Avishai Cohen and Yonathan Avishai
Playing the Room
Israeli jazz trumpeter Cohen and pianist Avishai have been playing together for years, but Playing the Room is their first strictly duo album. They chose their venue carefully—an acoustically superior recording studio on the Swiss-Italian border—enabling the pun in the album title. Only two musicians almost automatically labels this “chamber music,” but their familiarity makes for a lively and sometimes surprising program. Among the standouts in the nine tracks are “Kofifi Blue,” “Ralph’s New Blues,” a cheerfully dreamy rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke” and a moving adaptation of a cradle song (“Shir Eres”).
– Bruce Collier
Miles Davis, et al.
The release of the “discovered” Miles Davis recording Rubberband was good news to fans. Recorded in 1985 (Miles died in 1991), he and a group of younger musicians laid down a variety of experimental tracks. The album was never released. Now it’s out, and some of it begs the question, “Where’s the Miles?” In places, the revolutionary trumpeter is submerged in hip-hop and other modernized embellishments. Elsewhere—as in “Carnival Time” and “Give it Up”—he comes on strong. Critics have said Rubberband was Miles’ bid for an MTV-friendly hit. Would they have said that to his face?
– Bruce Collier
The Juice Is Okay
A Familiar Space
Pensacola’s indie rock whirlwind pairs striking melodies with…well, everything. The song “TV” finds the band slipping their toes into psychedelia, while “Strange Phobias” feels like a warm lullaby. Although the concept of indie rock seems constantly influx, TJIO strips it back to the DIY style, pulling from varied influences and projecting a hungry energy to the listener. This band seems ready to fight for their spot on your playlist, and they deserve it.
– Nikki Hedrick
Promise Kept – The Complete Artists House Recordings
The title refers to a promise made by jazz alto/tenor sax player Art Pepper to Artists House producer John Snyder, that Pepper would record an album for Snyder’s label. He ended up doing four, remastered and collected here. Pepper’s personal life was a mess—heroin, jail, hospital, and the love of a good woman—but here he’s crystal clear, dealing out “Straight, No Chaser,” “Donna Lee,” “Night in Tunisia,” and others. The album includes previously unissued and alternate takes, several labeled “false starts” or “long false starts.” This six-hour, 50-track release is Christmas in September for Pepper fans.
– Bruce Collier
The Greatest Weapon
The Pensacola hip-hop artist and activist never hesitates to use his voice to impact change. Although the message is loud and clear, this EP makes sure to showcase it with timeless samples, beats and production. This isn’t hip-hop that is following trends, but music that aims to create something bigger than any one person or track. This EP from Steele is powerful, and we’re lucky to have him in our area.
– Nikki Hedrick
The Rough Guide to the Roots of Country Music
World Music Network
The ideal 25-track solution for anyone (like me) that has 73 hours of the Ken Burns Country Music series saved up on the DVR that most likely will never be watched. All but one of these (The Carter Family’s “Wildwood Flower”) are pretty obscure, even the Jimmie Rodgers. And I listen to that guy a lot.
– Chris Manson
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
ARTESANO BOUTIQUE, 180 Miracle Strip Parkway, Fort Walton Beach. Call 850-244-4222 for more info, and register for classes at facebook.com/artesanoboutiquehandmade. Prices for classes vary based on material costs and time. Feb. 9....
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