a review of cool new music
by Jeff Pinzino
February 6, 2009
! Melinda Doolittle – Coming Back to You (soul)
Old-School soul music back with a vengeance. Doolittle brings the vocal fireworks on a classic-style set with the full wall of sound: hammond organ, horns, strings, guitar, drums, and chimes. Guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.
Listen to Melinda Doolittle "Fundamental Things"
* Willie Nelson -- Willie and the Wheel (country)
It's amazing that this country music giant is still making must-hear albums. In enlisting Asleep at the Wheel as his backup band, Nelson captures the jazzy sound of Western Swing popularized in the 1930's by Bob Wills -- uptempo fiddle and pedal steel, in this case with a horn section.
Listen to Willie Nelson "Bring it on Down to My House"
17 Hippies -- El Dorado (world)
A European melting pot with gypsy, klezmer, cabaret, celtic, and other assorted influences. Violin, banjo, accordion, and trumpet are prominent, with other assorted instruments, and vocals in several languages.
Listen to 17 Hippies "Uz "
Keith Jarrett -- Yesterdays (jazz)
A killer piano trio doing an album of serious standards. With tunes by Miles Davis and Charlie Parker as well as real chestnuts like "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes," this is a great jazz 101 lesson for casual listeners, and a trip down memory land for the old hands.
Listen to Keith Jarrett "Scrapple From the Apple "
Young Dubliners -- Saints and Sinners (rock)
Modern Celtic rock, with tuneful songs across drums, guitars, and the occasional pennywhistle. Young Dubliners temper the brashness with introspection in the vein of bands like Oasis and The Smiths.
Listen to Young Dubliners "Rosie"
Leehom Wang -- Heart Beat (rock)
You don't sell 15 million albums without a scientist's ear for what people want to hear. Wang's got it, and although there's no new ground being broken here, you've got to hand it to him for turning in classic rockers, cool club tracks, and plenty of power ballads.
Listen to Leehom Wang "Ai De De Ti "
* highly recommended
! highest recommendation
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