a review of cool new music
by Jeff Pinzino
* Laura Barrett –
Adventurous songs for voice, chamber orchestra, and African thumb piano. I could see contemplating this with a bottle of white wine on a summer evening at Ravinia or Tanglewood. Barrett’s lyrics and arrangements have an avant-garde sensibility, while the melodies are beyond haunting.
Listen to Laura Barrett “Wood Between Worlds”
* Shemekia Copeland – Never Going Back (blues)
Classic rhythm and blues from one of the best singers of the new generation. Copeland commands many styles, and on this album sounds great on soul, gospel, Delta, and
Listen to Shemekia Copeland on myspace here with “Never Goin’ Back to
* War Child Presents Heroes (rock)
Fifteen rock gods. Fifteen of their greatest songs. Fifteen bands anointed by the songwriters to do new versions of those songs. Pretending to render any sort of objective judgment on this collection is futile. Just enjoy being the kid in the candy store with this one, and feel even better knowing that your dime gets donated to an organization that rescues child soldiers.
Listen to Beck covering Bob Dylan’s “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat”
Listen to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs covering The Ramones’ “Sheena is a Punk Rocker”
Listen to Estelle covering Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”
K’Naan – Troubador (rap)
Anyone looking for proof of the global scope of rap music should consider K’Naan exhibit A. Raised in
Listen to K’Naan “Dreamer”
Uri Gurvich – The Storyteller (jazz)
A series of jazz extrapolations of Jewish themes. Gurvich’s tenor saxophone quartet draws inspiration from John Coltrane, bringing a similar sound and spiritual centeredness to sounds rooted in another ancient tradition.
Listen to Uri Gurvich “Ha’bonim”
Also worth a listen this week: Lamb of God “Wrath,” The Bran Flakes “I Have Hands”
* highly recommended
! highest recommendation