Baiju Bhatt & Red Sun
If some of the tunes on Eastern Sonata make you think of Country, Western Swing, Celtic, or even “Gypsy” Jazz or Rock, you’re not mistaken. Violinist Baiju Bhatt, who’s been playing since age six, has pursued an eclectic lifetime course of studies all over the world. He and his quintet Red Sun (he has founded another enterprise called Red Moon Collective) run the board on this album. Just when you think you’ve pegged it, they jump ship and land on the shores of another style. All eleven tracks burst with energy and rhythm, plus a touch of drama and mystery.
– Bruce Collier
Classic storytelling and acoustic instrumentation from the local singer-songwriter. With Bludworth’s slightly twangy delivery leading the way, Between Us mostly outlines the idea of falling in love with sophisticated lyrics. Favorites include the cheery-sounding “Me & You” and “Good While it Lasted,” the latter one of the few off-theme songs. It’s more original music from one of our own, and that’s always cause for celebration. Even more so when it’s as solid as Between Us.
– Nikki Hedrick
Brazen Heart Live at Jazz Standard
Trumpeter Dave Douglas’ Brazen Heart Live at Jazz Standard is taken from a four-night gig Douglas played at the New York venue in 2015, finishing up a tour. His quintet included Jon Irabagon (sax), Matt Mitchell (piano), Linda Oh (bass) and Rudy Royston (drums). I’ve always had mixed feelings about Douglas—sometimes I love his stuff, sometimes I wonder why anyone recorded it or listened to it. Brazen Heart mirrors that attitude perfectly. Conclusion: he must be a genius—pretty much every genius brings out conflicting reactions. I’ll probably never stop listening to him, though, whatever he plays.
– Bruce Collier
Miss May I
As metalcore continues to rise in popularity (and slowly makes its way to radio), top-notch bands find themselves on bigger touring bills—a slot Miss May I doesn’t hesitate to fill. The always-touring band unleashes their best material yet with Shadows Inside, a showcase for their relentless nature and ability to craft sing along grooves, sometimes even within the same song. Metalcore is known for balancing anthemic music for folks who like things a bit on the heavier side, and Miss May I walks that tightrope with ease.
– Nikki Hedrick
American Songbook II
When you make the world’s most famous keyboard instruments, you get the urge to see ‘em taken out for a spin. Simon Mulligan’s American Songbook II is part of a series of albums by Steinway, showcasing solo piano and starring…their product. British classical/jazz pianist Mulligan sits down here to cover a charming baker’s dozen of tunes by Gershwin, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Victor Young, Cole Porter, and others. It’s just him and the piano, like he’s snug at home on a rainy day, sipping tea and fiddling around on the piano. It’s simple and elegant, like a little black dress.
– Bruce Collier
EDITOR’S CHOICE – SIX REMARKABLE ALBUMS BY PEOPLE COMING TO TOWN THIS MONTH
Becky Warren, Undesirable. At 30A Fest Jan. 18-20.
Rosanne Cash, She Remembers Everything. At 30A Fest Saturday, Jan. 19.
Amanda Shires, To the Sunset. At 30A Fest Jan. 18-20.
Kim Richey, Edgeland. At 30A Fest Jan. 18-20.
Erika Wennerstrom, Sweet Unknown. Opening for Drive-By Truckers at Vinyl Music Hall in Pensacola Thursday, Jan. 24.
Mikaela Davis, Delivery. At Vinyl Music Hall Monday, Jan. 21, with Lake Street Dive. LSD’s recent EP is a good listen, too.
– 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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