A pair of titanic jazz reissues captivated us into this New Music Monday, as ECM released box sets focusing on the work of Paul Motian and Charles Lloyd.
There’s also new things to dig into from Tate-sryche, singer-songwriter Paula Cole, the classical/jazz hybrid band Quattro and trump ace Wallace Roney.
We’ve got an interesting new live document from Alanis Morissette, recorded at last year’s Montreux Festival, as well as fresh studio material from Craig Taborn and Rob Zombie, among others.
In other reissue news, we’ll take fresh looks at old stuff from Daniel Lanois, Cannibal Corpse, and Jeff Lynne and the Electric Light Orchestra.
Cole, by the way, is back with a terrific self-funded effort, while the Geoff Tate-led edition of Queensryche issues the first of what promises to be two records from competing versions of the band. Roney, meanwhile, makes a triumphal return to his hard-bopping roots.
ALANIS MORISSETTE – LIVE AT MONTREUX 2012 (POP/ROCK): Twenty tracks from a once-angry star remade into a joy-filled wife and mother. Featuring key tracks like “You Oughta Know,” “Ironic” and “Thank U” — a standout moment — as well as new music from her then still-to-be-released 2012 comeback effort Havoc And Bright Lights. Her first live document in a decade becomes a striking illustration of just how much Morissette has evolved. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso
Blue Murder – Blue Murder (Rock/Metal)
Brian Simpson – Just What You Need (Jazz)
CANNIBAL CORPSE – BUTCHERED AT BIRTH (1991): As much as I don’t like death metal in general, and as much as I should dislike Cannibal Corpse for several reasons, every now and then I find them entertaining. The band’s second album took the ridiculousness of gory lyrics to a new height with songs like “Meat Hook Sodomy” and “Vomit the Soul.” Still, there’s something I find a bit nostalgic about it. — Fred Phillips
CHARLES LLOYD – QUARTETS (JAZZ): This collection of reissues covers Lloyd’s initial ECM albums in the 1990s — quartet recordings that could be considered “mid-period” Lloyd since he’s made so many records since then, with completely different personnel. But revitalization of his career after some time off didn’t just continue his legacy, it built even further upon it. We are still reaping the benefits today of the time off Charles Lloyd took for most of the 70s and 80s. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron
Chapin Sisters – A Date with the Everly Brothers (Pop/Rock)
Cristina Braga – Samba Jazz and Love (Jazz)
CRAIG TABORN – CHANTS (JAZZ): Essentially, a series of musical conversations, held at a natural pace — where tension is only implied and the sonic realm in which they perform within is only partially filled up with sound. By doing away with traditional concepts and replacing it personal connections, the Craig Taborn Trio ends up being one of the most idiosyncratic piano trios aside from the one Matthew Shipp leads since Paul Bley’s trios of the sixties. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron
D-A-D – Dic.Nii.Lan.Daft.Erd.Ark (Rock/Metal)
DANIEL LANOIS – ACADIE [Limited Edition 180 Gram Vinyl] (POP/ROCK): You expected something similar in tone with his best stuff — that is to say, his most atmospheric stuff — from the previous decade. And Lanois nearly gets there during a couple of tunes that feature lightly ethereal shadings from Eno. More often, though, Acadie is a song cycle of smaller ambitions. Really, it’s just a folk-rock album — by way of the Cajun prairie, of course. Imagine my surprise, after reveling in the complexity of Gabriel and U2, at how moving Lanois’ solo debut was — in its simplicity. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso
ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA – LIVE; ZOOM (POP/ROCK): Zoom, which is being reissued alongside a new tour date from the period, is the album ELO should have put out at the turn of the 1980s, a lean, tune-focused affair which dials back the “I Am The Walrus”-era Beatles obsessions — even while retaining all of Jeff Lynne’s trademark hooky songcraft. Of course, two decades later, there wasn’t exactly a huge demand for what this underrated album had to offer. Now’s your chance to check out the best Electric Light Orchestra album you’ve never heard before. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso
Frank Turner – Tape Deck Heart (Pop/Rock)
George Jones – Jones Country; You’ve Still Got a Place in My (Country)
Lori McKenna – Massachusetts (Folk)
Low – In the Fishtank 7 [Vinyl] (Pop/Rock)
JEFF LYNNE – ARMCHAIR THEATRE (POP/ROCK): Frontiers reissues the long-out-of-print debut solo effort by Electric Light Orchestra’s Lynne, featuring assists from then-Wilbury partners George Harrison — who adds tasty slide licks throughout — as well as Tom Petty, as co-writer on a delightfully straight-forward ballad. Not everything works, in particular a closing eco-friendly tune written from the point of view of an overtaxed earth. But Lynne has a way of balancing those missteps, leaving the endlessly varied Armchair Theatre with more pleasant surprises than awful stumbles. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso
Maynard Ferguson – Maynard 61; Straightaway Jazz Themes (Jazz)
Michael Buble – To Be Loved (Vocals)
Paramore – Paramore [Vinyl] (Pop/Rock)
PAUL MOTIAN – PAUL MOTIAN (JAZZ): When he signed up with ECM Records and made his first album as a leader in 1972, Paul Motian was already 41 years old. With that beginning, he spent the last half of his life gradually building up an impressive body of work through recordings, performances, songwriting and mentoring. This set covers that first album, the following five ECM releases on through 1984. These half dozen records make up only a fraction of his discography but effectively set the direction and cast the die for all Motian works that followed. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron
PAULA COLE – RAVEN (POP/ROCK): Raven probably won’t sell like Paula Cole’s moon-shot breakthrough This Fire, but it should. Story songs like “Life Goes On” and “Eloise” certainly recall that 1996 album’s striking narrative successes, as Cole draws the listener in close — sharing a series of details that linger long after the last notes fade. But, alas, we are living in a different time and place now. Cole had to raise the money for this album by herself — rather than release it on a major. Despite that sea change in the way her music operates as a business, however, the quality and emotion of Paula Cole’s work remains. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso
Phoenix – Bankrupt (Pop/Rock)
QUATTRO – POPZZICAL (CLASSICAL/JAZZ): It’s classical. No, wait. It’s contemporary jazz. Sure, but that’s not exactly it, either. Latin pop? That, too. In fact, Quattro’s deliciously uncategorizable forthcoming album Popzzical includes all of that, but ultimately fits somewhere in between. Quattro, featuring cellist Giovanna Clayton, violinist Lisa Dondlinger, guitarist Kay-Ta Matsuno and percussionist Jorge Villanueva, amaze and delight across the whole spectrum of sound on Popzzical. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso
QUEENSRYCHE (Geoff Tate) – FREQUENCY UNKNOWN (ROCK/METAL): Singer Geoff Tate’s version of the band fires the first shot in the war between bands known as Queensryche. Will it really be an FU? I kind of doubt it, but you never know. Some of the samples sound promising. (More here.) — Fred Phillips
ROB ZOMBIE – VENOMOUS RAT REGENERATION VENDOR (ROCK/METAL): I always hold out hope, and I’m always left listening to La Sexorcisto, AstroCreep 2000 and Hellbilly Deluxe. Ever since Rob Zombie shifted his focus to horror movies, the music has suffered. Though he hits with a song every now and then, there are far more misses. Though first single “Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown” has all of the elements, it never quite gets there. — Fred Phillips
Steve Martin and Edie Brickell – Love Has Come For You (Country)
The Rolling Stones – Very Best of the Rolling Stones 1964-1971 (Pop/Rock)
Tom Jones – Spirit in the Room (Vocals)
URINALS – THE URINALS; ANOTHER EP; SEX GO AWAY GIRL (ROCK/METAL): Wonder if these are available on yellow vinyl? — Fred Phillips
Various artists – I Could Use a Drink: The Songs of Drew Gasparini (Vocals)
Whitesnake – Made in Japan (Rock/Metal)
WALLACE RONEY – UNDERSTANDING (JAZZ): A full-circle return to hard-bop for Roney, who had been experimenting with funk and experimental sounds more recently, and a reminder of the throwback joys that have surrounded his playing from the very beginning — despite the unfair, though oft-repeated charges that he’s simply a pre-fusion Miles Davis knockoff. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso