It’s Grateful Dead New Vinyl Thursday at The Vinyl Underground at 7th Heaven. Check out this week’s list of new vinyl arrivals:
AC/DC- 74 Jailbreak
Acid Dad- Take It From The Dead
Aesop Rock- Appleseed
Andra Day- The United States Vs. Billie Holiday (Music From the Motion Picture)
Anita Baker- Rapture
Barbra Streisand- Release Me 2
Barenaked Ladies- Detour De Force
Bikini Kill- Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah
Black Keys- Rubber Factory
Black Sabbath- Black Sabbath
Bob Mould- Distortion: Live
Charles Mingus- Mingus At Carnegie Hall (Deluxe Edition)
Mingus at Carnegie Hall is not for amateurs. The shortest of the six songs in this set is more than 10 minutes long. Most performances hover around the 20-minute mark. But once listeners get a toe in the door of jazz bass player and bandleader Charles Mingus’ eccentric and confounding world, the expanded Carnegie collection offers many riches.
This deluxe reissue of the complete concert is a long-awaited upgrade over the original single-LP release, which just contained the two encores. Jon Faddis’ trumpet soars on the opening “Peggy’s Blue Skylight.” Pianist Don Pullen attacks his instrument like a drum during a solo on the 23-minute take of “Celia.”
While the performances are lengthy and highly improvised, they aren’t ragged by any means. Mingus’ ensemble is well-rehearsed and the bandleader keeps them tight from his perch behind the double bass. A 21-minute romp through “Fables of Faubus,” a blistering manifesto against Arkansas governor who defied desegregation orders 20 years earlier, in the 1950s, doesn’t lack any venom despite the absence of the vocals on the original version.
The final two numbers are previously released, but shine even brighter in this context. Mingus welcomes three alumni to the stage to jam on a pair of songs most closely associated with Duke Ellington. The three sax players – including Rashaan Roland Kirk – trade solos and musical punches and jokes while spurring each other farther and farther out.
Mingus at Carnegie Hall is not background music, but it paints a fabulous portrait of the visionary bandleader in the twilight of his career, yet still at the peak of his powers.- Joel Francis
Christian McBride- Bringin’ It
Claire Cotrill puts a twist on the sound of singer-songwriter with her unique, intimate voice. At the young age of just 13, she started releasing music on YouTube regularly. “Pretty Girl” took off with over 250 million streams on spotify, skyrocketing her career. Her tones and whimsical instrumental backings carve a path for futuristic sounds to protrude and inspire many to come. I’d like to say she falls under the indie pop genre, but she actually expands her reach by playing R&B, bedroom pop, and indie. Her new album, “Sling,” would fall more into the category of singer-songwriter and R&B.
Track #3, “Partridge,” reminds me a lot of the artist Cavetown with her use of her higher octaves and beautiful double harmonies. This being her sophomore album, I think she’s really starting to find her sound. She started in bedroom pop, making her way to a cleaner, more rhythmic sound. Her voice has matured a lot throughout the years along with the ideas trickling in with the instruments. In this album, it sounds as if she has a much better understanding of how to experiment while not only keeping a clear sound, but her sound. In the song, “Zinnias,” her lyrics lay more intricate with a simple backing guitar, only to clear the way- just at the right time- for a melodic, whimsical guitar riff. This song, along with many others on this album, tell a story which I really like. She fills the space without overpowering it.
Overall I really enjoy listening to this album. It ranges from mellow, to experimental, to soft and playful, giving it a beautiful variation. I’d recommend this album to anyone who likes: Temporex, The Marias, Her’s, and Billie Eilish. -Nova Stebbin
Daft Punk- Random Access Memories
Dan Melchior- Desperate Little Town
Def Leppard- X
Deftones- Diamond Eyes
Depeche Mode- Songs of Faith & Devotion
Depeche Mode- Ultra
Dexter Gordon Quartet- Something Different
Dinosaur Jr- Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not
Dinosaur Jr.- Dinosaur Jr.
Drive-By Truckers- Plan 9 Records July 13, 2006
As Jason Isbell’s stature as a singer/songwriter continues to increase, his time in the Drive-By Truckers also grows in mythology. Recorded at Plan 9 Records in Richmond, Va., the former capital of the Confederacy, the greatest Southern rock band not named Lynyrd Skynyrd or the Allman Bros. Band tears through 25 songs in a little more than two hours.
Frontman Patterson Hood has gone on record stating this show is the best recording of the Isbell era. In the liner notes, he recalls “Our pay was a case of PBR and two bottles of whiskey. There wasn’t a drop left by the end of the encore.”
This abandon comes through in the performance. Isbell’s was close to (amicably) leaving the group to become a solo artist and his marriage to Truckers’ bass player Shonna Tucker was close to divorce. Pedal steel player John Neff left the band (for the third time) not long after this show. All of this contributes to a sound Hood calls “loose and raggedy at times, yet somehow also tighter than shit.”
The set contains loads of Truckers’ staples – “Marry Me,” “18 Wheels of Love,” “Decoration Day” – but many moments that remind you how powerful the band as both songwriters and performers. One of my favorite sequences starts with “Shut Up and Get on the Plane” and peaks with “Zip City.” Hood and Mike Cooley trade songs (and lead vocals) with a glorious cover of the Rolling Stones “Moonlight Mile” in the center of the five-song stretch. The soaring guitars and intermingling vocals never fail to produce goosebumps. This is rock and roll as it is meant to be.- Joel Francis
Drive-By Truckers- The Dirty South
El Michels Affair Meets Liam Bailey- Ekundayo Inversions
Frankie & Witch Fingers- Sidewalk
George Harrison- All Things Must Pass
When the “quiet Beatle” had the opportunity to step out from the shadows of the much celebrated and beloved other songwriters in the Fab Four, he made the most of the opportunity. The triple-album All Things Must Pass is an embarrassment of riches. A way to clean the cupboards of all the songs that didn’t make it on late-period Beatles albums and prove that Harrison was both a musician and songwriter par excellence.
Belated reissued in commemoration of the 1970 album’s 50th anniversary, this new edition offers scores of surprises that will delight even the most dedicated fans. To start with, the original album has been remastered and remixed. Handled with the same care and spirit as last year’s John Lennon ultimate remixes, the result here reduces the effects applied by original album producer Phil Spector and recasts the performances in a broader way than was possible in the early 1970s. Put simply, the new focus is more straightforward and casts Harrison in a more flattering light.
Then there is the bonus material. The more you pay, the more content you receive. The eight-album collection comes with sets called Day 1 and Day 2 demos. The Day 1 double-LP set captures Harrison teaching the band these new songs. Day 2, a single LP, is mostly acoustic performances of Harrison showcasing the songs for Spector. Both sets are sequenced as an alternate version of the album and provide an insightful look at how the material took off.
All Things’ third album, a collection of jams, has always been more problematic than the first two, song-oriented platters. Fans who dig Harrison’s unscripted improvisations with the band that would become Derek and the Dominos will find a lot to love in the two LPs of jam outtakes.
Whether you spring for the fully loaded deluxe edition, stay with the traditional release or wind up somewhere in between, the 50th anniversary of All Things Must Pass offers revelations and interest for all who experience it.- Joel Francis
Hazel English- Just Give In / Never Going Home
Holly Golightly- Down Gina’s at 3
Holly Golightly- Nobody Will Be There
J. Cole- 2014 Forest Hills Drive
Jackie Brown- Jackie Brown: Music From The Miramax Motion Picture
Jackson Browne- Downhill From Everywhere
Jimi Hendrix- Are You Experienced
Jimmy Smith- Root Down
Joao Donato- Jazz is Dead 007
Back in the spring of 2020, producer Adrian Younge and former A Tribe Called Quest turntablist Ali Shaheed Muhammad released an album called Jazz is Dead. Each of its eight tracks featured a different guest. Over the subsequent months, full-length albums came out bearing the same title, but different numbers. Volumes seven and eight complete the cycle of guests that appeared on the first release.
Joao Donato brings the bossa nova rhythm he’s credited with creating to his partnership with Younge and Shaheed Muhammad. Vocalist Loren Oden sings on six of the songs, bringing an otherworldly vibe – especially on “Aquarius (Bring Her Back Home).” Overall, Donato’s pleasant set simmers and stirs without boiling over, making it a pleasant listen either in the background or foreground.
Pianist Brian Jackson is best known for his decade of work with poet Gil Scott Heron, in the 1970s. His playing here is so expressive and free, you wouldn’t guess this is just Jackson’s second album in 20 years. Jackson hops from various synthesizers to a Fender Rhodes and even plays flute across these eight songs. Opening cut “Under the Bridge” sounds like the soundtrack to a lost Blaxplotation film. “Mars Walk” and “Young Muhammad” are deeply funky tracks, thanks in no small part to Malachi Morehead’s drumming. “Nancy Wilson” is a tribute to the late jazz vocalist that finds Jackson on flute. Closer “Ethiopian Sunshower” adds Latin jazz and Afro-Cuban rhythms to the mix.
If these are indeed the final volumes in the Jazz is Dead series, Younge and Shaheed Muhammad have picked strong collects to end with (not that there are any bad volumes in the series). Hopefully, more collaborations are forthcoming.- Joel Francis
John Hiatt- Leftover Feelings
Juice Wrld- Legends Never Die
Julia Jacklin- Crushing
Jungle- Loving In Stereo
Kanye West- 808S & Heartbreak
Kanye West- College Dropout
Kuni Kawachi- Kirikyogen
Less than Jake- B Is For B-sides
Los Lobos- Native Sons
Mac Miller- Swimming
McCoy Tyner- Expansions
The Blue Note Records masterful Tone Poets reissue series continues with a pair of albums from underrated jazz pianists.
Recorded in 1968, McCoy Tyner’s Expansions lives up to its title. Tyner pushes his all-star band hard, bringing in bass player Ron Carter to play cello and moving tenor saxophone player Wayne Shorter to clarinet for one track. (Both Carter and Shorter were in Miles Davis’ band at the time.) The result is an album that pushes the jazz sound without venturing into the avant-garde. It is a challenging listen that remains accessible, for the most part. -Joel Francis
Michael Jackson- Off The Wall
Miles Davis- A Tribute To Jack Johnson
Mudhoney- Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge (30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)
Mumford & Sons- Babel
Mumford & Sons- Sigh No More
My Chemical Romance- Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge
If I had to choose one band to summarize the “emo” genre, it would be My Chemical Romance by a long shot. They released their debut album after being a band for just 3 months, and two years later they had their break with their sophomore album, “Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge,” released in 2004.
Before they emerged in the scene, grunge music was the “emo” sound for the 90’s with bands like Nirvana, older Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone age, and more. When MCR debuted in 2002, they brought a new sound with them. They put an emphasis on emotion with a mix of post-hardcore, grunge, and rock making for new, explosive emo tracks. To only say they convey emotion wouldn’t do their music justice. Track #5, “I’m Not Okay (I Promise),” is the prime example of what they do best. This song is about a man deeply in love with a girl he’s been messing around with knowing she has a boyfriend. He desperately longs for her but she keeps him on a string, when he finally decides to part would be for the best. He’s completely heartbroken, or in other words, “not okay” as he so violently shouts throughout the song. The track following, “The Ghost of You,” executes pure sadness beautifully by using dissonant guitar chords, and a mix of soft and gritty vocals to convey how he felt about losing someone he loved dearly.
Throughout the entire album, they incorporate deep, relatable stories with intricate instrumentals to create an emotion evoking masterpiece. Something I think they did really well with this album was their fearless attempts to be unique. Each track uses similar elements with enough variation to stray from being repetitive, telling a different story to relate to, cry to, or simply jam to. I personally find solace in this album because the stories they tell are personal and topics that not many other artists talk about. It’s not just sad though, they draw out a wide scope of emotions in strong ways: loud vocals, crashing drums, powerful guitar riffs, and various breakdowns. Sure they have a few slower songs, but they balance them out with post-hardcore/rock songs to unleash wonderfully tamed chaos.
Anyone listening to My Chemical Romance might also know or enjoy: Pierce The Veil, Sleeping With Sirens, Falling in Reverse, and Mayday Parade. – Nova Stebbin
N.W.A.- Straight Outta Compton
Nas- King’s Disease
Neil Young- Homegrown
Pearl Jam- No Code
Playboi Carti- Whole Lotta Red
Prince- Welcome 2 America
Sun Ra – Lanquidity (Boxed Set)
Son Volt- Electro Melodier
Sonny Clark- My Conception
Sonny Clark’s 1959 session with sax player Hank Mobley (one of five albums the two made together), trumpeter Donald Byrd, bass player Paul Chambers and drummer Art Blakey was shelved for two decades. Listening to the album now, it’s hard to see why. The six Clark originals are prime cuts of hard bop. Byrd and Mobley play masterfully off each other and Blakey keeps the songs swinging hard in his forceful style. Although Clark is the bandleader, he gives each member of the ensemble plenty of room to improvise and play off each other.
As with previous Tone Poets releases, both the music and packaging has been remastered. The album photos pop off the page with startling clarity, while the music is at audiophile quality at reasonable pricing. Whether you have a state-of-the-art setup or a more modest system, dropping the needle on a Tone Poet album will take you straight to Birdland.- Joel Francis
Stanley Turrentine- Look Out: Rudy Van Gelder Recordings
Stanley Turrentine- Up at Minton’s
Stanley Turrentine- Up at Mintons 2
Steve Reid Ensemble- Spirit Walk
The Anniversary- Designing A Nervous Breakdown
The Awakening- Mirage
The Brian Jonestown Massacre- Bravery Repetition & Noise
The Brian Jonestown Massacre- Take It from the Man
The Clash- London Calling
The Cure- Seventeen Seconds
The Grateful Dead- Grateful Dead (Skull & Roses)
The Grateful Dead- Workingman’ Dead
The Kinks- Something Else By the Kinks
The Neighb’rhood Childr’n- Neighb’rhood Childr’n
The Rolling Stones- Exile on Main Street
The Traveling Wilburys- The Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 1
Tommy Turrentine- Tommy Turrentine
Tori Amos- Under The Pink
Velvet Underground & Nico- The Velvet Underground & Nico
Weezer- Ok Human
Yes – Songs From Tsongas – 35th Anniversary Concert (Anniversary Edition)
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