by: Hobart Taylor
Kal - Romology - Arc Music
Serbian Gypsy garage punk... you know vocals fueled by amphetamines, grain alcohol, and smoke from discarded butts accompanied by the boot crunch on gravel rhythms and circus tango circus music. Waitsian...or rather the origin of Waits' influences. Occasionally '20's jazz with sultry female vocals. Fun. Some in English, "Romology"... mostly in Serbian so I can't really guess OPI because I flunked Serbian 101.
Ron Aprea Sextet - Remembering Blakey - Early Autumn Records
Tight ensemble led by Alto saxophonist Aprea and featuring rising star/ band leader/ pianist Cecilia Coleman. A couple of well played standards are included for context, but the heart of the record are to uptempo post bop originals "Flown The Coop", "Minor Setback" and "In a Minor Funk" all written by bassist Paul Brusker who does not appear on the CD...keep an eye on that cat...best changes in town.
The Robert Glasper Experiment - Black Radio 2 - Blue Note
OK so I wasn't too keen of BLR 1... I thought it was uneven, some great playing amazing production but some of the songs didn't quite cohere for me... but I'm going to re-listen because I love BLR 2. For me the deep musical knowledge and erudition displayed here with touches of Princelike pop/jazz genius make this a superior and probably unplayable set of jams because of our no top 200 hundred rule. I particularly like "Calls" featuring Jill Scott and "Persevere" with Snoop Animal of the Week , Lupe Fiasco and Luke James.
Swing N Dix - Swing N Dix - Little (i) Records
Small band ensemble with a Mingus Monk spooky vibe sort of thing. Great players...you know Thursday night at the Mercury Lounge. I'm pigeonholing I know, I know, ... this record has true spirit and gentle irony. There's a fine rendition of "Honeysuckle Rose" and a couple of trad jazz covers "E.S.P." , "Pee Wee's Blues", but the originals stand out, especially "I'll Take a Dozen", and "Two Jeffs".
Marina Rocks - The Comeback Kid - Self Released
Austin based folk rocker who can pick up a storm with her git box...collaborates with the ubiquitous Lloyd Maines. Sometime a little self-indulgent (too many notes) But "Stuck in the Mud" is a gem.
Jay Brown - Soul to Soul - Self Released
This Alabama troubadour does his own thing which has really a southern hippie sweetness (one of the best Mom songs ever "M.O.M.") mixed with progressive social commentary and an extended foray into Indian music on solo acoustic guitar. I likes it.
Holy Ghost Town - Hank Woji - KZ Records
From Terlingua Texas this is Texicana neo outlaw with a Christian bent. Sincerity abounds as does good songwriting. "The Last Time I saw Jesus He was walking in the rain" ... you know Jesus is the homeless guy you see from the corner of your eye theology...Tolstoy sensibility. A few of the songs are not faith based including the excellent but OPI ridden "Terlingua Blues" and a nice rendition of Jerry Garcia's "Deal".
The Pedrito Martinez Group - The Pedrito Martinez Group - Motema Records
Jazzy Salsa or Salsa Jazz? Famed drummer Steve Gadd produced this very cool and polished hybrid with guests like Wynton Marsalis, John Scofield and Matt Dillon(?!)(spoken word). The playing is top notch, and they cover freshly the Zep/Robert Johnson tune "Travelling Riverside Blues". "Memorias" and "Conciencia" are my other picks.