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The Pauseandplay.com Record Roundup

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Hilde Louise Asbjornsen

Red Lips, Knuckles and Bones

SongWays

Imagine twangy American blues, say, from Memphis, interspersed with surfing song riffs, coupled with early Deborah Harry, and you’ll still need to hear Hilde Louise Asbjornsen’s Red Lips, Knuckles and Bones. The Norwegian-born singer/comedian/cabaret artist has a background in “Science Theatre” (look it up, it’s pretty much what it says), and looks like Carol Kane by way of Gwen Verdon. As a singer, she’s has that cool, arch irony in her phrasing that eludes lesser vocalists, Maybe it’s a Scandinavian thing. It’s fun to listen to her, like she’s trying to suppress a laugh. I want to see her live.

– Bruce Collier

Faux/Fox

Twin Killers

Independent

Somewhere between the murky subgenres of post-rock and post-hardcore, Pensacola’s Faux/Fox has taken root.  Since the band’s inception, they’ve pushed their boundaries, conquered heavy themes, and constantly evolved their sound.  Twin Killers is the fruit of that growth, and although the band tends to mock themselves in their descriptions (creating disgusting noise, guys?), they have a fan base as varied as their musical inspirations. If you like heavy music of nearly any flavor, Faux/Fox will win you over.

Nikki Hedrick

Yuko Mabuchi

Yuko Mabuchi Plays Miles Davis

Yarlung Records

Japanese-born, Los Angeles-based jazz pianist Yuko Mabuchi’s fourth album is a live-recording salute to Miles Davis. Mabuchi has help from JJ Kirkpatrick (trumpet), Del Atkins (bass) and Bobby Breton (drums). JJ plays the horn, but he does not hog all the Miles to himself. Mabuchi is the leader, and probably a more generous one than her subject was. The program (eight songs) lingers in Davis’ small combo, Cool Jazz range, with tracks like “Milestones” and “So What.” It’s not a cover, nor exactly a reinterpretation. More like a thank-you gesture, to Miles and also to his great pianist Red Garland.

– Bruce Collier

Herbert Schuch

Bagatellen – Beethoven and Ligeti

CAvi-music

Herbert Schuch is a Romanian pianist who thought he could put Beethoven together with a 20th century Romanian/Hungarian avant-garde composer Gyorgy Ligeti and make them play nice. And they do, especially when you bear in mind what a game-changer Beethoven was in his own time. “Bagatellen” refers to short, light and abstract pieces of music, often for piano, that probably were among the precursors of modern jazz. It’s sort of an intellectual jam session for one, and just the sort of thing that would appeal to a loner like Beethoven. If you like Debussy and Satie, check this one out.

– Bruce Collier

EDITOR’S CHOICE

Jazz Fest: The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

Smithsonian Folkways

The 5-CD set includes essays and photos spanning the event’s 50-year history, and it will set you back around 80 bucks. If you’re on the fence, stream John Boutte’s definitive post-Katrina take on Randy Newman’s “Louisiana 1927” and the soul-shattering gospel set that includes the Zion Harmonizers’ “I Want to Be at That Meeting/Golden Gate Gospel Train,” Irma Thomas’ “Old Rugged Cross,” Raymond Myles & the Gospel Soul Children’s “Can’t Nobody Do Me Like Jesus,” and “I Can Go to God in Prayer” by (wait for it) Johnson Extension.

– Chris Manson

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