New Music Monday: Andrew Bird, and a weird thing with Daryl Hall and Robert Fripp

Here’s a run down — with a few of our thoughts — on some notable music projects, both new and reissue, slated for release for the week of Jan. 2, 2012. That includes fresh product from Andrew Bird, Noel Gallagher and Jimmy Owens, along with interesting updates of older items by Bob Dylan, Daryl Hall, Miles Davis, Prince, the Beau Brummels, the Who (of course!; an every-week tradition!), Tony Joe White and others.

HERE’S NEW MUSIC MONDAY, FOR JAN. 2

Aaron Koppel QuartetMultiverse (Jazz)

ANDREW BIRD – ‘NORMAN’ ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK (STAGE AND SCREEN): I hear a good melody and I am hooked – the kind of thing that sounds like it is crawling over and through the nooks and crannies of the music as if a centipede is making its way through the busy forest undergrowth. And that’s what Bird’s music is – busy forest undergrowth, with a beautiful melody weaving its way through it, across it, and sometimes opposed to it. It seems like odd, demanding music when described, but the results with Bird are often serene and beautiful, the kind of thing that, for the right listeners, quickly becomes a favorite – and Bird seems to be finding a growing fanbase with each release. (More here.)Tom Johnson

Banda Pequeños MusicalLa Fortaleza (Latin)
Bebo ValdésChico and Rita (Jazz)

BOB DYLAN – GOOD AS I BEEN TO YOU (POP/ROCK): A new reissue finds Dylan unplugged in the early 1990s, but without the fawning audience or the MTV residuals. Solo — even during a session where he defiantly sidesteps the conventions of your average vocalist — Dylan remains unrivaled. In fits and turns, he reclaims both the cranky folk (“Blackjack Davey”) and the loose blues feel of his first album (“Sittin’ on Top of the World”). Nick’s Picks: “Little Maggie.” And “Froggie Went A-Courtin’” — which you might remember as You Get a Line and I’ll Get A Pole from “The Andy Griffith Show.” (More here.)Nick DeRiso

Cage the ElephantLive From the Vic in Chicago DVD (Pop/Rock)
Carlos y JoséBohemia Ente Amigos (Latin)
CelestiaFrigidis Apotheosia (Pop/Rock)
Chet AtkinsWorkshop (Pop/Rock)

Chris IsaakGreatest Hits: Live DVD/Blu-ray (Pop/Rock)
Chuy VegaPuras de Juan Gabriel (Latin)
Connie FrancisAt the Copa (Pop/Rock)

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DARYL HALL – SACRED SONGS, BLUE-SPEC (POP/ROCK): A deeply underrated late-1970s collaboration with Robert Fripp. At the time, it seemed to many a confusing and fascinating mess — sometimes, as in “Babs and Babs/Urban Landscape,” all at once. The track starts innocuously enough, with a urbane groove (provided in overdubs by the H&O touring band) and a knowing, street-wise lyric that recalls any number of the group’s other hair-gelled R&B updates. But then Fripp begins pasting on a series of wow-man elements never dreamt of on a Hall and Oates-related release — and things get decidedly more interesting. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Sacred Songs was shelved for years. Even by 1980, however, nobody had quite caught up to this project’s inventive pastiche. (Let’s call it, I don’t know, prog rock-pop?) But they would. Ask the Trevor Horn-era members of Yes. (More here.)Nick DeRiso

Daryl HallThree Hearts in the Happy Ending Machine; Soul Alone, Blue-Spec (Pop/Rock)
DeathprodTreetop Drive; Imaginary Songs from Tristan da Cunha (Electronic)
Elvis PresleyElvis Country [Legacy Edition], Sony Legacy (Pop/Rock)
Fidel NadalForever Together, Nacional (Latin)
Frankie LaineHell Bent For Leather (Pop/Rock)
Fred AndrewsThis Side of Crazy (Country)
Glenn GouldGlenn Gould plays Bach (1952-1955) (Classical)
HaemorrhageApology for Pathology; Grume (Pop/Rock)
House of Low CulturePoisoned Soil, Sub Rosa (Pop/Rock)
James BrownSexmachine (R&B)
Jay StewartEnjoy the Ride (Blues)

JIMMY OWENS – THE MONK PROJECT, IPO RECORDINGS (JAZZ): Notable for its considered, almost slow-motion attention to detail here, as trumpeter Jimmy Owens and Co. tease out every blues-soaked nuance from the oft-heard music of Thelonious Monk. It’s easy to focus on the brilliant convolutions of his music, the blind-alley syncopations and the turbulent chord changes. But there was real grit, and no small amount of beauty, to the tortured pianist’s work — something that The Monk Project brilliantly underscores. (More here.)Nick DeRiso

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Joan BaezVolume 2 (Pop/Rock)
John WilliamsThe Beginning of a Legend, Vol. 2 (Classical)
Johnny CashNow Here’s Johnny Cash (Country)
Jon BauerForevermore Crossway (Religious)
Lego FeetLego Feet (Electronic)
MachinefabriekVeldwerk (Electronic)
Matthew SweetGirlfriend, Blue-Spec (Pop-Rock)

MILES DAVIS – OUT OF THE BLUES (JAZZ): A collection of albums spanning the mid-1940s through the late-1950s, including the legendary 1957 collaboration with Gil Evans, Miles Ahead — which was initially billed by Columbia Records, in the flatly obvious tone of the day, as “Miles Davis plus 19, with Gil Evans.” Right. Anyway, this record touched off an incredible rejuvenation for both. Next came Porgy and Bess, issued a year later; and then Sketches of Spain from 1960. Too, arguably the best recordings by Evans and Davis apart from each other as band leaders are from this period, as well: Miles’ 1959 Kind of Blue and Gil’s 1960 Impulse LP Out of the Cool. (More here.)Nick DeRiso

NecrovorousFuneral for the Sane, Pulverised (Pop/Rock)

NOEL GALLAGHER’S HIGH FLYING BIRDS – IF I HAD A GUN (POP/ROCK): Together with Liam in Oasis, the Gallaghers had an unprecedented string of 22 Top 10 hits on the UK charts, the longest such chart run ever. Of course, both brothers have moved on now with new projects — after a series of pitched disagreements. There has been smashing of guitars over one another’s craniums moments before shows. One Gallagher heckling the other from the rafters, while his brother/bandmate is trying to perform their legendary songs at acoustic shows. And, of course, multiple reunions, break-ups and cancellations. Now, we are left with Liam’s Beady Eye, which consists of the remaining members of Oasis minus little brother, and this solo gig for Noel. Unfortunately, nothing they do separately seems to able to capture the magic of those seven studio Oasis albums. (More here.)Matthew Reynolds

Pearl JamTwenty DVD/Blu-ray (Pop/Rock)
Peggy LeeBlack Coffee (Pop/Rock)
Pelle Lindberg BandPut Your Foot Down (Blues)
Phil SpectorPhillies Album Collection, Blue-Spec (Pop-Rock)
PraesepeVesperae (Pop/Rock)

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PRINCE – DANCE 4 ME REMIXES (POP/R&B): OK, there was the symbol thing. And the awful attempts at hip-hop phrasing. And the Sheena Easton thing. And the using of a certain ubiquitous letter of the alphabet (“Take Me With U,” “I Would Die for U,” “U Got the Look,” “I Wish U Heaven,” “Nothing Compares 2 U,” so on) in the songs. And the spoken-word thing on The Gold Experience. And the complete redo of Purple Rain — your band versus the Time? Again? — for the narrative portions of his Sign O’ The Times concert film. Yet, even after all of this, we’d totally go for a handful of spicy new remixes of a tune from a few years back by Prince. And really, these aren’t all that well known, since his 3-disc LOtUSFLOW3R was sold exclusively at Target in 2009. (More here.)Nick DeRiso

Ray ConniffMemories Are Made Of This (Easy Listening)

RINGO STARR AND THE ROUNDHEADS – LIVE DVD/Blu-ray (Pop/ROCK): A reissue of a 2009 set that included six Beatles-era tunes (“With A Little Help,” “Yellow Submarine,” “Act Naturally,” “Octopus’ Garden,” “Don’t Pass Me By” and “I Wanna Be Your Man”) along with a group of well-known solo hits (“It Don’t Come Easy,” “I’m the Greatest, “Photograph” and “Back Off Boogaloo”). Works as a nice set up for Ringo’s 17th solo studio record, called Ringo 2012, to be released later this month — and featuring guest turns by Charlie Haden, Van Dyke Parks, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Dave Stewart, Benmont Tench, Joe Walsh, Don Was and Edgar Winter, among others. The new album reportedly includes nine cuts, including covers of “Think It Over” and “Rock Island Line,” and updates of Starr’s own tracks “Wings” (from 1977′s Ringo the 4th) and “Step Lightly” (from his smash-hit 1972 self-titled release). (More here.)Nick DeRiso

Robert Glasper, featuring Musiq Soulchild And Chrisette Michele – Ah Yeah (R&B)
SlaviaStrength and Vision (Pop/Rock)
Sleepers In The RiftPulverised (Pop/Rock)
Slidin’ SlimOne Man Riot (Blues)
SlugathorEchoes From Beneath (Pop/Rock)
Sutcliffe JugendWith Extreme Prejudice (Electronic)
SvartfellDay of the Unholy Massacre (Pop/Rock)

THE BEAU BRUMMELS – BRADLEY’S BARN (POP/ROCK): Too bad this collapsed on the vine commercially; what an artistic achievement it was. Right from the beginning, the Beau Brummels were trendsetters with their folk-pop anthems, and there’s no question this album rested on the cusp of the country-rock boom that ultimately starred the Flying Burrito Brothers, Poco, the Eagles and Pure Prairie League. How wonderful that Rhino Handmade has revived it and added more goodies. Revolutionary and thick with revelations, these two discs are perfect examples of quintessential country rock. (More here.)Beverly Paterson

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The Everly BrothersA Date with the Everly Brothers (Pop/Rock)
The Great Helsinki Swing Big Band and StringsGroovy Moments and Melodies (Jazz)
The MonkeesGreatest Hits; Head (Pop/Rock)
The Original SinPulverised (Pop/Rock)
The VenturesAnother Smash (Pop/Rock)

THE WHO — ‘TOMMY’ ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK (POP/ROCK): In a way, the Who has no one to blame for a slow and steady slide into overlooked rock-god status. There were simply too many concert jaunts between its most recent releases of new material in 1982′s It’s Hard and 2006′s Endless Wire, cash-ins that forever connected the band with oldies tours. They lost a generation of fans, and became a conversation-piece antique along the way. Before that, weighty pretensions surrounding sprawling projects like Tommy, and replicating their success, had already slowed the Who. Then the group lost both drummer Keith Moon and bassist John Entwistle. Yet there’s no denying, if you dig into the stacks, this band’s shuddering energy — equal parts speed, raw fury and rangy emotion. (Oh, and a little nudge-nudge humor here and there, too.) (More here.)Nick DeRiso

The Who – Singles; Who’s Missing and Two’s Missing (Pop/Rock)
Thin LizzyLive In London: Indig 02 Jan 23, 2012 (Pop/Rock)
Tom BrowneYours Truly (Jazz)
Tom Petty and the HeartbreakersLive DVD/Blu-ray (Pop/Rock)
Tommy Igoe and the Birdland Big BandEleven (Jazz)
Tom Scott
Telling Stories (Jazz)

TONY JOE WHITE – THAT ON THE ROAD LOOK, RHINO (R&B/POP): A previously unreleased 1971 live album featuring 12 performances alongside legendary Booker T. and the MGs bassist Donald “Duck” Dunn, longtime drummer Sammy Creason and keyboardist Michael Utley. Features “A Night In The Life Of A Swamp Fox,” “Roosevelt And Ira Lee,” T-Bone Walker’s “Stormy Monday,” “Traveling Bone” and a staggering 10-minute rendition of “Polk Salad Annie” — the second single off White’s debut Black and White. “Annie” attracted early attention from Elvis Presley, who was looking for a comeback hit in 1969. He eventually recorded several of White’s songs, including “For Ol’ Time’s Sake” and “I Got a Thing About You Baby.” “It was shocking,” White told us. “I mean, I used to do Elvis tunes in clubs.” (More here.)Nick DeRiso

Various artists‘Pan Am’: Music From and Inspired by the Original Series (Stage and Screen)
VesenGoat Carcass Rising (Pop/Rock)
VoidNo Sudden Movements (Electronic)

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