New Music Monday: John Scofield, Oliva, Roger Eno, Black Sabbath, Steve Hackett, Bob Dylan

In a week overstuffed with reissues — among them a timely set of Black Sabbath oldies, and stuff from both Steve Hackett and his old band Genesis — a few brand-new musical items nevertheless stood out.

John Scofield returns to some of the most contemporary sounds of his varied and endlessly enjoyable career in jazz, while Jon Oliva (co-founder of both Savatage as well as Trans-Siberian Orchestra) is set for his first-ever official solo effort.

Meanwhile, Roger Eno returns with his newest collaboration with Plumbline, and there are project to enjoy from Firewind and Michael Coleman’s Cavity Fang, as well.

As for that teetering stack of reimagined older stuff, highlights include music from 1970′s Holland Pop Festival — nicknamed Dutch Woodstock, it included Pink Floyd, the Jefferson Airplane and Santana, among others — as well as memorable efforts from the Allman Brothers, Hawkwind and Sonny Fortune.

Elsewhere, we have reggae stars doing the Grateful Dead (no kidding), and then there’s the utterly ageless Blonde on Blonde from Bob Dylan …

AHMED ABDUL-MALIK – SPELLBOUND (JAZZ): The former bassist for Thelonius Monk offers an intriguing blend of sizzling jazz and mind-blowing influences from the Middle East. As the aptly titled Spellbound unfolds, Seldon Powell’s tenor and Ray Nance’s cornet are joined by exotic sounds from the oud on this redone 1965 Status label gem, featuring liner notes from Scott Yanow. — Something Else! Reviews

Albert CollinsAlive And Cool Plus (Blues)

ALLMAN BROTHERS – EAT A PEACH (POP/ROCK): Duane Allman’s passing hangs over this album like a colossal thundercloud, especially on “Melissa.” It’s not clear if Gregg wrote the song before or after Duane’s passing, so the lyrics may or may not be an oblique reference. Or perhaps he had a premonition? Regardless, “Melissa” stands as one of Gregg Allman’s finest moments. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

Art Ensemble Of ChicagoBap Tizum (Jazz)
Art HodesI Remember Bessie (Jazz)
Arturo SandovalMambo Nights (Jazz)
Billy JoelInnocent Man (Pop/Rock)
Big CountryAt the BBC (Pop/Rock)

BLACK SABBATH – WE SOLD OUR SOUL FOR ROCK ‘N’ ROLL; REUNION; TECHNICAL ECSTACY; NEVER SAY DIE (ROCK/METAL): Perhaps striking while the iron is hot, we see three re-issues from Black Sabbath this week, three classic albums from Rhino and the band’s 1998 Reunion live set from Sony. Never Say Die and Technical Ecstasy are interesting records, made as the original lineup of the band was imploding. I hated them for years, but having revisited them recently, I found a lot to like about them. They’re different, for sure, but there are some high points. Reunion gave fans the first hope in a while for a new album from the original group. The live set is OK, but the two newly recorded tracks for the record were pretty weak attempts at fitting in to the current sound of the time. — Fred Phillips

Blood Sweat and TearsRare Rarer and Rarest (Pop/Rock)

BOB DYLAN – BLONDE ON BLONDE (FOLK/ROCK): The third of three folk-bending electric albums may be Bob Dylan’s finest release ever. Highlights include “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat,” “Absolutely Sweet Marie,” and “Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands,” written for his wife Sara in New York City’s Chelsea Hotel. The lowlights? Finding out “Just Like a Woman” was written for Edie Sedgwick, who torched a room at the same hotel in 1967. “Spin” magazine said: “He’d make simplier records, more beautiful records, but he’d never made a better record.” (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

Bobby WomackEverything’s Gonna Be Alright: Singles 67-76 (R&B)

CAVITY FANG – URBAN PROBLEMS (JAZZ): Cavity Fang sprung from the fertile mind of keyboardist and composer Michael Coleman. Already leading Arts & Sciences, Enjoyer and participating in the collective threesome Beep, Coleman could hardly need to take on another project, but when he imagined the possibilities of something truly unique from working with not one but three exceptional drummers presented itself, it was just too good to pass up. Those drummers — Jordan Glenn, Hamir Atwal and Sam Ospovat — shared in that epiphany and Coleman charged ahead composing the entire album covered here. Sequenced in the same order, too. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

Charles MingusMingus at Antibes (Jazz)
David BowieThe Lowdown (Pop/Rock)
Dizzy GillespieOne Night in Washington (Jazz)

Duke EllingtonJazz Violin Sessions (Jazz)
Fall Out BoyThe Document (Pop/Rock)

FIREWIND – APOTHEOSIS: LIVE 2012 (ROCK/METAL): Firewind is one of the most consistent bands in the power metal genre, and this set features some of the final live performances with vocalist Apollo Papathanasio, who was replaced earlier this year by Kelly Carpenter. — Fred Phillips

Foreigner4; Head Games (Pop/Rock)

GENESIS – GENESIS; I CAN’T DANCE; INVISIBLE TOUCH (POP/ROCK): Before Phil Collins turned Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks into his backing band, Genesis had begun its musical life as a witty, sometimes quite theatrical prog-rock project. The twin departures, however, of Peter Gabriel and then Steve Hackett led to a turn into more popular sounds. Before you knew it, Collins had launched his own concurrent solo career and from then on, Genesis was never the same — issuing a few formless efforts that largely mimicked Collins’ work (though they carefully inserted a few expanded instrumental passages to assuage the bitching from long-time fans), before wandering off into oblivion. This reissue series chronicles the final gasps of that sad era. — (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

George JonesPurely George Jones (Country)
Giorgio MoroderBest of Electronic Disco; E=Mc2; From Here to Eternity (R&B)
Glen CampbellHere I Am: The Early Years (Country)
Grateful DeadDick’s Picks Vol. 22 – Kings Beach Bowl, Kings Beach Lake Tahoe, CA 2/23-2/24/68 (Pop/Rock)

HAWKWIND – WARRIOR ON THE EDGE OF TIME: SUPER DELUXE (PROG/ROCK): Hawkwind’s fifth studio album, Warrior was very loosely based on Eternal Champion by Michael Moorcock. Though the project became a No. 13 hit in the UK (and was the group’s third and final album to make the U.S. charts), the lineup was short-lived as Hawkwind subsequently fired bassist Lemmy Kilmister — who after singing a bonus track here called “Motorhead,” went and founded a band he still leads today by the same name. Nik Turner handled vocals on a pair of tracks, including “Standing on the Edge.” “Assault and Battery” and “The Golden Void” have remained a part of the concert repertoire for Dave Brock and Co. over the years. (More here.) — Something Else! Reviews

Herbie MannStanding Ovation at Newport (Jazz)

Ivo PerelmanSerendipity [with Matthew Shipp, William Parker and Gerald Cleaver]; The Art Of The Duet [with Shipp]; The Edge [with Shipp, Michael Bisio and Whitt Dickey] (Jazz)
Joe FarrellJoe Farrell Quartet (Jazz)

JOHN SCOFIELD – UBERJAM DEUX (JAZZ): Überjam was the most contemporary music John Scofield had made in a richly varied, artistically meaningful and just plain enjoyable career in jazz over these last forty years; only fellow guitarist Pat Metheny can point to a more impressive body of work over that time. Überjam Deux brings back drummer Adam Deitch and Avi Bortnick on rhythm guitar and samples — Andy Hess takes over on bass — but Bortnick as before serves as Scofield’s key partner, co-writing seven of the eleven tracks. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

King CurtisDo Your Thing (R&B)
Larry Fast and SynergyCords; Electronic Realizations; Reconstructed Artifacts; Sequencer (Pop/Rock)
Laura AinsworthNecessary Evil (Vocals)

Maynard FergusonM.F. Horn; M.F. Horn 2: M.F. Horn 3 (Jazz)
Modern Jazz QuartetFontessa; Third Stream Music (Jazz)

OLIVA – RAISE THE CURTAIN (ROCK/METAL): Savatage and Trans-Siberian Orchestra founder Jon Oliva’s first official solo album also features the last unreleased music from his late brother Criss Oliva, who was killed by a drunk driver in 1993. It’s a mix of the classic Savatage sound, 1970s prog rock and some stuff we haven’t heard from the Oliva camp before. (More here.) — Fred Phillips

Paquito D’RiveraBenny Goodman Revisited (Jazz)
Rob Hart Trio3000 Realms of 10 Worlds (Jazz)

ROGER ENO AND PLUMBLINEENDLESS CITY/ CONCRETE JUNGLE (PROG/ROCK): Roger Eno, the romanticist brother of Brian Eno, returns to his collaboration with experimental artist Plumbline — who spent a long period before their first duo effort capturing verite sounds at intersections in New York City. Place them together, as on 2006′s Transparencies, and you get something like avant ambiance. Same here, as Eno and Plumbline — aka Will Thomas — combine the poignant atmospherics we’ve come to expect from Eno with these itchy rhythmic contributions that can only be ascribed to Plumbline. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

Spencer Davis GroupDiscovery Vaults (Pop/Rock)

STAN HUNTER AND SONNY FORTUNE – TRIP ON THE STRIP (JAZZ): A rarity on Prestige, this Hammond/tenor pairing. Strip also marks the first recording from the young Fortune, though he’s already showing flashes of brilliance. The organist Hunter, meanwhile, offers a Larry Young-esque set of grooves on this underrated 1966 release. Pat Thomas provides the liner notes. — Something Else! Reviews

STEVE HACKETT, JOHN WETTON, IAN McDONALD, OTHERS – TOKYO TAPES (PROG/ROCK): Hackett’s fellow Genesis alum Chester Thompson is also part of the lineup. Together on this souvenir from a pair of concerts on December 16-17, 1996 at Japan’s Koseinenkin Hall, they perform many of the tracks from Hackett’s then-new tribute Watcher of the Skies: Genesis Revisited, including the stirringly episodic concert-opening title track, a soaring “Firth of Fifth” and the supremely funky “I Know What I Like” — as well as several other favorites from the guitarist’s 1971-77 stint in the band, and some cuts from King Crimson, Asia and both Wetton and Hackett’s solo careers. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

The DoorsSingles Box (Pop/Rock)
The KinksMuswell Hillbillies (Pop/Rock)
Tom ScottBlow It Out; Intimate Strangers; Street Beat (Jazz)

VARIOUS ARTISTS – FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN: REGGAE CELEBRATES THE GRATEFUL DEAD Vols. 1-2 (REGGAE/ROCK): Produced and released by the short-lived Pow Wow label in the mid ’90s, these two volumes feature a who’s who of reggae stars including “Toots” Hibbert, Culture, Joe Higgs, Steel Pulse, Mighty Diamonds, Judy Mowatt, Dennis Brown, Michael Rose, Ras Michael, Gregory Isaacs and many others performing a variety of Dead songs and songs associated with the band. Out of print for years and a real find. — Something Else! Reviews

VARIOUS ARTISTS – DUTCH WOODSTOCK [Pink Floyd, Santana, Jefferson Airplane, Dr. John, the Byrds] (POP/ROCK): As a 17-band menu of bands gathered for the three-day Holland Pop Festival in June 1970 outside of Rotterdam, Bob Hite of Canned Heat summed things up perfectly: “I feel less uptight here than I ever have anywhere.” It was that kind of show, as an overstuffed crowd of some 100,000 in Kralingse Forest took in something that came to be known as the Dutch Woodstock — mirroring as it did the pot-smoking, free-loving laissez faire, the wildly varied musical delights and even the torrential downpours of that memorable 1969 music festival. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

Various artistsScared to Get Happy: Story of Indie Pop 1980-1989 [Everything But the Girl, Pop Will Eat Itself, Stone Roses, Aztec Camera, Jesus and Mary Chain] (Pop/Rock)

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  • Clare Richardson

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