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Record Roundup

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Theo Croker

Escape Velocity

Sony Masterworks

Florida-born trumpeter and leader Croker is the grandson of the legendary Doc Cheatham, so he has royal jazz blood. At age 31, his c.v. screams “prodigy,” and Escape Velocity is his fourth album. If this is your first Croker album (it’s mine), you might misjudge it at first as New Age-y stuff. If you keep listening (I did) you start to sense that Croker has taken a lot of stuff and pulled it together to make something new. It takes a lot of power to play with such restraint and never give the impression that you’re just coasting.

– Bruce Collier

Cuong Vu Trio

Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny


Trumpet versus guitar? Not so odd a pairing, especially when you consider that Cuong Vu has played with Pat Metheny Group for some time. Now he’s come back with a trio. I always think of Cuong Vu as one of the new trumpet guys, even though he’s been playing since the 1990s. It could be his quicksilver sound, which makes me think both of old ‘70s fusion stuff (yes, Miles) and the latest, more self-effacing trends in trumpet music. Maybe it’s playing with the likes of Metheny that makes even a brass instrumentalist want to step back a little.

– Bruce Collier

Bob Dylan

Fallen Angels


On the superior follow-up to last year’s Shadows in the Night, the Maestro proves he’s serious about being today’s foremost interpreter of the Great American Songbook. The perfect Late and Alone record, no matter what time you listen to it. Plus the best version of “That Old Black Magic” since Buddy Love.

– Chris Manson


Cult of the Blackened Veil


With the allure of high pitched screamed vocals and distinct drumming tone associated with traditional black metal alongside guitar runs and grooves characteristic of old school death metal, Panama City’s Lustravi is a welcome addition to the local scene. They also offer proof that metal—local or otherwise—doesn’t have to be a boys club, with vocalist-bassist Morgan Weller at the helm. A phenomenal debut release that bucks trends and exceeds expectations.

– Nikki Hedrick

Nick Moss Band

From Root to the Fruit

Blue Bella Records

The double album comes in at a whopping 27 songs and is the love child born of blues and jam music. Led by the bombastic, sultry voice of Moss, you can’t help but want to dance when this record kicks off. Each album of the pair has a distinct personality. Root unapologetically embraces everything that makes the blues irresistible, and Fruit showcases the more modern “blended” attitude towards genres. Whether you’re a blues traditionalist or just a lover of good music, Moss is bound to serve up something that tickles your fancy.

– Nikki Hedrick


The Most Beautiful Place on Earth


Tallahassee based Naps is a culmination of the expansion of dream pop in recent years. Electronic flourishes, shoegaze lyrics and large doses of reverb all define the indie-pop ideals of the genre. Naps neatly encompasses the genre’s vision, which places emphasis on experimentation and DIY attitude.

– Nikki Hedrick

Victor Wainright & the WildRoots

Boom Town

Blind Pig Records

Helping keep boogie-woogie alive and well, Wainright and his stellar band touch on so much of what makes the south a unique musical destination. From gospel to New Orleans jazz, Wainright does it all while continuing to develop his signature sound. Boom Town is a listening experience for anyone who loves roots music, whether it be blues, jazz, or any other label that floats your fancy.

– Nikki Hedrick

Tommy Womack


“God, Part 3” and “Nashville” are among the finest songs you’ll hear this season, and the rest isn’t far behind. One of the funniest and smartest neo-folkies around, Womack scored with his previous albums—There, I Said It! and Now What? This one tops them both.

– Chris Manson
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