a review of cool new music
by Jeff Pinzino
Happy Birthday Casual Listening! Celebrating one year of great music
* N.E.R.D. – Seeing Sounds (rap)
N.E.R.D.'s uptempo hip hop/dance tracks are crackerjack: there's a surprise in every box. Wildly imaginative beats quote everything from classic jazz to electronic drum&bass. Brilliantly inventive and groovy
Jakob Dylan – Seeing Things (folk)
Simple acoustic songs that tell good stories. He's got a couple of ballads from a soldiers' point of view that imply the cost of war without preaching against it. His poetry is solid, and even if it's not quite the genius of his father, his singing voice is far more listenable.
Jim Shearer and Charlie Wood – The
Vocalese and tuba are rare enough in the jazz world, let alone to find them together. As odd a couple as that sounds, this album really works. Bebop classics such as Monk's "Well You Needn't" alternate with straight-up blues. Organ and drums keep thing swinging and let the featured soloists shine. More tuba solos than I think I've heard in the rest of my life combined.
Doug MacLeod – The
Inspired acoustic blues in neo-traditional style. MacLeod isn't afraid to use his gospel-tinged shout and national steel guitar to try old things in new ways. Vital music, not museum pieces.
In The Blog: Concert Review: Eighth Blackbird; Death Cab for Cutie