New Music Monday: Drive-By Truckers, Robben Ford, Dave Stryker, Bob Dylan, Billy Hart

There may have been a lineup change with Drive-By Truckers, but they’ve lost none of the momentum that makes them one of the best rock bands operating today. Robben Ford, meanwhile, follows up a well-received covers album with one focusing on originals — all recorded on a single, sizzling day in Nashville.

Dave Stryker has his own covers album, but (we’re talking Dave Stryker, right?) with predictably intriguing results. Billy Hart makes a bold reassertion of his place not just as a first-call sideman but as a bandleader and composer.

The reissue stack is topped by a luscious and expanded look into the gala 30th anniversary concert fete for Bob Dylan, featuring a Madison Square Garden-full of acolytes. Boston is also issuing its latest album on vinyl — though feel free to argue over our use of the word “latest,” considering how much of it was recycled in the first place …

Adam SmaleOut of the Blue (Jazz)
Ariel Alexander and Jon BremenStreet Cries (Jazz)
AshantiBraveHeart (R&B)
B.J. JansenRonin (Jazz)
Barbara Levy DanielsLove Lost and Found (Vocals)
Beata PaterGolden Lady (Vocals)

BILLY HART QUARTET – ONE IS THE OTHER (JAZZ): Hart returns again with a group that includes pianist Enthan Iverson of Bad Plus from his 2012 ECM debut All Our Reasons, but that’s where the similarities end as Hart works to open up his core group — with terrific results. In fact, if none of his other solo records proves that Enhance was no fluke, One Is The Other most certainly does. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

BOB DYLAN – 30TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT CELEBRATION: DELUXE EDITION (POP/ROCK): Somehow only just now becoming available on DVD and Blu-ray, this spectacular tribute event included signature moments from Eric Clapton, George Harrison, the Band, Neil Young, Willie Nelson, the O’Jays, Tom Petty, Roger McGuinn, Lou Reed, Stevie Wonder and Dylan himself, of course — all backed by the able, if always underrated, grit of Booker T. and the MGs. The new set also expands for a pair of unheard songs, including Clapton’s rehearsal version of “Don’t Think Twice,” as well as additional footage and interviews. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

Bob MarleySoul Rebel (Reggae)

BOSTON – LIFE LOVE AND HOPE [Vinyl] (POP/ROCK): The good news, as Boston issues its most recent studio effort on vinyl? That the late Brad Delp, a singer who defined the group’s sound as much as guitarist Tom Scholz ever did, is featured. The bad news? Well, Delp is featured. It’s been more than a decade since the lightly regarded Corporate America was released, and more than five since Delp took his own life. And yet the best, it seems, that Scholz and Co. could do was continue polishing some old stuff from back then. Of course, what was worse still? Even the warmed-over Delp tracks sounded better than the bulk of the new material. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

Bruce CockburnSlice O Life: Live Solo (Pop/Rock)

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CHET BAKER – CHET IS BACK (JAZZ): Baker is featured on a Rome-recorded set featuring a group that was largely unknown to American audiences. Still, this set’s lone original — the intriguing “Ballata in Forma di Blues” (or “A Ballad in Blues Style”) from featured Italian pianist Amedeo Tommasi illustrated — illustrated what Baker saw in them. Elsewhere, on this 1962 RCA set, Baker reexamines Thelonious Monk’s “Well, You Needn’t,” Charlie Parker’s “Barbados,” “Sonny Rollins’ “Pent Up House” and Oscar Pettiford’s “Blues in the Closet” alongside Belgians Bobby Jaspar and Rene Thomas (on sax and guitar, respectively), along with bassist Benoit Quersin and drummer Daniel Humair (from France and Switzerland). Additional tracks from the same year, recorded with Ennio Morricone, have been added to the original album. — Nick DeRiso

Dave BrubeckAngel Eyes (Jazz)

DAVE STRYKER – EIGHT TRACK (JAZZ): Nostalgia as a driving force for a covers album doesn’t guarantee it will be a great covers album, but Stryker’s choice of material, his treatment of them and the personnel he enlisted in re-invigorating these songs makes Eight Track one of those good ones. Really good, even. Jared Gold, Stryker’s favored B-3 player, is on board as is drummer McClenty Hunter. The “wild card,” if you will, the guy who supplements the usual organ jazz trio, is top shelf vibraphone player Stefon Harris. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

Deana CarterSouthern Way of Life (Country)

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS – ENGLISH OCEANS (POP/ROCK): One of the best goddamned rock bands operating today that hadn’t moved into oldies act mode, the Drive-By Truckers are a tight, road tested unit led by two masterful, persuasive songwriters who might not have even hit their ceilings yet. Whether English Oceans is the apex or on its way there, it’s another essential entry in a catalog that’s already full of essential entries. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

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Elvin JonesCoalition; Ultimate (Jazz)
Fernando UlibarriTransform (Jazz)
Flotsam and JetsamNo Place for Disgrace (Pop/Rock)

FREE NELSON MANDOOMJAZZ – THE SHAPE OF DOOMJAZZ TO COME/SAXOPHONE GIGANTICUS (JAZZ): If jazz is dead, then why are there still new forms of it popping up everywhere? Just in recent years, we’ve seen the rise of acid jazz, nu-jazz, electro-acoustic jazz, whack jazz, and so on. And now, there’s doomjazz. Yeah, that’s right, doomjazz. Think of jazz from a tough neighborhood, having a bastard love child with grindcore. OK, that’s a hideous analogy. How about, Albert Ayler sitting in on a Black Sabbath jam session? Whatever imagery you can use to describe these visceral sounds, somewhere the words, “dark,” heavy” and “improvisational” have to be included. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

FuelPuppet Strings (Pop/Rock)
Gil Scott-HeronPieces of a Man (Jazz)
HeartDreamboat Annie: Live; Magazine [SACD] (Pop/Rock)
Isaac HayesAnd Once Again (R&B)
Janice Borla GroupPromises to Burn (Vocals)
John Di FioreYellow Petals (Jazz)
Lenny WilliamsChoosing You (R&B)
Little FeatRad Gumbo: The Complete Warner Bros Years [1971-90] (Pop/Rock)

LORENZO FELICIATI AND COLIN EDWIN – TWINSCAPES (JAZZ): Italian Lorenzo Feliciati (Naked Truth, Berzerk!) and Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree, Metallic Taste of Blood) do more than simply amplify the role of the bass twofold on their upcoming collaboration for RareNoise Records, they collectively expand the harmonic palette of instrument to demonstrate how it’s capable of going way beyond just emitting deep toned pulses. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

Maynard FergusonPrimal Scream/New Vintage/Carnival (Jazz)
Missing PersonsMissing In Action [Featuring Dale Bozzio] (Pop/Rock)
Mott the HoopleLive 2013 (Pop/Rock)
Nils LofgrenHanging Tonight (Pop/Rock)

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PJ RasmussenAnother Adventure (Jazz)
Paul DesmondGlad to Be Unhappy (Jazz)
Paul WesterbergEventually [Vinyl] (Pop/Rock)
Pete SeegerRainbow Race (Folk)
Pink MartiniDream a Little Dream [with the von Trapps]; Get Happy (Pop/Rock)
Pinnick Gales PridgenPGP 2 (Pop/Rock)

ROBBEN FORD – DAY IN NASHVILLE (BLUES): The title says more than just about where these nine songs were recorded, it also tells you how long it took to record them all. Ford collected his touring band one day last year when a fresh batch of new songs inspired him to change his plans of capturing the band on record during their 2013 European tour. It might as well have been a day at the beach for the virtuosic blue-rock guitarist. Coming off a mostly-covers back-to-basics triumph Bringing It Back Home, Ford brought it to Music City for a back-to-basics album of mostly originals that entirely justifies him staying the course with old style, live-in-the-studio production. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK – BLACKNUSS (JAZZ): During an introduction to the title track here, Kirk says: “There are 52 white notes and 36 black notes on the piano. We’re going to play the black notes only, if you don’t mind.” It’s all you need to know about Kirk’s broader goal, before his untimely death from a stroke at just 41: He was never confined to the free-jazz label that always stuck. Instead, choice cover selections like “Ain’t No Sunshine” — a pop song made famous by Bill Withers — underscored how he sought to define a black classical music. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

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Scott Hamilton QuartetDean Street Nights (Jazz)
Simple MindsCelebrate: Greatest Hits Live 2013 (Pop/Rock)
Suzanne VegaTales From the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles (Pop/Rock)

TOM TALLITSCH – RIDE (JAZZ): The tenor saxman returns with another strong crew, this time featuring Rudy Royston on drums, Art Hirahara on piano, Peter Brendler on bass and the phenomenal Michael Dease on trombone. The change-up in instrumentation does nothing to change Tallitsch’s mission of evangelizing the hard bop form through the bell of his saxophone. Ride swings and grooves with flawless proficiency by guys who aren’t just going through the motions. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

Ulysses OwensOnward and Upward (Jazz)

WAYNE ESCOFFERY QUINTET – LIVE AT FIREHOUSE 12 (JAZZ): This is a continuation of sorts of a turning point for the talented tenor saxophonist, composer and bandleader. 2012′s The Only Son of One was not only Escoffery’s musical expression of a difficult childhood, but also an originative way of reconciling the traditional and contemporary worlds of jazz that he is equally comfortable residing in. He got this vision fulfilled by augmenting a standard piano/acoustic bass/drums rhythm section with an electronic keyboardist. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

Wishbone AshBlue Horizon (Pop/Rock)

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