Saturday, August 5, 2017

Weekend Music Roundup

As it seems to do every five days or so, the weekend has once again arrived. I'm on vacation this weekend and just updated my player with a bunch of new releases to fill upcoming Roundups. In the meantime, I have my thoughts on a slew of recent listens, some new and others just newly added to my collection. Some jazz, some rock, and something fantastically different. Hopefully you will all have some time to discover new tunes in the coming week. Enjoy.

Amanda Palmer and Edward Ka-Spel - I Can Spin a Rainbow: This new collaboration between Palmer and the man behind the genius of The Legendary Pink Dots is nothing short of superb. It has all the classic eeriness and avant garde storytelling that Ka-Spel has always done so well, but it also has the kind of structure that is sometimes missing from the Dots' more experimental pieces. And Palmer's vocals blend perfectly with Ka-Spel. It seems I only really dig Amanda Palmer when she is paired with other artists that I love (Evelyn, Evelyn is a great example). Dark and beautiful and fantastic. 

Fats Navarro - Fats Navarro Memorial: In the 1940's Fats played trumpet with some of the most well-known jazz artists and was one of the most promising figures when drugs claimed his life in 1950, at the age of 26. This album, released from the French label, Jazz Anthology, as part of their 70's catalog is a collection of some of his most renowned recordings. His smooth style is deceptive, hiding a sadness that comes through the notes.

Sivert Hoyem - Live at Acropolis: The former frontman of the Norwegian band Madrugada has now had a rather long solo career since the band broke up nearly a decade ago. In this live recording, made at the historic Acropolis in Greece, he showcases some of his most profound work in this astounding concert. There is something about his voice that rattles the bones and finds a way into the soul and it all comes out here. A fantastic live record that is definitely worth picking up for fans, or as an introduction to his solo work.

Elton John - Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only the Piano Player: This was the only pre-'76 Elton album that was missing from my collection, and now I have everything from his debut to Blue Moves on vinyl, which may be the single best catalog of any artist. Like the records that came before and the ones that immediately followed, this 1973 record is another fantastic album filled with unforgettable songs. Elton's mix of pop rock, blues pop, and early glam all shine through on here.

Oasis - Acoustic Glory: It's been some time since I reviewed an Oasis bootleg, or had one to review. While in Paris a few weeks back, I found this one from 2016 on vinyl and couldn't resist. These acoustic versions of the "classics" stem from various performances and include brilliant renditions of "Whatever," "Talk Tonight," and "Supersonic." There are few bands that revere more than the Fab Five and proudly fly the oasis banner high.

Leon Russell - Leon Russell and the Shelter People: Released in '71, this is the second album from the legendary piano blues rocker and a gold standard of the genre's era in my opinion. Feeding off the energy of the rock world at the time, the chaotic extremes of the Stones and the recently liberated Lennon, he brings that vibe into his music and creates something completely free and easy, but with the grittiness of the time.

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