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The Pauseandplay.com Record Roundup

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John Coltrane

Coltrane ’58: The Prestige Recordings

Craft Recordings

This treasure chest contains 37 tracks from jazz sax icon Coltrane’s “breakthrough” year of 1958. Some of the tracks (all recorded at Rudy Van Gelder’s New Jersey studio) have been released on other albums, so the principal virtue of this set may be its unifying time factor, a documentary of a Very Good Year. Jumping from sideman to lead status, Coltrane flexes and stretches here—it’s a smorgasbord of ballads and pop standards (“Lush Life”) along with bebop classics like “Goldsboro Express.”

– Bruce Collier

Billie Eilish

When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

Interscope

If Eilish is the poster child for what Generation Z pop is going to be like, I’m wholly on board. Backed by EDM beats and with a voice that quivers with emotion (and a skyrocketing fanbase), she’s somewhere outside of genres. For us older folks, the closest comparison is Portishead—due to Eilish being all of 17 years old.

– Nikki Hedrick

Le Chimera Project

Schubert: Winterreise

Analekta

Nineteenth-century Austrian composer Franz Schubert wrote moody, emotional music long before that stuff paid well. His song cycle Winterreise (Winter Journey) is based on a series of 24 poems by German lyric poet Wilhelm Mueller, and it’s been recorded many times. Le Chimera Project tackled Winterreise with an eye toward a fresh interpretation. Since the theme of the poem cycle is wandering, they applied the musical styles and instrumentation of the Ashkenazi Jews and Romani, both world-class wayfarers. The songs are still there, but there’s now an exotic overlay that not only adds to the effect but sharpens the drama.

– Bruce Collier

Pool

The Kids Is Dead

Skeletal Lightning

Without a doubt, this is an April Fool’s joke to remember. Tallahassee indie rock darlings Pool Kids give a nod to Code Orange (who also dropped the “Kids” from their name, but for real) with this stunning hardcore EP. It’s not just a one-note joke, it’s a shockingly well-executed one. And if that wasn’t enough, proceeds from sales of The Kids Is Dead go towards red tide research.

– Nikki Hedrick

Aubrey Logan

Where the Sunshine Is Expensive

Resonance Records

Imagine a young singer with a voice that conjures up Bette Midler and the Pointer Sisters, who also plays a vigorous and growling jazz trombone. You’ve imagined Aubrey Logan, and her latest release Where the Sunshine is Expensive. The title tune refers to Los Angeles, and there’s a theme of airports and travel running through the 12 tracks, but she also does some serious sanctified gospel (“One Three Nine”) and a solid and straight-up vocal-and-trombone cover of “Alfie.” Versatile, funny and energetic, this one is.

– Bruce Collier

EDITOR’S CHOICE – CLASHCAST

Stay Free: The Story of the Clash

Spotify

Gripping podcast about one of the top three rock ‘n’ roll bands of all time (the other two being The Beatles and Creedence) narrated by Chuck D (the perfect choice). Currently five episodes in, Stay Free features new interviews with surviving members, along with archival commentary from the late Joe Strummer, still the gold standard for rock ‘n roll vocalists. You don’t need any incentive to pull London Calling off the shelf for another spin, but the podcast will send you scrambling to reconsider side six of Sandanista!

– Chris Manson
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