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Erroll Garner

Ready Take One

Legacy

Jazz musicians must be an absentminded lot. Every year sees previously unreleased, unedited and unknown work. If this sort of thing excites you, pianist Garner is your kind of jazzman. Garner, who never learned to read music (“No one can hear you read” was his stock explanation), left an archive full of stuff that’s still being sorted through at the University of Pittsburgh. This release offers 14 breezy, joyfully energetic and fun tracks. The recording session sounds like a good time, between Garner growling along with his notes and comments like “Ready, take one-and-a-half.”

– Bruce Collier

Jim Lauderdale

This Changes Everything

Sky Crunch Records

Receiving a lifetime achievement award from the Americana Music Association doesn’t mean the guy doesn’t have any more surprises up his sleeve. This Changes Everything is a change—a turn to authentic country that shies away from the hodgepodge of musical roots that created the Americana genre. It’s a solid display of Lauderdale’s songwriting—with close to under 30 albums under his belt, we wouldn’t expect anything less.

– Nikki Hedrick

Brian Lynch

Madera Latino

Hollistic MusicWorks

As the title hints, Madera Latino (Latin wood) is a selection of trumpet great Woody Shaw’s music interpreted in Latin jazz style. If trumpet is your instrument of choice, you gotta hear this one—the lineup of tribute-bearers includes Lynch, Sean Jones, Dave Douglas, Diego Urcola, Michael Rodriguez and three others. The 11 tracks include solos, duos, trios and full ensembles. Shaw’s manly, muscular style was tailor-made for the romantic, swaggering machismo of Latin jazz. It’s all good, but Lynch stands out on “Just a Ballad for Woody.” Shaw died too soon, but his heirs are apparent here.

– Bruce Collier

Breece Matarazzo

Stingray

Independent

Panama City-based singer-songwriter stays on the acoustic end of the spectrum most of the time, with bits of beach and reggae influences floating to the surface but never taking over the flow. Matarazzo hits on timeless topics like love and wanting a simpler life. He seems to push himself as a songwriter to explore different avenues of inspiration, and I’m looking forward to what he creates next.

– Nikki Hedrick

Otis Redding

Complete and Unbelievable—The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul

Rhino Atlantic

Having acquainted myself with the king of ‘em, y’all, through several best-of collections and a pair of superb in-concert recordings (Live in Europe and the Monterey Pop Festival twofer with Jimi Hendrix), I assumed Redding’s studio albums would be the weak link in the discography. Not a chance. Includes mono and stereo versions of the album, plus a few bonus tracks and live recordings.

– Chris Manson

Spearman Brewers

Rue Blue

Independent

Gravelly Louisiana-spiced voice highlights this offering from the mostly acoustic Pensacola duo, part of the area’s ever-growing Americana offerings. We haven’t heard much from them since their 2015 EP, but Rue Blue is a triumphant return. If you love the rawness of, say, Tom Waits, Spearman Brewers should be a welcome addition to your music collection.

– Nikki Hedrick
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