New Music Monday: Robert Randolph, Philip Anselmo, Steve Swallow, Black Water Rising, Brainkiller

Robert Randolph isn’t changing a thing, despite signing with Blue Note.

Meanwhile, Philip Anselmo has issued a solo album that recalls everything he’s done before, yet sounds nothing like Pantera or Down.

Steve Swallow is debuting a new quintet, featuring Carla Bley, while the Sons of Hippies take the tried-and-true form of psych rock in a whole new direction.

The reissue bin yields a pair of albums from Zakk Wylde’s Black Water Rising, a classic early 1970s project from John Lee Hooker, and an opportunity to download some all-but-forgotten gems from Bullet LaVolta.

We’ve also been spinning new jazz from Brainkiller and Brian Andres, and new power metal from Powerwolf, among others …

Alexander O’NealAll True Man (R&B)
Benny Goodman and His Orchestra and Quintet and SextetAFRS Benny Goodman Show, Volume 18 (Jazz)
Billy ThorpeEast of Eden’s Gate (Pop/Rock)

BLACK WATER RISING – STRONGER THAN DEATH; THE BLESSED HELLRIDE (METAL/ROCK): Two of the strongest albums in the BLS catalog get the re-issue treatment this week. Stronger than Death is probably the finest moment for guitarist Zakk Wylde’s post-Ozzy outfit. — Fred Phillips

Blood Sweat and TearsChild Is Father To The Man [Gold Disc] (Pop/Rock)
Blue Oyster CultBlue Oyster Cult; Agents of Fortune; Cultosaurus Erectus; Fire of Unknown Origin; Mirrors; On Your Feet Or On Your Knees; Secret Treaties; Some Enchanted Evening; Spectres; Tyranny and Mutation (Pop/Rock)

BRAINKILLER – COLOURLESS GREEN SUPERHEROES (JAZZ): Brainkiller are masters at the art of deception. They can play loose and open and not make you realize it’s all premeditated. They can also make you assume it’s a band with a bassist and sometimes even a guitarist, but there isn’t. “The Vindicator Returns” which begins the disc, has all the features in forces in the span of a little over three minutes. “Scribble” jerks the listener abruptly between some electronic, math circular figure and a loping funk groove. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

BRIAN ANDRES AND THE AFRO-CUBAN JAZZ CARTEL – SAN FRANCISCO (JAZZ): It’s hard to deny the electricity, enthusiasm and emotion of Afro-Cuban music, and a certain drummer out of San Francisco has captured that essence in leading a band of like-minded specialists of the music form. Brian Andres, a Cincinnati native who transplanted to the San Francisco Bay right at the end of the 90s, fell in love with the exuberant form of jazz, which, when you think of it, is a drummer’s dream. Pursuing his dream culminated in the assembling of his own nine-piece jazz orchestra of some of the Bay Area’s best talents, dubbed the Afro-Cuban Jazz Cartel. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

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BULLET LaVOLTA – FORCE MAJEURE: THE RCA ANTHOLOGY (POP/ROCK): Available for the first time digitally, this set traces the rise of this blistering Boston punk band — originally started in 1987 by four college DJs — after being adding frontman Yukki Gipe, adding alternative rock and metal to its musical mix and signing to a major. Included are 18 remastered tunes from their out-of-print RCA releases, along with covers of “Detroit Rock City” by Kiss and other rarities, as well as a video for their memorable track “Swan Dive.” — Something Else! Reviews

Canned HeatLive Heat ’72 (Pop/Rock)
Christopher CrossA Night in Paris [More here.] (Pop/Rock)
David BowieLife On Mars [40th Anniversary Picture Disc] (Pop/Rock)
David LynchThe Big Dream (Pop/Rock)
Doc WatsonThe Definitive Doc Watson (Country)
Frank BlackOddballs (Pop/Rock)
Freddie HubbardBundle of Joy; Super Blue; The Love Connection (Jazz)
Gary StewartOut of Hand; Brand New (Country)
George DukeDreamWeaver (Jazz)
JJ GreyLochloosa (Blues/Rock)

JOHN LEE HOOKER – NEVER GET OUT OF THESE BLUES ALIVE (BLUES): I’m still struck by a forlorn-looking John Lee, in the clearly ironic cover image, sitting on an LA transit bus under a sign that reads: “NO DANCIN’.” Well, yes, and no. Save for the “T.B. Sheets,” a shattering requiem, this is more often a driving, upbeat offering — even if Hooker’s low rumble can’t help but give it great portent. Hooker, who died in his sleep a decade after his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, was the definition (as the Who’s Pete Townshend once rightly philosophized) of the power chord. Also, a foot-stamping percussion instrument all to himself. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

Kara GraingerShiver and Sigh (Blues/Rock)
Lightnin’ HopkinsAcoustic Years (Blues)
Matt NathansonLast of the Great Pretenders (Pop/Rock)
NektarA Tab In The Ocean (Prog/Rock)
New OrderLive at Bestival 2012 (Pop/Rock)

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Ornette ColemanFriends And Neighbors: Ornette Live At Prince Street (Jazz)
Pet Shop BoysElectric (Pop/Rock)
Peter LeitchCalifornia Concert (Jazz)

PHILIP H. ANSELMO AND THE ILLEGALS – WALK THROUGH EXITS ONLY (ROCK/METAL): The first solo album from Pantera and Down frontman Phil Anselmo is shaping up to be an interesting one. The tracks that have so far trickled out show traces of most everything he’s done to this point, but sound like none of those bands. There’s the groove and melody of Pantera and Down alongside the bashing, punk and hardcore-fueled energy of Superjoint Ritual and Arson Anthem. — (More here.) Fred Phillips

POWERWOLF – PREACHERS OF THE NIGHT (ROCK/METAL): The band’s last album was kind of fun. It was a mix of power metal cheesiness with over-the-top symphonics and some serious chops all covered in corpse paint. — Fred Phillips

Ray Parker Jr. and RaydioA Woman Needs Love (R&B)

ROBERT RANDOLPH AND THE FAMILY BAND – LICKETY SPLIT (POP/ROCK): With this fifth album (and his first for the legend Blue Note label), Randolph as determined as ever to prove that success hadn’t diluted or moved him away from what he and only he does. Nope, Lickety Split is as raw, rambunctious and unrelentingly fun as he’s done on the prior four. Sounding as gritty, vigorous and soulful as the original Allman Brothers even more so than the current Allman Brothers, the Family Band is a true party band for those who want their party music hand made, rootsy and sincere. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

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Ronald IsleyThis Song Is for You (R&B)
Sara BareillesThe Blessed Unrest (Pop/Rock)
Soft MetalsLenses (Pop/Rock)
S.O.S. BandOn the Rise (R&B)

SONS OF HIPPIES – GRIFFONS AT THE GATES OF HEAVEN (POP/ROCK): Mixed by Jack Endino, who previously worked with Nirvana, and mastered at the legendary Abbey Road, this ambitious throwback project was composed — quite appropriately, given the group’s name — on a 700-acre farm during a festival in the Tennessee mountains. A Florida psychedelic rock band, Sons of Hippies features Jonas Canales, David Daly and Katherine Kelly, and has already earned a best album award from Creative Loafing in Tampa. — Something Else! Reviews

STEVE SWALLOW QUINTET – INTO THE WOODWORK (JAZZ): This introduces on record a new version of Swallow’s quintet, a striking combination of young talent at the peak of their careers (saxophonist Chris Speed, guitarist Steve Cardenas and drummer Jorge Rossy) and a couple of jazz’s most seasoned veterans who never got past their own peaks (Swallow and Bley). Moreover, Swallow put Bley on the organ instead of her usual piano, and it’s been quite some time since Carla has last been captured playing one. Electric bass, electric guitar and electric organ … but not a fusion record. That’s perhaps the most distinguishing feature of this album. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

The Chi-LitesSteppin’ Out (R&B)
The CultElectric Peace (Pop/Rock)
The XXFiction (Pop/Rock)
VangelisBlade Runner [Gold Disc] (Pop/Rock)

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