New Music Monday: Paul McCartney, Amy Winehouse, the Rolling Stones, King Crimson, Frank Sinatra

Steven Wilson’s remaster of King Crimson’s Lark’s Tongues in Aspic, arriving on the 40th anniversary of its original release, is a don’t-miss opportunity to revisit one of that ever-evolving band’s most interesting periods.

The Rolling Stones have tossed two new tracks onto their newest greatest-hits set, which replaces 2002 now-deleted Forty Licks.

Paul McCartney and Peter Frampton, meanwhile, are back with concert documents. The former Beatle’s Live Kisses focuses on a recent oldies project, while Frampton is goes back for a spin through Frampton Comes Alive.

Amy Winehouse is remembered through a series of radio broadcasts for the BBC — though, sadly, all they really do is underscore the promise of a career unfulfilled. There’s a new book edition of Natalie Merchant’s interesting 2010 release Leave Your Sleep, too.

You can relive the last gasps of the Tommy Bolin-era edition of Deep Purple. There are also new opportunities to hear Frank Sinatra doing his thing live, accompanied by the Don Costa orchestra on a trio of TV specials from the 1960s and ’70s.

Finally, the week in jazz includes new music from Iron Dog, the Brooklyn-based improvisational trio, as well as an inspirational turn from Pamela York.


AMY WINEHOUSE – AMY WINEHOUSE AT THE BBC (R&B): You marvel, all over again, at the way Winehouse could so expertly imitate the memorable phrasing of Dinah Washington. It’s uncanny, really, the way she echoes her sultry mid-century forebear — right down to Washington’s sharp, blues-cut pauses. Still, does this newest live release make good on the sweeping displays of sorrow that seemed to surround her early passing? I’m not sure. As much as I appreciated then — and do, all over again, on At the BCC — Winehouse’s connective passion for her childhood heroes, the fact is she never gave herself a chance to move beyond easy mimickry. You wonder what Winehouse might have done, if she’d lived, to build upon the foundation of influences like Washington — to create something that felt more like her own. The answer, sadly, isn’t found on any of Winehouse’s earlier records, or on this new one. — Nick DeRiso

Brian EnoLUX (Pop/Rock)
Christina AguileraLotus [Deluxe Version] (Pop/Rock)
Crystal CastlesIII (Pop/Rock)

DEEP PURPLE – LAST CONCERT IN JAPAN [Limited Edition] (POP/ROCK): Commemorating the final record-setting Japanese concert of the Mark IV lineup, featuring Tommy Bolin, David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes. Appearing in December 1975 at the Budokan before a then-unprecedented 14,000 fans, they offer newer songs like “Love Child” and “Wild Dogs,” as well as classic Deep Purple tracks like “Smoke on the Water” and “Highway Star.” Three months after this show, Bolin had left for a solo career; a year later, he was dead of an overdose. Fans of Jon Lord, who recently passed after a cancer battle, will thrill all over again to his solo take on “Woman from Tokyo. This concert has been remastered and restored, after the original album had to be heavily edited to fit into the vinyl format. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

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Amy Winehouse at the BBCLuxLotus (Deluxe Version)Last Concert In Japan (Original Recording Remastered/Limited Edition)

DeftonesKoi No Yokan (Pop/Rock)
Eivind AarsetDreamlogic (Jazz)
Eva CassidyBest Of (Pop/Rock)

FRANK SINATRA – PRIMETIME (VOCALS): Featuring two hour-long TV specials from the 1960s, and another guest star-packed show from 1977, this new set offers fans a opportunity to enjoy some rare live performances from Sinatra — and, because of the setting, he largely plays it straight. That’s no small thing, considering the boozy, ring-a-ding-ding attitude this ferociously talented, but easily distracted singer brought to the concert performances of the same era. Instead, there are a series of late-period gems — from “Nice ‘n’ Easy” and “Angel Eyes” in the 1968 show to “Fly Me to the Moon” and “My Way,” performed long before the song became a personal anthem, in 1969. Not that there aren’t some laughs, most notably during the ’77 performances, which feature Sinatra’s old drinking buddy Dean Martin. The disco remix of “Night and Day” from the same show (embedded above) has to be heard to be believed. Elsewhere, Frank dons a period-piece sequined Nehru jacket for an appearance with the then-chartopping Fifth Dimension — who introduce Sinatra as the “sixth dimension.” Great stuff. — Nick DeRiso

Green DayDos (Pop/Rock)
How To Destroy Angels (Trent Reznor) – An Omen (Pop/Rock)

IRON DOG – INTERACTIVE ALBUM ROCK (JAZZ): Straight out of Brooklyn is a improvisational trio that frolics far in the outer reaches of avant-garde. Iron Dog, consisting of Sarah Bernstein (digitally altered violin, poetry recital), Stuart Popejoy (electric bass, synthesizer) and Andrew Drury (drums, mayhem), create odd sounds both digital and analog, inserts spoken verses of Bernstein’s eerie, esoteric poetry and collide them all together to form abstract splotches on an sonic canvas. It’s not mere music, or even mere noise but rather, edgy, offbeat performance art. That’s how, in very broad terms, to describe Iron Dog’s first studio album — and second overall — Interactive Album Rock, which is very interactive but not anything like album rock. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

DosFrank Sinatra: PrimetimeAn OmenThe Best of Eva Cassidy

Jason Kao HwangBurning Bridge (Jazz)
Jason Paul CurtisLovers Holiday (Jazz)
Joe CockerFire It Up (Pop/Rock)

KING CRIMSON – LARK’S TONGUES IN ASPIC [40th Anniversary Edition] (POP/ROCK): While the set is packed with goodies, the gem here, of course, is Steven Wilson’s new mix. For an album four decades old, it sounds extremely fresh. Not updated, mind you – there’s no doubt this music’s vintage. It sounds bright and clean in a way that the original mix simply never could have. Wilson followed the basic template set out by the band’s self-production forty years ago, but made slight variations to give everything a bit more space to breathe. Some tracks you won’t notice it as much – “Book Of Saturday” sounds only slightly improved – but others are revelatory, such as “Easy Money,” where percussionist Jamie Muir’s contributions become much more noticeable in their own right. Everything benefits from Wilson’s touch, however. This is, without a doubt, the best this music has, or will, ever sound on CD. (More here.) — Tom Johnson

Lana Del ReyBorn To Die: Paradise Edition (Pop/Rock)
Loren Connors and Suzanne LangilleI Wish I Didn’t Dream (Blues)
Louis PrimaRocks (Vocals)
MadnessOui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da (Pop/Rock)
Marvin GayeTrouble Man: Expanded Edition (R&B)
Miles DavisRound About Midnight (Jazz)

NATALIE MERCHANT – LEAVE YOUR SLEEP [Book/CD] (POP/ROCK): On paper it looks like a mess. A mess that has been done before. For lyrical source material, take a bunch of words written by a cast of poets both famous and not. Set the poetry to music. Then, record the songs with a huge assortment of musicians, again both famous and not. We’re talking over one hundred players here…a year in the making. Though there have been a few counterexamples, pop music history is littered with failures of this sort. It sounds like another train wreck in the making. I’m glad to report that my skeptical side was completely wrong. Not only does Leave Your Sleep work, it just might be the best thing that Natalie Merchant has ever done as a solo artist. (More here.) — Mark Saleski

Fire It Up: Deluxe EditionLark\'s Tongues in Aspic, 40th Anniversary EditionRocksLeave Your Sleep

Olivia Newton-John and John TravoltaThis Christmas (Pop/Rock)
One DirectionTake Me Home (Pop/Rock)

PAMELA YORK – LAY DOWN THIS WORLD: HYMNS AND SPIRITUALS (JAZZ): Jazz has long drawn from show tunes, Tin Pan Alley, and a handful of great composers like Ellington, Strayhorn and Monk for material. Gospel? Not so much. But whenever gospel is used as the vehicle for delivering jazz, the results have been pretty good, sometimes, well, inspirational. Pianist Pamela York obviously agrees, and did something about that by making such a record of her own. This Berklee grad, wife and mother went way back to find some hymns to bring them a new, swinging vitality. Assisted by Lynn Seaton (bass) and Sebastian Whitaker (drums), the trio jazzes up eleven, pre-20th century canticles so old, seven of them credited to those legendary composers “Public Domain” and “Traditional.” (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

PAUL McCARTNEY – LIVE KISSES (JAZZ): A live version of an album that was as long in coming as it was charming. Looking back, a standards set from McCartney seemed inevitable. There was 1967’s “When I’m 64″ and 1968’s “Honey Pie,” 1975’s “You Gave Me the Answer” and 2005’s “English Tea.” When McCartney finally settled into a project focused on that theme, along with Diana Krall, he moved with confidence and panache through tracks associated with last-century legends like Harold Arlen, Frank Loesser and Fats Waller (whose hit with “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter” provided the original cheeky album title). In more ways than one, I’m glad that McCartney waited. In another era, you just know this would have been a gauzy mess, and Paul himself would have spent too much time letting you know he was in on the joke to fully inhabit the moment. Instead, reclaims these age-old songs as his own. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

This ChristmasTake Me HomeLay Down This World: Hymns and SpiritualsPaul McCartney: Live Kisses

PETER FRAMPTON – FRAMPTON COMES ALIVE! 35 TOUR (POP/ROCK): An anniversary tour celebrating an album from which Frampton never recovered. This was a huge record. It sold a boatload of copies. Hits were all over the radio. Everybody owned it. (Cripes, even my dad liked this record!) We all rooted for Frampton after this. But there was that Sgt. Pepper thing … and also “I’m In You” … yikes! (More here.) — Mark Saleski

Royal Philharmonic OrchestraPlays The Music Of Rush (Classical)
SoundgardenKing Animal (Pop/Rock)
Sufjan StevensSilver and Gold: Songs for Christmas Vol. 6-10 (Pop/Rock)
Susan BoyleStanding Ovation: The Greatest Songs From The Stage (Vocals)
Tampa RedChicago 1929-35 (Blues)
The BeatlesStereo Vinyl Box Set (Pop/Rock)
The DoorsLive At The Bowl ’68 [Vinyl] (Pop/Rock)

THE ROLLING STONES — GRR! (POP/ROCK): Available as a three-disc, 50-track greatest-hits set and as a special deluxe box set with more than 80 songs, GRRR! replaces 2002’s Forty Licks, which has since gone out of print. Both formats of the new set will include “Gloom and Doom” and “One Last Shot,” the Stones’ first new songs since 2005’s A Bigger Bang. “Doom and Gloom” finds Mick Jagger at his preening, taking-no-shit best — bitching about people who bitch, spittle-spewing like old times. It doesn’t have the generation-rattling groove of “Satisfaction” or “Start Me Up,” but it’s got enough to attitude to convince naysayers that the Rolling Stones still possess enough ass-whipping attitude to hang with yet another era of pretenders to their throne as the self-proclaimed world’s greatest rock and roll band. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

The WeekndTrilogy (R&B)
Whitney HoustonI Will Always Love You: The Best Of Whitney Houston (Pop/Rock)

GRRR!Fca 35 Tour: An Evening With Peter FramptonKing AnimalThe Beatles Stereo Vinyl Box Set

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