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The Pauseandplay.com Record Roundup

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Buddy Guy

The Blues is Alive and Well

RCA

I’m not going to fib—I’m writing this review to let you know I have third-row tickets to see Buddy Guy in Panama City come October. On his 2018 release, the blues granddaddy doesn’t phone it in. He has a bevy of original tunes focused on guitar-driven blues and a voice that has only strengthened with age. Guests include Keith Richards, Jeff Beck and Mick Jagger.

– Nikki Hedrick

Heartless Romantic

The Upside Of Drowning

Independent

This Atlanta-based rock band artfully balances multilayered harmonies and guitar chugging with a daring kitchen sink approach. With piano, acoustic instrumentation, electronic embellishment, a little humor, and a whole lot of well-developed song structure, Heartless Romantic is more than a single element of music. Yet they pull this off without ever fully going off script from their rock roots. The Upside of Drowning showcases the upside of artistic license.

– Nikki Hedrick

Ben Paterson

Live at Van Gelder’s

Cellar Live

Ben Paterson (Hammond B3 organ), Ed Cherry on guitar and Jason Tiemann on drums recorded this album in March at Rudy Van Gelder’s legendary recording studio in Hackensack, New Jersey. The label (Cellar Live) reportedly inclines toward hard bop, and Paterson and his guys hit the stage running. It’s not easy to time-travel back (some of this absolutely smells of shiny ’62 Chevy Impala) while sounding fresh as a Mai Tai at Trader Vic’s. Paterson leads very confidently, hitting a cruising speed on tracks like “The Hustler” and “Sweatin’.” Hard bop requires a good sense of humor, and Paterson gets that.

– Bruce Collier

Luciana Souza

The Book of Longing

Sunnyside Records

Brazilian composer and singer Luciana Souza is known for her musical attraction to poetry, having previously recorded words by Pablo Neruda, among others. On The Book of Longing, she continues, with 10 tracks based on original work, along with vocalized adaptations of poems by Leonard Cohen, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Christina Rossetti and Emily Dickinson. Always inclined toward minimalism, she pares things down here to guitar (Chico Pinheiro) and bass (Scott Colley), doing a little of her own percussion. She may remind you of Joni Mitchell, minus the eccentricity, and lead you to wonder whether all poetry can’t be sung.

– Bruce Collier

The Tellers

Signal

Independent

New Orleans and jazz music continue to be a match made in heaven. There will always be something special about the blended cultural history of the city that feeds into the freedom, experimentation, and continual fusing of the jazz genre. The Tellers add a heaping layer of funk and bass-focused tunes to the swirling gumbo that encompasses jazz. Looking for something to get those feet moving? These dozen instrumentals will do the trick and send you back for a second helping.

– Nikki Hedrick

Steve Turre

The Very Thought of You

Smoke Sessions Records

Trombone master Steve Turre links up with Kenny Barron (piano), Buster Williams (bass) and Willie Jones III (drums) for The Very Thought of You. The quartet is enriched by guests George Coleman (tenor sax) and Russell Malone (guitar), plus accompanying strings. There’s a balanced mix of American standards (“The Shadow of Your Smile” and the title tune), classic jazz (“Yardbird Suite”), even a dip into ballads with “Danny Boy.” The latter, the final track on the album, walks an intentionally intriguing line between pathos and bathos, like a drunk who’s crying—for good reason.

– Bruce Collier

Pauseandplay.com – 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 Pauseandplay.com 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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