New Music Monday: Neil Finn, Band of Horses, Dianne Reeves, Marillion, the Fleshtones

Neil Finn and Dianne Reeves return with rare studio efforts, while Band of Horses strips their sound bare in a nervy acoustic performance.

Of course, Finn has been around — recording with Crowded House, his brother and his spouse over the more than a decade he’s spent between solo albums. Yet there is still something special about those times when he records all alone.

It’s also been five long years between projects for Reeves, but she remains as enchanting as ever.

Meanwhile, Marillion has added a disc of live material to give new perspective on their stirringly complex recent release Sounds That Can’t Be Made.

The Fleshtones are reliably loud, and Derek Sherinian is reliably cool. And we have sizzling jazz to jump into from Ben Flocks and Sly 5th Ave, too …

Art BlakeyComplete Concert At Club Saint Germain (Jazz)

BAND OF HORSES – ACOUSTIC AT THE RYMAN (POP/ROCK): Maybe working with the Glyn Johns, famous for his stints with the Who and the Beatles, got this South Carolina band thinking about scaling back. Maybe they had gotten as far into that bigger sound as they could get, at least for now. Maybe they just wanted to let loose. Whatever the reasoning, Band of Horses has stripped their sound bare, leaving just the two-by-fours and foundation of nervy acoustics and raw emotion. Along the way, they’ve breathed new life into their music — and illuminated previously unseen corners of the craft. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

BEN FLOCKS – BATTLE MOUNTAIN (JAZZ): The saxophone-playing bandleader Flocks brings a certain radiance to this, a vintage sound. That’s the result of analog recording onto two-inch tape — an old-school approach that suits Flocks’ work perfectly. Battle Mountain emerges as a flawless fusion project, best described as folk-jazz. That it arrives at the start of his career, when it typically takes many talented musicians several tries, speaks to his patience, maturity and skill. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

Bernard Allison and Cedric BurnsideAllison Burnside Express (Blues)
Carl CarltonCarl Carlton (R&B)
Camper Van BeethovenKey Lime Pie; Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart (Pop/Rock)
Cannonball AdderleyCannonball’s Bossa Nova (Jazz)

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Carol FredetteNo Sad Songs for Me (Vocals)
Catherine RussellBring It Back (Vocals)
Chico Hamilton Quintet, with Charles LloydDrumfusion + Passin’ Thru (Jazz)
Cibo MattoHotel Valentine (Pop/Rock)
Daniel SmithSmokin’ Hot Bassoon Blues (Jazz/Blues)

DEREK SHERINIAN – MYTHOLOGY; MOLECULAR HEINOSITY; BLOOD OF THE SNAKE, INERTIA; BLACK UTOPIA (POP/ROCK): I’m normally the last person on the planet to recommend a keyboard player, but Sherinian’s solo records are loaded with good stuff and some nice guest spots, too. They’re well worth checking out. — Fred Phillips

Desert Rose BandBest of (Country/Rock)

DIANNE REEVES – BEAUTIFUL LIFE (JAZZ): Five years sounds like an awful long time to wait for Dianne Reeves’ new album. One of the most recognizable female jazz voices today, this woman carries the meaning of truth in her voice as if it is no big deal. But it is, of course. A Reeves album means a moment of peace for the soul. You play it, and she instantly makes you believe in the endless possibilities of this life we are living. (More here.) — Esther Berlanga-Ryan

Dizzy GillespieOn The French Riviera + New Wave! (Jazz)
Donald ByrdWith Strings (Jazz)
Duke EllingtonTreasury Shows 17 (Jazz)
Dusty SpringfieldDusty In Memphis [SACD] (Pop/Rock)

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FANFARE CIOCARLIA, with ADRIAN RASO – DEVIL’S TALE (POP/ROCK): The languid sway of “Urn St. Tavern,” the first track from Devil’s Tale, is perhaps as sluggish as things get on the brilliant new record from Canadian guitarist Adrian Raso and Balkan brass band Fanfare Ciocarlia. The disc is a dozen chunks of hot fire, brought alive with Raso’s uncommon fretwork and the sheer monstrousness that is Fanfare Ciocarlia.(More here.) — Jordan Richardson

FanfarloLet’s Go Extinct (Pop/Rock)

FLESHTONES – WHEEL OF TALENT (POP/ROCK): The Fleshtones got off to a flash, head-flinging start with the banging advance track “Remember the Ramones.” It marks a welcome return. Wheel of Talent is the Fleshtones’ first full-length album since 2011’s Brooklyn Sound Solution, and their first new music since the Quatro X Quatro EP in 2012 — all of which were also issued on Yep Roc, with whom the Fleshtones have five albums since 2003. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

ForeignerI Want to Know What Love Is & All the Ballads (Pop/Rock)
Frank WessMagic 201 (Jazz)
Greg LaswellI Was Going To Be An Astronaut (Pop/Rock)
John BrownQuiet Time (Jazz)
KornThe Paradigm Shift: Super Deluxe (Pop/Rock)
Lady GagaThe Lowdown (Pop/Rock)
Limp BizkitRock In The Park 2001 (Pop/Rock)
Lynyrd SkynyrdNuthin’ Fancy; Second Helping [SACD] (Pop/Rock)

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MARILLION – SOUNDS THAT CAN’T BE MADE: SPECIAL EDITION (PROG/ROCK): They began here with “Gaza,” a dramatic rumination on the senselessness of war, and then seemed to struggle for a while to regain momentum. It was only with repeated listenings that the rest of this complex, deeply felt recording began to coalesce. Given time, Sounds That Can’t Be Made ended up sounding like one of the best efforts yet for Marillion — something underscored by this new expanded two-disc treatment of the 2012 release. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

Max Roach QuintetLive in Lausanne 1960 (Jazz)

NEIL FINN – DIZZY HEIGHTS (POP/ROCK): There’s something about Finn’s stuff away from collaborations like Crowded House — something far more complex. A Neil Finn record, versus one he works on with Nick Seymour, his wife Sharon or sibling Tim Finn, takes longer to seep in, longer to digest, longer to completely feel and understand. They’re puzzles to be pulled apart, rather than put together. Questions, without the pressing need for answers — and I love it. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

Oscar PetersonTrio: Live 1953-56 (Jazz)
Quincy JonesThe Complete Recordings: 1955-1959; 1960-1962 (Jazz)
RainbowSingles Box (Pop/Rock)

REACTA – REFRACTION (POP/ROCK): Based in Aguascalientes, Mexico, Reacta began as an instrumental group before combining with William Merritt Hendricks, an American troubadour. This mixture imbues the album — and “Sound of Drums,” heard exclusively for the first time here at Something Else! — with both the Aguascalientes culture of happiness through simplicity (or “la felicidad se encurntra en la simplicidad de las cosas”) as well as familiar stateside sounds similar to Incubus, Explosions in the Sky or the Killers. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

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Rufus ReidQuiet Pride: The Elizabeth Catlett Project (Jazz)
Scott WilsonStark Raving: Kackle Jackle (Jazz)

SLY 5th AVE – AKUMA (JAZZ): Born Sylvester Uzoma Onyejiaka II, this Austinite worked his way up — eventually landing in Brooklyn with a tour with Prince added to his bulging resume. His life’s work may have well been working toward Akuma. Even if it hasn’t, Sly 5th Ave made a record that at least is the product of an effort of a talented artist who put his entire background into this great effort. This is no timid or half-baked first impression. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

Suzanne VegaFrom the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles (Pop/Rock)

TEITUR – STORY MUSIC (POP/ROCK): Teitur is the work of 36-year-old Faroese singer-songwriter Teitur Lassen, who returns with his sixth album Story Music — a very dark project, just right for winter evenings. Melancholy and the gloomy atmosphere come hand in hand, but Teitur always offers a spark of hope buried within his music. You just have to find it. (More here.) — Mike Dostert

Thelonious MonkComplete Live At The Five Spot 1958 (Jazz)
Tommy James and the ShondellsHi-Fi (Pop/Rock)
Various ArtistsFestival Express [with The Band, Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Buddy Guy, Flying Burrito Brothers, Delaney and Bonnie and Friends, others] (Pop/Rock)
Walter EganMyth America (Pop/Rock)

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