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The Pauseandplay.com Record Roundup

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Bloodest Saxophone

Texas Queens 5

Vizztone/Dialtone

Bloodest Saxophone is a Japanese jazz sextet—tenor sax, baritone, trombone, guitar, upright bass and drums/congas. They partnered here with a blues, gospel, R&B and soul vocal quintet, the Texas Queens 5. Despite the exotic sound of such a mix, the result is a quintessentially American hybrid. Both groups are deeply rooted in the sounds of the ‘50s and ‘60s, when rock, jazz and blues were joyously miscegenating. It’s rolling, throbbing, raunchy and bawdy, but thankfully irony-free, so you can enjoy it the way it was meant to be enjoyed, eyes wide open. Grab a banana mic and lip-sync away.

– Bruce Collier

Heatseeker

Heatseeker

Independent

Pulling from both traditional hardcore and thrash metal influences, Pensacola’s Heatseeker is bound to bring that mosh pit energy to everything they do. This four-song EP sticks to the hardcore structure of short songs clocking in under two minutes, directly speaking for themselves. It’s isn’t about flowery prose, but a fearless form of aggression that doesn’t hesitate to plainly speak its truth. Even better, they invested in the EP’s production, giving this growing band better footing as they launch themselves forward.

– Nikki Hedrick

Later, Dude

Are We Helping? Are We Hurting?

Independent

Nestled in the ultra-broad genre of alternative rock, Panama City’s Later, Dude is what happens when pop-punk and emo sensibilities mature while achieving a more sophisticated song structure. Weighty introspective lyrics and emotional delivery—perhaps Later, Dude describes it best themselves: “You thought the world had enough bands of 20-something-year-olds writing songs about girls and existential crisis? THINK AGAIN!”

– Nikki Hedrick

Oracle

Seven Deadly Sins

Independent

A concept album of sorts from the Mobile band that has never fit neatly into one category of metal. Oracle are consistently heavy, but each song on this full-length has its own personality and secrets. Heavier than what you’ll find on the average rock radio station but with enough melodic components to not seem wholly foreign to hard rock fans, Oracle deserves a listen from any headbanger.

– Nikki Hedrick

Jeremy Pelt

The Artist

High Note

Jazz trumpeter-composer-educator Jeremy Pelt continues to travel on his own paths with The Artist. Here he leads an octet featuring vibes, marimba, Fender Rhodes, piano, guitar, bass and percussion. The first five tracks are “The Rodin Suite,” an interpretation of the life and works of the French sculptor Auguste Rodin. The remaining songs take their titles from creative materials, including “Ceramic” and “Watercolors,” and so on. Pelt’s themes seem to be the hands-on nature of art, and, in the case of “Feito” (meaning “finished”) and “As of Now,” the satisfaction of completed work balanced with the continuing urge to create.

– Bruce Collier

Possible(s) Quartet

Songs from Bowie

Les Improfreesateurs

French jazz foursome homage to rock’s own original chameleon, the late David Bowie. The album title is an intentional hint—the 10 tracks are not traditional jazz covers of Bowie’s songs. They’re more like interpretational voyages, taking off from these musical launching pads. The first track, appropriately, is “Space Oddity.” Other tracks include “The Man Who Sold the World” and “Life on Mars,” with lesser known (i.e., non top-40) works as well. This is not David Bowie for Beginners (that’s a lifetime study), but the Possible(s) are doing what jazz does best—creative exploration across musical boundaries.

– Bruce Collier

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