San Francisco trumpeter and leader Ralph Alessi is joined by a non-imaginary foursome of colleagues—Ravi Coltrane (sax), Andy Milne (piano), Drew Gress (double bass) and Mark Ferber (drums). Labels like “avant garde” can put blinders on both musicians and listeners. Alessi and company sidestep that here. The quintet has discipline, musicianship, and showmanship. Each player brings formidable skills and deep concentration to the mix, stepping forward, then backward, always staying in the musical conversation. Some of it’s abstract, some (“Melee”) is actually kind of danceable. Alessi’s tone is generous and polished, and sings even in the off-kilter stuff.
– Bruce Collier
Somebody’s Favorite Song
Local songbird Kearney has done something that few locals have ever sought to accomplish and has done it in a skillful manner—she’s released an album of cover tunes. From most-requested to those that hold personal meaning to Kearney, she tackles much more than country standards here. With sterling production and out-of-the-box instrumentation, it’s more than an album of covers—it’s a fantastic vehicle to showcase Kearney’s enviable vocal range.
– Nikki Hedrick
Once Great Estate
Upon first listen, this Tallahassee-based group fits neatly into the Americana genre, with roots-based acoustic instrumentals and southern-fried vocals. But as you dive a little deeper into their four-song EP and hit the track “Devil Queen,” the swirling reverb introduces you to what the band deems Hillbilly Triphop—something warm, lightly electronic, nearly gothic, and damn original. The EP closes with “Captain,” its quicker tempo giving listeners a broader understanding of just what this band is capable of. And it’s quite a lot.
– Nikki Hedrick
The Polish Violin
British violinist Jennifer Pike has been playing since the age of five. The Polish Violin is a tribute to her Polish ancestry, and her way of introducing four notable Polish composers (some not well-known outside Poland) to a wider audience. The composers are all drawn from approximately the same period of history (mid-to-late 19th century, early 20th). Half the pieces on the album are by Karol Szymanowski, a leading composer for violin and piano. Accompanied by pianist Petr Limonov, Pike tackles a variety of styles, from romantic to operatic to semi-modern progressive. Try a few of these for Valentine’s Day.
– Bruce Collier
4 Track Demo
Pensacola’s The Spillers are punk without any pomp. Need proof? Scroll to the bottom of their Bandcamp album page where they proudly state, “Recorded in a laundry room for no money.” This is no-frills, DIY music that’s unevenly volumed and creative as hell. Whether they write songs about one of Troma Entertainment’s biggest “hit” movies or do their part to further immortalize a piece of Pensacola punk history with an instrumental tune, this 10-song demo (yes, 10, not four as the album title suggests) nicely encapsulates the energy and heart of punk music.
– Nikki Hedrick
New York-based “low brass specialist” Jennifer Wharton is a documented team player. Her current gig is in the pit orchestra of King Kong: Alive on Broadway, one of many Broadway shows she’s worked on. She also has a formidable jazz ensemble resume. Bonegasm gives her the lead, but she still fronts a trombone foursome, plus piano, bass and drums. The tune list hints at her musical stage roots. There’s lots of razzle-dazzle, bawdy blues (e.g. “Big Long Slidin’ Thing”) and bouncy show music. The trombones get plenty of space here to flex and show their stuff. Embrace the ’bone.
– 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.
- Art Classes & Workshops
- Art Events
- Art Galleries
- Artist Joey McKenna Steps into Nature This Month at SoWal Library
- Call to Artists
- Adopt a Family for the Holidays
- Community Bank Invests $15,000 in NWF State College Students
- Making an Impact: Over $500K Awarded to Local Nonprofits
- Caring and Sharing: Café Thirty-A’s Annual Christmas Charity Ball
- Hold the Dishwashing, Please… Thanksgiving Dining Out Options
- North Beach Tortilla Co. Offers Sand and Sunsets in Santa Rosa Beach
- Overproof, Full Proof and Navy Strength Rums…and the Cocktails That Love Them
- Restaurant Guide
- Rosemary Beach Prohibition Repeal Wine Dinner Set for Dec. 7
- Where to Spend Your Happy Hours
- It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Hallmark!
- Local Film Screenings
- Reviews: Dafoe and Pattinson Shine in “Lighthouse,” Eddie Gets His Dolemite On
- Eric Paslay’s Favorite Live Tracks
- Live Music
- Rock Stars of Comedy… Gallagher Is Coming to Town
- The Pauseandplay.com Record Roundup
- The Record That Changed My Life: Al Alvarado
Where to Spend Your Happy Hours
Baxter’s Bar & Grille 605 James Lee Road Fort Walton Beach 850-812-6868 When: 3-6 PM and 10 PM-Midnight daily. Closed Mondays (for now). Drink Specials: $3 wells, $2 drafts. Camille’s at Crystal...
Harbor Docks Celebrates 25 Years of Thanksgiving Tradition
By Chris Manson Former Harbor Docks owner and Beachcomber contributing writer Charles Morgan credits longtime employee Ann Jones (a/k/a Miss Ann) with the idea of opening the restaurant on Thanksgiving Day....
North Beach Tortilla Co. Offers Sand and Sunsets in Santa Rosa Beach
By Lauren Sage Reinlie Northwest Florida has a new spot to unwind and soak up all the beauty the area has to offer. Chef Jim Shirley’s North Beach Tortilla Co....
Upcoming Stage Shows
FRIDAY, NOV. 8-SATURDAY, NOV. 9 STAGE CRAFTERS’ “THE PAJAMA GAME” Fort Walton Beach Civic Auditorium, 7:30 PM StageCraftersFWB.com Tickets are $25. Cast includes Tim Bartley, Terry Carnathan, David Chancellor, Gabriella Dedmore, Azhia...
Rock Stars of Comedy… Gallagher Is Coming to Town
By Nikki Hedrick Not many comedians reach household name status. Gallagher, by his account, has logged over 4,000 shows and over a dozen comedy TV specials, and has only been slightly...
Making an Impact: Over $500K Awarded to Local Nonprofits
The members of IMPACT 100 of Northwest Florida voted and announced recently the grant recipients for 2019, awarding five $101,600 grants. Representatives of each nonprofit organization named as a finalist were present,...