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The Pauseandplay.com Record Roundup

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Bill Frisell and Thomas Morgan

Epistrophy

ECM

Bill Frisell on guitar and Thomas Morgan on double bass released an album in 2017 (Small Town) taken from a live performance run at Village Vanguard in 2016. That same memorable gig yielded a second record, Epistrophy. I’m not sure whether Frisell is blessed with picking simpatico collaborators, or whether just the fact of playing with Frisell himself makes everyone simpatico. However it works, this 10-song program covers classic jazz, American Songbook, even bluegrass and folk songs, smoothly gliding from one to the next, each tune dropping down like ripe apples off a tree.

– Bruce Collier

Wynton Marsalis

Bolden – Music from the Original Soundtrack

Blue Engine

Trumpeter, leader, composer and historian Wynton Marsalis joined with longtime collaborators Wycliffe Gordon, Marcus Printup and others on Bolden, the soundtrack of a newly released biopic about legendary New Orleans jazz cornetist and alleged “father of jazz” Buddy Bolden. Since I’m pretty sure the movie will never come to any local theater, I’ll content myself with this lush, meticulous musical framework. Twenty-six tunes evoke Bolden (about whom next to nothing is known) and early 20th century New Orleans in all its tragic, vulgar glory. Marsalis and company create, as always, spot-on embodiments of style and period, unvarnished and technically flawless.

– Bruce Collier

Rotted Remains

The Butcher

Independent

Panama City’s Rotted Remains return with their second release and artfully dodge any inkling of a sophomore slump with this ultra-heavy EP. With old-school styled lyrics full of blood and brutality—and the chops to back them up—Rotted Remains are a death metal tour de force.

Nikki Hedrick

Fumi Tomita

The Elephant Vanishes: Jazz Interpretations of the Short Stories of Haruki Murakami

OA2 Records

Japanese bassist Fumi Tomita partakes of the works of short story writer Haruki Murakami in The Elephant Vanishes. The title is taken from one of the stories. I’m not familiar with Murakami’s work, but I understand he employs realism, surrealism, liberal use of Western pop culture and good old fashioned disconnection and loneliness. Sounds like jazz fodder to me. I was expecting high concept but it’s surprisingly accessible, played by Tomita and his combo of sax, guitar, piano and drums.

– Bruce Collier

Vagrants

Separation

Equal Vision Records

This Pensacola post-hardcore band is one you should be watching. They have been touring heavily—and with some of the biggest names in the genre—in support of this debut EP.  They aren’t just waiting for big things to happen, but are actively out there creating them.  Separation is a stellar debut that showcases why Vagrants are garnering attention from all corners. With well-rounded clean vocals, powerful screams and the musicianship to back it all up, I wouldn’t be surprised if I got to say “I knew them when…” one day very soon.

Nikki Hedrick

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