New Music Monday: Santana, Ryan Shaw, Pantera, Willie Nelson, Dizzy and Bird

Looks like somebody’s got a case of the Mondays. Time to dig into some new music, then! There’s a fine list of just-released stuff from the likes of Tenacious D, Ryan Shaw, Godsmack, Meiko, Santana and Willie Nelson. Some of our favorite reissues and live dates for the week come from the Bill Evans Trio, Diana Ross, Pantera and The Quintet — a one-off group that featured Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker in their last appearance on stage together. Also just out this week are fresh offerings from Brandon Wright, David Fiuczynski, Mole and Shadows Fall, among many, many others.

LET’S GET GOING WITH NEW MUSIC MONDAY FOR THE WEEK OF MAY 14, 2012 …

Adam LambertTrespassing [Deluxe] (Pop/Rock)
Beach HouseBloom (Pop/Rock)
Best CoastThe Only Place (Pop/Rock)

BILL EVANS TRIO – MOONBEAMS (JAZZ): The pianist, having taken a year off to digest the tragic loss of symbiotic bassist Scott LaFaro, returned with drummer Paul Motian and new guy Chuck Israel in an appropriate setting, performing eight ballads that had been plucked from the same session which produced the subsequent, more uptempo How My Heart Sings. Though he can be just as introspective as he’d been on the career-defining 1961 Village Vanguard sessions — LaFaro was killed in a car accident just 10 days later — Evans unleashed an uncommon assertiveness here, perhaps spurred on by the hard-eyed playing style of Israel. Together, they moved these songs past easy sentiment. This new reissue of the classic Riverside recording from Concord includes three additional outtakes — including additional versions of “Polka Dots and Moonbeams,” “I Fall In Love Too Easily,” and “Very Early.” The album’s highpoint, however, remains “Love In Vain,” a song shaped by every emotion associated with loss.Nick DeRiso

BRANDON WRIGHT – JOURNEYMAN (JAZZ): The title of this album reflects Wright’s realization that to get to the upper echelon of jazz musicians is “to work one day at a time.” It’s clear from his second album, he’s been putting in the work to get there. Journeyman is solid, straight-at-ya jazz from beginning to end, and the mark of a rising star. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

CribsIn the Belly of the Brazen Bull (Pop/Rock)
Dave AlvinEleven Eleven Expanded (Pop/Rock)

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DAVID FIUCZYNSKI – PLANET MICROJAM (JAZZ): Fiuczynski has tossed microtonality and then damned near everything else within arm’s length into the pot here: “Micro Emperor” is a carnival ride though Beethoven, bluegrass, straight jazz, funk and even a Miles Davis “Jean Pierre” quote tossed in for good measure. The microtones turn what might have been simply a laid back groove on “Mystic Microjam” into a deliciously spooky laid back groove. David Radley’s violin, a naturally microtonal instrument, plays the perfect foil to Fuze on “Mystic” and elsewhere. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

DIANA ROSS – LIVE AT CENTRAL PARK DVD (POP/ROCK): As Diana Ross took the stage for a free 1983 concert in Central Park, winds and a light drizzle whipped the open-air stage. Though she tried to soldier on, soon the downpour brought the show to a halt — but the former Supremes singer promised to return the next day. Over what ended up being two legendary shows, more than a million people saw her live in New York City — then countless others relived the memorable event on television. Included were “I’m Coming Out,” Ross’ then-recent smash, as well as “Baby Love,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “You Can’t Hurry Love,” “Endless Love,” “Upside Down” and, of course, “Stop! In the Name of Love,” among others. She even takes time to pay tribute to fellow Motown legends Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson with renditions of “Ribbon in the Sky” and “Beat It.” This new film, the first time the concert has appeared on DVD, includes the both shows, the television special as it was broadcast, and new commentary from director Steve Binder.

GarbageNot Your Kind of People (Pop/Rock)
Glee CastGlee: The Music, Season Three; The Graduation Album (Pop/Rock)

GODSMACK – LIVE AND INSPIRED (POP/ROCK): On record, when Godsmack is on, I love them. When they’re not, they’re boring. Live, they’re always pretty solid. Whether that translates to the mixed bag of songs from throughout their career on the live portion of this collection, who knows? The second disc, the inspired part, contains four interesting cover choices, including Joe Walsh’s “Rocky Mountain Way,” The Beatles’ “Come Together” (which I’m guessing with their Boston roots will lean more toward Aerosmith’s version), Pink Floyd’s “Time” and the Metallica ballad “Nothing Else Matters.”Fred Phillips

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John PizzarelliDouble Exposure (Jazz)
Lisa Marie PresleyStorm and Grace [Deluxe Edition] (Pop/Rock)
Mannish BoysDouble Dynamite (Blues)

MEIKO – THE BRIGHT SIDE (FOLK): We find Meiko, as her second solo release gets underway, falling so effortlessly, so completely ass over teakettle, end over end over end over end, that it’s almost impossible not to feel the wind rushing past your own face. There seems to be no end, no landing point, just the never-ceasing promise of a limitless horizon all around. That’s Meiko’s gift as a song writer, and as a singer. But, if you remember her debut four years ago, none of that is exactly unexpected. Turns out, though, there’s much more to Meiko, as the Roberta, Georgia native pushes herself into ever more interesting places on The Bright Side — lyrically and musically. Great stuff. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

MOLE – WHAT IS THE MEANING? (JAZZ): What’s readily apparent here is that this is a jazz fusion band, but one that has earned a space apart from other fusion bands. Oh yes, they pull heavily from the jazz realm; these guys are jazz musicians, after all. But they also draw from the rock end, and there is where you find the distinctions. These gentlemen draw their inspirations not from the classic rocks bands, but from some of the more forward thinking rock and jazz-rock bands making some of their best music today or very recently: Radiohead, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Mars Volta, E.S.T., Pat Metheny Group and the like. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

My Bloody ValentineEPs: 1988-91 (Pop/Rock)
NRBQWe Travel The Spaceways (Pop/Rock)

PANTERA – VULGAR DISPLAY OF POWER [20th Anniversary Edition] (POP/ROCK): Considered by many fans to be Pantera’s finest moment, the album celebrates 20 years with a new version featuring the “lost” track “Piss,” a live performance from 1992 and some video footage.Fred Phillips

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Ruth EttingGlorifier of American Song: A Collection of Rare Recordings from 1930-50 (Vocals)

RYAN SHAW – REAL LOVE (R&B): Since bursting onto the scene with the well-received 2007 debut, this New York-based singer has followed up with 2010′s It Gets Better, which like its predecessor included credible versions of standard-bearing gems — this time, “People Get Ready” and “Knock On Wood.” He’s already garnered a pair of Grammy noms for best traditional R&B vocal performance, and opened for everyone from John Legend and to Van Halen. But he hasn’t always sounded like his own man, his own voice. What “Karina” makes clear is that Ryan Shaw is getting better at combining those influences into something that sounds uniquely his — that, in short, shows Shaw is here to stay. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

SANTANA – SHAPE SHIFTER (POP/ROCK): On standout cuts like “Angelica Faith,” Santana reconnects with his underappreciated ability to craft soul-drenched jazz fusion ballads, represented by such memorable tunes as “Europa,” “Aquamarine” and “Blues For Salvador.” “Salvador,” of course, was co-written Chester Thompson, Santana’s keyboard player since the mid-1980s — and Santana once again teams up with him for “Angelica Faith.” It doesn’t take long to figure out the alternating pair of chord progressions on this song, and like the album as a whole, the production is slick. That’s nothing new for him, though, but neither is the jazzy melody and his unsurpassed ablity to cradle that melody. Wringing the emotion out with octaves, trills, extended notes, and a unflinching blues feel, Carlos returns to this neglected strength of his and … well, maybe it’s not 1970 again, but it at least feels like 1987. That’s close enough. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

SHADOWS FALL – FIRE FROM THE SKY (POP/ROCK): The band’s first album with vocalist Brian Fair, The Art of Balance, is one of my favorite records of the modern era of metal, blending thrash, progressive and hardcore elements. Subsequent releases have been disappointing, but the songs I’ve heard from this one show some promise.Fred Phillips

Stephane WrembelOrigins (Pop/Rock)

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TENACIOUS D – RISE OF THE FENIX (POP/ROCK): Already a candidate for album of the year. I must have listened to the stream of the record a dozen times – which is unusual for me since I like to listen on the move instead of sitting at my computer. Jack Black and Kyle Gass team up with Dave Grohl on drums for a record that’s crude, absurd and totally rocks. It’s everything a Tenacious D release should be. (More here.) — Fred Phillips

Thelonious MonkMisterioso (Jazz)
The NighthawksDamn Good Time! (Blues)

THE QUINTET – JAZZ AT MASSEY HALL (JAZZ): You have Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, the yin-and-yang originators of bebop, on stage together for the last time. Bud Powell, Max Roach and Charles Mingus are there as well. And this is almost by chance — all of it. The one-off date for a band only later dubbed, simply, “The Quintet” was organized by a gumption-filled group of Canadian jazz enthusiasts, held without benefit of a series of warm up dates, recorded through a single stage mic to a borrowed Ampex tape recording on a whim by Charles Mingus (who was only there when first-pick Oscar Pettiford couldn’t make it) — and then over and done with inside of an hour, over two sets in Toronto 59 years ago this month. Yet, what you hear is remarkable: a furious cry against the dying of the light around bebop, a meeting of legends that completely lives up to the hype. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

Various artistsBlues Mix 7: Ultimate Party (Blues)
Various artistsNo Room for Rockstars: The Vans Warped Tour Film [Sublime, Descendents, Buzzcocks, Pennywise, Suicidal Tendencies, No Doubt] (Pop/Rock)

WILLIE NELSON – HEROES (COUNTRY): Despite the jokey lead single “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die,” it does sound like there are songs on this record that could be some of the best of the latter part of Willie’s career. I’m looking forward to hearing something from this besides another marijuana anthem. (More here.) — Fred Phillips

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