Utilizing a predominantly ambient style of hip-hop, Pensacola’s Big Lo’s newest album is ripe with dystopian vibes and unabashedly social commentary. With imaginative beats and a smattering of guest spots, the album is packed full of surprises and tracks that deserve multiple listens. This isn’t happy club music—it is moody and intentionally off-kilter, aiding to evoke the concept that safety and security are often out of reach.
– Nikki Hedrick
This one will touch your heart. Singer Ayca Mirac is German-born, with a Turkish father. She’s studied all over (including a jazz camp in Ohio!), and is determined to preserve the musical culture of the Laz people, one of the many ethnic minorities struggling in the modern world. A meeting with Wayne Shorter led her eventually to record Lazjazz. It has a slight folk feel, but there’s a spare sophistication to the songs that speaks “jazz.” You probably don’t speak her language, but with only a piano and drums backing her up, she gets her point across. Check this out.
– Bruce Collier
Of the making of unreleased concerts there is no end. The latest in the genre is Gearbox Records’ remastering of a 1963 Copenhagen performance by legendary jazz pianist (and eccentric genius) Thelonious Monk. This one’s a true preservation, a moment frozen in time performed by Monk’s favorite quartet with Charlie Rouse on sax, John Ore on bass, and Frankie Dunlop on drums. There are five tracks, all classics by Monk, notably “Nutty,” “Monk’s Dream,” and “Body and Soul.” The audience digs it, it’s textbook stuff. There was recently a John Coltrane “lost” album released. How much else is out there?
– Bruce Collier
Pulverizingly heavy, this debut from Panama City’s Rotted Remains isn’t for the faint of heart. Continuing the tradition of underground death metal without frills or copious breakdowns pushes it into the niche of old school. Growled vocals, guitars that aren’t afraid of rhythm, and copious doses of brutality…it’s a shining example of why the genre continues to thrive and find new fans.
– Nikki Hedrick
Mr. Prine’s version of Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called to Say I Love You” is one of the most unexpected—and beautiful—treats of the fall music season. I dare you to listen to it only once.
Sing It Loud Records
Ms. Wilson builds on the goodwill she demonstrated at January’s 30A Songwriters Festival—two spectacular performances, autographing Paula Hilton’s Mixed Nuts DVD—with another excellent album. Get ready to fall in love and have your heart broken simultaneously in less than an hour’s span.
– Chris Manson
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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