Thursday, February 12, 2009

Casual Listening -- Christian Grabandt & Larry Porter, Nels Cline

Casual Listening

a review of cool new music

by Jeff Pinzino

February 13, 2009

* Christian Grabandt & Larry Porter – Ol’ Man River (jazz)

Elegant trumpet melodies with just a piano for backup. Big classics such the title track are joined with a couple of new tunes in arrangements notable for their simplicity. This is an eminently approachable jazz album.

Listen to Christian Grabandt & Larry Porter “I Want a Little Girl

Nels Cline – Coward (new age)

A collection of finely textured guitar atmospheres. With subtle melodic movement, these pieces envelop you in sound – often reassuring, sometimes disconcerting. This is ambient music that demands and rewards listening, as opposed to most of what you’ll find playing in the waiting room at the holistic doctor’s office.

Listen to Nels Cline “Prayer Wheel

Anthony B – Rise Up (reggae)

This Jamaican artist manages to deliver dancehall-style energetic vocals over a laid-back reggae backbeat. It’s an effective hybrid, bringing a sense of urgency to the otherwise hypnotic rhythms. Politically conscious, musically delicious.

Listen to Anthony B. Stop Fight Reggae

Golem! – Citizen Boris (world)

Edgy Gypsy rock. A series of shifting meters gives rhythmic intensity to these occasionally risqué songs sung in English. Accordions, brass, violin, and drums define the sound.

Listen to Golem! “Train Across Ukraine

Sam Bisbee – Son of a Math Teacher (rock)

Indelible pop in the vein of sensitive songsters like Matthew Sweet. The arrangements oscilate between rock and orchestral, with solid hooks in either idiom.

Listen to Sam Bisbee “This is the Day

In the blog: Casual Listening Wins 7 Grammys, Lily Allen

* highly recommended

! highest recommendation

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