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The Record Roundup

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All Systems Go


Fans of lo-fi oddness will likely cozy right up to DFI-9’s newest EP. It’s like the peculiar lovechild of David Byrne and a ‘70s garage band—it’s fun, a bit space-inspired, and best played at loud volumes. If you like your rock music a little more free-range, an organic serving of DFI-9 might be in order.

– Nikki Hedrick

Caroline Goulding

Korngold & Mozart Violin Concertos


I interviewed violinist Caroline Goulding some years back, when she was making headlines as a child (and teen) prodigy. I found her focused, mature and full of enthusiasm about exploring her instrument. Her latest album offers six works by fellow Austrians Erich Wolfgang Korngold and Wolfgang Mozart. Mozart needs no introduction, but Korngold may be best known as the composer of scores for Hollywood epics like Captain Blood, The Adventures of Robin Hood, and The Sea Hawk. Both composers had a flair for the dramatic, and Goulding’s spirited, adventuresome musicianship is ideally suited to them.

– Bruce Collier

Marcus Miller

Laid Black

Blue Note

Marcus Miller can play bass, reeds, and keyboard; he composes and sings. Among his lengthy roster of collaborators are Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and LL Cool J. He also leads, and Laid Black shows that off to maximum advantage. Nine tracks include riffs on standards like “Que Sera Sera” with singer Selah Sue (sorry, Doris Day), funk/hip-hop fusions (“Keep ‘em Runnin’”) and a thoughtful, hummable gospel track (“Preacher’s Kid”) with saxophonist Kirk Whalum and Huntsville a cappella band Take 6. The fabulous Trombone Shorty shows up on “7-Ts.” My trouser cuffs started flaring after only eight bars. Right on.

– Bruce Collier

Roman Simovic, Malcolm Sinclair, LSO Chamber Ensemble

The Soldier’s Tale

Bowers & Wilkins

Ukrainian violinist Roman Simovic, British stage and screen actor Malcolm Sinclair, and the London Symphony Orchestra Chamber Ensemble team up to present Igor Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale. It’s a familiar story—a soldier bargains with the Devil for possession of his soul (represented by a violin) against a promise of wealth. It’s the sort of musical theater the Russians do best, especially as interpreted by the English. The piece is traditionally produced with three actors and a dancer or two. Sinclair deftly handles all the voices, and Simovic’s dance-y fiddling blends folk, modern and a touch of early jazz.

– Bruce Collier




Originating from the area and framed around manga and anime shows, this is a stellar hip-hop concept album. Kudos to the Starcult ensemble for sharing their love of Japanese pop-culture. With precise modern production and energetic back-and-forth verses, Starcult hits it out the park with this full-length release.

– Nikki Hedrick

Joshua Stephen Ward



Gulf Coast musician Ward concocts multi-layered adult pop tunes that touch on love, life, and uncovering one’s identity with a mix of acoustic and electric instrumentation. It’s the stripped-down moments like the piano-backed “Fight for My Soul” that really shine. Becoming is a well constructed and executed endeavor that highlights Ward’s voice and talent for crafting memorable songs.

– Nikki Hedrick – Since 1997, P&P has been the definitive place for music fans to find out when a new album is coming out. Also stay up on the latest reissues and music‑related DVD/Blu‑rays and books. Elton John says he uses to keep track of new music, and Entertainment Weekly has included it on its list of “The 100 Greatest Web Sites,” one of only 17 music sites to be selected.

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