January 2023

At 79, piano great Kenny Barron has been around long enough to let over forty years pass since the last time he did an unaccompanied solo album.

Ov Stars-Tuesdays

Ov Stars - Tuesdays EP (Ov Stars)

15 January 2023

Most notably the bassist in the reformed lineup of Psychic TV from 2003-2020, Hoboken, NJ-raised Alice Genese now shares lead vocals in this Asbury Park-based outfit with Pretoria, South Africa pianist/artist Shaune Pony Heath.

Friends In Noise - Black Market Karma (Flower Power Records)

15 January 2023

London psychedelic pop artist Black Market Karma announces their upcoming tour with The Black Angels as they gear up for the band’s eleventh full-length album Friends In Noise, an international collaboration rooted in friendship and spontaneity, to be released via London boutique label Flower Power Records.

Old Town Crier – “You” EP (Self released)

14 January 2023

Old Town Crier (aka Jim Lough) quietly put out the “You” EP last summer. Over the Christmas break I listened in enthusiastically and asked him to tell us all about it, and what’s next in 2023.

What Strange Beasts - Starlight's Castaways (Self-Released)

12 January 2023

It’s insane to record something with a scale this large, but What Strange Beasts executes their vision with skill and ingenuity that is truly awe-inspiringly impressive.

ON - ON (Indiestructable Records)

11 January 2023

College rock / power trio ON have released their self-titled ON album, via Indiestructable Records, which ON guitarist Steve Fall says is “a document of friendship navigating explores in pain, and hope. Looking at the world with a collaborative effort to document what we see, witness and feel through songwriting and chemistry as a band.”

The Yets - The Yets (EP) (Royal Terns Records)

11 January 2023

What better way to announce the new year than with a letter? South Carolina -based alternative pop duo The Yets are doing just that with their new video for “Letter To A Boy”. This is the latest offering from their self-titled EP, a six-track debut offering indie pop sensation and sonic temptation with a fresh but seemingly familiar adult alternative vibe.

Suit of Lights-The Empty Vault

Suit of Lights - “The Empty Vault” Single (Visiting Hours)

8 January 2023

Singer/keyboardist Joe Darone, once the teen drummer of Totowa, NJ’s The Fiendz and later for New York City’s The Rosenbergs, follows up 2020’s fifth LP Hide and Seek with this spirited two-song digital single.

The Pinx - The Pinx (The Pinx)

4 January 2023

On the heels of brawny-voiced Atlanta singer/guitarist Adam McIntyre’s three 2020 solo LPs and his foursome The Pinx’s Electric! EP the same year comes that group’s fifth LP, following 2019’s Sisters and Brothers.

Rob Munk - Phased Out (Magic Door Label)

30 December 2022

American indie rocker Rob Munk presents his latest album Phased Out which comes 20 years after initially leaving the music scene. Alas, music takes on its own life, pushing Rob back into its realm with better and more personal songs than ever before. During the pandemic, Munk recorded this album with actor-writer-artist Daniel London (Old Joy, Minority Report, Manhattan) and Tinsel drummer Joe Ventura.

Suneaters-Suneaters IV Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fingers

Suneaters - Suneaters IV: Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fingers (Lotuspool)

29 December 2022

Following 2021’s red herring electronic/ambient sixth LP XI: It’s the Future, Kansas City, MO’s Suneaters return to their familiar hard-rocking ways on this seventh.

The Pull of Autumn - Beautiful Broken World (R.B.M. Records)

29 December 2022

Art rock collective The Pull of Autumn presents their fourth album Beautiful Broken World, an ambitious 15-track undertaking that began in early 2020.

This record involves many iconic artists, including Philip Parfitt of The Perfect Disaster, Stuart Moxham of Rough Trade post-punk band Young Marble Giants, Luke Skyscraper James of I.R.S. recording artist FASHION and John Neff, who has contributed to multiple David Lynch films and is also a member of David Lynch’s Blubob.

Bull y Los Búfalos – Fury (Paramour)

28 December 2022

Spanish native and Austin, Texas transplant Diego “Bull” Avello and band offer riff-driven blues-based rock and positivity.

Black Market Karma (with Rauri Meehan) - Aping Flair (Flower Power Records)

21 December 2022

UK artist Black Market Karma and Ruari Meehan (Belakiss, Tess Parks & Anton Newcombe) present “Aping Flair”, the second single from the band’s eleventh full-length album Friends In Noise. An international collaboration rooted in friendship and spontaneity, the record will be released in mid-January via London boutique label Flower Power Records.

Video: "Ghost In The Needle / Not OK At All" by The Wayside (independent)

20 December 2022

“We never really went away, but it really feels like the Wayside is back,” says singer John J. Thompson. The Wayside brings its blend of roots-rock, alt-country and Americana to two new singles.

Pennies by the Pound - The End Times (Lilith Love)

20 December 2022

Finnish indie outfit Pennies By The Pound are back with their new invigorating single “The End Times”, the second single from their upcoming concept album Nothingside, which is anticipated for release in early 2023 via the Lilith label.

Jessie Kilguss - Wuthering Heights (self-released)

19 December 2022

NYC-based indie-pop / folk artist Jessie Kilguss presents a gentle and sanguine acoustic rendition of “Wuthering Heights”, first made famous by Kate Bush. Engineered, produced, mixed and mastered by Charlie Nieland (Debbie Harry, Rufus Wainwright, Blondie, Scissor Sisters) at Saturation Point Studios in Brooklyn, this stripped-down features only guitar, vocals, harmonium and glockenspiel.

Modern Studies – “Cassandra” EP (Fire Records)

17 December 2022

Scotland’s Modern Studies just released its latest 8-track EP “Cassandra”. Armed with vintage instruments, the band has further mapped a wonderfully fresh and somewhat uncharted niche of arty chamber folk pop.

Jerry A. Lang (Poison Idea) releases debut solo album “From The Fire Into The Water”

17 December 2022

“There are many bands, each one sounds completely different…” – admits Jerry A, talking about various projects of his. Despite the glory of being a founding member of Poison Idea, the vocalist has made successful career as a member of various projects and active collaborator.

Jeong Lim Yang - Zodiac Suite: Reassured (Fresh Sound New Talent)

16 December 2022

While Leibson naturally carries most of the melodic load, Yang interjects her own low-thrumming harmonic ideas, and Cleaver makes his presence felt outside of mere beat-keeping.

My Brightest Diamond at Gezelligheid – Fourth Presbyterian Church (Chicago, IL) – December 14, 2022

15 December 2022

Shara Nova performed new My Brightest Diamond material during an opening set for the fifth of seven seasonal Gezelligheid concerts by Andrew Bird. Photos by Alec Basse.

Kirk Lightsey - Live at Smalls Jazz Club (Cellar Music)

15 December 2022

His harmonic sophistication and distinctive chord voices take responsibility for the shape and feel of each tune, with his bandmates following his standard.

Blue Glass-Les Jardins Eternels

Blue Glass - Les Jardins Éternels (Two Roads)

14 December 2022

Not surprisingly, the “chilling mood-pop, as strangely still as David Bowie’s Low and Heroes, side twos” of Seattle outfit Blue Grass’s 2021 third LP Jardin des Étoiles is present on this similarly “jardin”-titled fourth.

The Bellwether Syndicate - Beacons (Sett Records / Nexilis Records)

14 December 2022

Chicago-based alternative post-punk outfit The Bellwether Syndicate presents “Beacons”, the second single from the band’s Vestige & Vigil album, scheduled for release in April 2023 via Nexilis Records / Schubert Music Europe and Sett Records in North America. The single debuted at #4 in the DAC/German Alternative Charts.