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The Pauseandplay.com Record Roundup

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BULK

The Vagueness of Suffering

Independent

Teetering on full-fledged grindcore, Panama City’s BULK is a ferocious musical attack. They approach their debut EP with a certain anti-finesse—the idea that angry music should have rough edges, aiming to be unabashedly authentic. And it works splendidly for the band. It’s an impressive first outing for BULK, and I sincerely hope it won’t be the last.

– Nikki Hedrick

Fay Claassen & WDR Big Band

Dutch Songbook

Challenge Records

Dutch jazz singer Fay Claassen reportedly had never recorded in her native language before. WDR Big Band persuaded her to perform a live gig in Cologne, and the result is a mix of Dutch and English-language songs, rendered with spot-on rhythm and flair by a dynamic, intelligent vocalist. Singer and band mesh like old comrades, half sly cabaret and half swing-flavored party. It’s easy to forget, with all the over-engineered, ego-drenched divas inhabiting American pop, that there are still grownup singers in the world. Now playing across the Atlantic.

– Bruce Collier

Gone With the Flesh

Gone With The Flesh

Independent

Local old-school metalheads! Do you prefer chugging rhythms, guitar solos, and clean vocals over the death metal approach to the genre? Then you need to add Gone With the Flesh to your rotation. Dynamic vocals lead the mix, while aggressive, memorable riffs help achieve a powder keg of boisterousness that is best listened to loud enough that your neighbors can hear it, too.

– Nikki Hedrick

Gilad Hekselman

Ask for Chaos

Hexophonic Music / Motema

Israeli jazz guitarist Gilad Hekselman pondered the idea of “inviting chaos to make progress,” then put it into musical action by engaging two different and disparate backup bands on Ask for Chaos. The 10 tracks move along on the rails of sometimes traditional and sometimes avant garde music. Hekselman glides above it all, whether racing ahead (“Tokyo Cookie”) or pausing to reflect (“It Will Get Better”). Hekselman is yet another example of the really exciting jazz musicians coming out of the Middle East; sadly, they should know from Chaos. The album is also the first release on his Hexophonic label.

– Bruce Collier

Slow Low Crow

Skylark Motel

Cat Family Records

Tallahassee’s Slow Low Crow focuses on songwriting while drawing from southern, country and roots influences. The EP consists of four songs, each one originating from a different member of the group—an exploration that further showcases their talent and individual styles within the whole of the band. If you long for icons who helped shaped songwriting in the ‘70s, like Tom Petty or Neil Young, you’ll feel right at home in the tracks of Skylark Motel.

– Nikki Hedrick

Franck Tortiller & Quatuor Debussy

Debussy…et le Jazz, Preludes for a Quartet

Harmonia Mundi

Vibraphonist and composer Franck Tortiller joins with Jacky Terrasson (piano), Vincent Peirani (accordion) and Jean-Philippe Collard-Neven (piano) to make Quatuor Debussy, which honors the 100th anniversary of Claude Debussy’s death with Debussy…et le Jazz. Debussy declined the label “impressionist,” but it’s stuck, and the play list here reflects that. There are samples of familiar and less familiar Debussy works. Few composers’ music lends itself so readily to jazz. Debussy picked and chose among all kinds of musical subjects. He also said he felt free because he’d been “through the [musical] mill.” Spoken like a jazz man. Obey Claude, just listen.

– 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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