a review of cool new music
by Jeff Pinzino
! Bernstein: Mass – Jubilant Sykes,
A new recording of the least-performed work of one of
Listen to Bernstein: Mass “A Simple Song”
* James Moody – 4A (jazz)
Even at 85, years old, Moody’s tone on tenor sax is blazing. With a simple quartet and a set of such standards as Round Midnight and Stella by Starlight, he once again proves himself worthy of the moniker “living legend.”
Listen to James Moody “East of the Sun”
Bela Fleck, Zakir Hussain, Edgar Meyer – The Melody of Rhythm (classical)
Blistering virtuosity on a newly composed triple concerto for banjo, bass, and table drums, accompanied by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. It’s often over even my head, but there’s still some powerful new music here. Hussain’s drumming is wondrous, and between the pitched drums and the banjo (which itself contains a drum), the paradox implied in the title is well-explored.
Listen to Bela Fleck, Zakir Hussain, Edgar Meyer – “The Melody of Rhythm, Mvmt. 2”
Susana Baca – Seis Poemas (Latin)
An emotionally packed short set from a fantastic Peruvian folk singer. The lyrics come from poems of another Peruvian singer, Chabuca Granda. The language is exquisite, and the voicing even moreso.
Listen to Susana Baca “Resbalosas”
Drive-By Truckers – The Fine Print (Country)
When your B-sides are as good as the ones collected on this album, you can begin to legitimately stake your claim as king of the hill in alternative country. Ragged guitars, mournful pedal steel, and lyrics that read like short stories are DBT’s calling cards, and they’re all powerfully in evidence here.
Listen to Drive By Truckers “George Jones Talkin’ Cell Phone Blues”
The Black Crowes – Before the Frost…Until the Freeze (rock)
Three-quarters of this double-album is skippable, but the five remaining songs would make an EP than points to a powerful new direction for the Black Crowes. In place of the vocal high-wire act that characterized their early records, they’ve come done in the fertile soil of folk
Listen to The Black Crowes:
Juliette Lewis – Terra Incognita (rock)
Perfect punk attitude in the vein of Patti Smith. She shows herself to be a woman not afraid of her own voice.
Listen to Juliette Lewis “Ghosts”
* highly recommended
! highest recommendation
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