New Music Monday: Jack Bruce, Robert Cray, Brian May + Kerry Ellis, Alan Parsons Project

Jack Bruce reaffirms his sweeping legend, while Robert Cray changes producers but loses no momentum. Brian May and Kerry Ellis offer a candlelit moment at Montreux, even as we get an all-inclusive look back at the Alan Parsons Project.

Lacuna Coil’s new album won’t surprise you, but that doesn’t mean it disappoints, either. Barb Jungr continues her explorations into the muse and music of Bob Dylan, this time with a little Leonard Cohen mixed in. A huge cast of characters has gathered to pay tribute to Jackson Browne, too.

We find Deep Purple entering a crossroads moment, as David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes arrive in 1974 — only to see Ritchie Blackmore pull one of his more infamous stunts before what was supposed to be a national television audience. The pain of Jocie Adams’ departure from the Low Anthem is lessened somewhat by new music from a new band, as well.

Then there’s freshly made jazz from the likes of Andrew Hadro, Jared Gold, Matt Slocum and Mike Dillon, among others …

ALAN PARSONS – COMPLETE ALBUMS COLLECTION (PROG/ROCK): Even if you already have all of the APP albums, this new Legacy collection is notable for its inclusion of their mythical unreleased turn-of-the-1980s project The Sicilian Defence. Named for a particularly aggressive opening gambit in chess, it was a deliberately atonal, all-instrumental effort specifically proffered to Parsons’ label Arista so that the group might be let out of a contract. Instead, the Alan Parsons Project was reupped, and Turn of a Friendly Card followed, putting the group back on top with the radio favorites “Games People Play” and “Time.” (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

ANDREW HADRO – FOR US, THE LIVING (JAZZ): Many are the young jazz performers making their debut as leaders with a handful of cover songs. Few, however, have the chops, the history and the band to back it up like this baritonist. Hadro is a product of bands led by James Moody, Chico Hamilton and Junior Mance, not to mention the New School for Jazz. Hadro brings every bit of that woodshedding experience to bear on this new album, celebrating those old masters by reinterpreting four classic compositions and then adding another six originals in the same vein. Backing him up is an ace group including drummer Matt Wilson. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

BARB JUNGR – HARD RAIN: THE SONGS OF BOB DYLAN AND LEONARD COHEN (VOCALS): Though she made her name as a caberet singer, Jungr has a parallel history as a jazz interpreter of lyrics by one Robert Zimmerman — having previously issued Dylan-focused sets called Every Grain of Sand in 2002 and Main in the Long Black Coat in 2011. Here, she again takes on some notable moments from the Dylan discography, including “Blowin’ In The Wind,” “Masters of War” and “Gotta Serve Somebody, but Jungr also smartly mixes things up with addition of a few key Leonard Cohen tracks (“Everybody Knows,” among them). (More here.) — Sammy Stein

Blue NilePeace at Last: Deluxe Edition (Pop/Rock)
BostonFeeling It in Cleveland: Live in 1976 (Pop/Rock)

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B00IRIEFJO” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00HW9TJ40″ container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00H7EV49S” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00HS90I3U” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00HNXZT6W” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /]

BRIAN MAY AND KERRY ELLIS – THE CANDLELIGHT CONCERTS LIVE AT MONTREUX (POP/ROCK): In its way, this might be more interesting than the Queen Redux shows with Adam Lambert. When May and Ellis take on the Freddie Mercury era during this concert, there is a genuine sense of discovery — both in the sense that Ellis brings so much joy to the lyric, but also in the way that May is challenges to expand on his old riffs in this new setting. Then, May and Ellis go one better but filling in the rest of the setlist with a collection of songs from across an impressively broad spectrum. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

Charlie Daniels BandOff The Grid; Doin’ It Dylan (Country)
ChevelleLa Gargola (Pop/Rock)
Cyndi LauperShe’s So Unusual: A 30th Anniversary Celebration (Pop/Rock)

DEEP PURPLE – LIVE IN CALIFORNIA 74 (PROG/ROCK): A show that, even today, is so utterly visceral, so shockingly savage, so thrillingly unhinged at times that it sounds like Deep Purple might rattle California off into the sea. Newly installed frontman David Coverdale sings like a hungry flame, while Blackmore, just-arrived bassist Glenn Hughes and stalwart Ian Paice make such a ferocious racket that you can scarcely hear organist Jon Lord’s soul-soaked asides. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

Eddie KendricksLove Keys (R&B)
Frank SinatraSinatra at the Sands [with Count Basie]; Old Blue Eyes in Back (Vocals)
Freddie JacksonMillennium Collection: 20th Century Masters (R&B)

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B00IBQ5MAS” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00J58BWP0″ container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00HSP0OWE” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00I89Y2SQ” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B000006OBQ” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /]

Grateful DeadDick’s Picks Vol. 19: 10/19/73 Oklahoma City, OK (Pop/Rock)
Hank Williams IIIRamblin’ Man (Country)

JACK BRUCE – SILVER RAILS (POP/ROCK): Jack Bruce’s forthcoming Silver Rails isn’t a long-hoped-for return to his greatness with Cream, a fiery fusion excursion in the manner of his more recent work with Spectrum Road, or something else entirely. It’s actually a little of all of that, as the restless bass-playing singer-songwriter traverses a dizzying array of song styles — some blessedly familiar and some intriguingly new — while bravely facing his third act head on. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

JARED GOLD – JG 3+3 (JAZZ): As the title indicates, this is an expansion of the usual organ/guitar/drums structure; the “+3? is a three horn augmentation of the trio. A model of consistency, Jared Gold is also keen enough to offer something a little different with each release. With this one, he offers twice the fun. Sometimes, both quality and quantity is possible. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

Jerry Garcia and David GrismanJerry Garcia and David Grisman [SACD] (Pop/Rock)

JOCIE ADAMS AND ARC IRIS – ARC IRIS (POP/ROCK): I hadn’t had the feeling for a long time: that crestfallen heaviness of learning that a band had broken up. When I first learned that Jocie Adams had left The Low Anthem, I was back there again. Well, she has gone on to form Arc Iris. Taking on a more front and center role in this group, Adams leads her cohorts through chamber pop arrangements that glitter with soaring harmonies, cinched tight with winding ribbons of melody. (More here.) — Mark Saleski

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B00I4F0IGE” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00I9H3X2I” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00HYGTVOO” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00J0MF7FM” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00HZVX12G” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /]

John CageEarly Electronic and Tape Music (Pop/Rock)

JONNY TWO BAGS – SALVATION TOWN (POP/ROCK): You might think you know Jonny Wickersham, if you’ve followed Social Distortion. Wickersham, better known as Jonny Two Bags, joined in 2000 after the passing of Dennis Danell, extending a notable DiY-rock resume built around several LA groups. Turns out Wickersham was writing his own stuff all along. And it couldn’t be further from Social Distortion’s brand of So-Cal punk. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

Kaiser ChiefsEducation, Education, Education and War (Pop/Rock)
KissAlive!; Animalize; Destroyer; Dynasty; Hotter than Hell; Kiss; Lick It Up; Revenge; Unmasked [Vinyl] (Metal/Rock)

LACUNA COIL – BROKEN CROWN HALO (METAL/ROCK): This album contains the same mix of ethereal hard rock, goth overtones and accessible pop hooks that have become Lacuna Coil’s bread and butter. There’s a little added flair here and there, but by and large, Brown Crown Halo is what you expect from them. It’s a steady, dependable dose of their goth-influenced hard rock with a couple of outstanding performances from Cristina Scabbia, and that’s just fine with me. (More here.) — Fred Phillips

Leon RussellLife Journey (Pop/Rock)
Lightnin’ HopkinsFree Form Patterns (Blues)

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B00ID96G4O” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00ID2TRB0″ container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00HRY3HG6″ container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00I67YYB0″ container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00I4826ZC” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /]

Lou ReedThinking of Another Place (Pop/Rock)

MATT SLOCUM – BLACK ELK’S DREAM (JAZZ): Slocum ties his compositions together with a background narrative, a story about Oglala Lakota medicine man. As these are all instrumentals, the link between the songs might not be so obvious to detect but the focus and attention to detail inspired by that storyline is. And Slocum doesn’t just lead, he leads by example: he is a master at exploiting the tonal palette of his drum kit to conjure up rich colors of sound and weave it into song; it’s as if he composed it that way. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

MIKE DILLON – BAND OF OUTSIDERS (JAZZ): The irrepressible vibraphone-playing jazz guerrilla Mike Dillon introduces on record a new band he’s been busy breaking in on the road and firing up audiences everywhere with the hip-hop attitude they bring to experimental/improvisational music. Bobby Hutcherson, Gary Burton and Stefon Harris are masters of the four-mallet technique, but can they play the vibes that way and rap and sing at the same time? Dillon can! (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

Mike OldfieldMan on the Rocks: Deluxe Edition (Prog/Rock)
Nickel CreekA Dotted Line (Pop/Rock)
Ohio PlayersLove Rollercoaster: Anthology 1967-1988 (R&B)
Quicksilver Messenger ServiceFillmore Auditorium: November 5, 1966 (Pop/Rock)
Ronnie James DioThis Is Your Life [Anthrax, Tenacious D, Adrenaline Mob, Motorhead, Glenn Hughes, Brian Tichy, Rob Halford, others] (Metal/Rock)

ROBERT CRAY – IN MY SOUL (BLUES): Cray promises another round of sweet-heated blues and soul-soaked numbers, including covers of Lou Rawls’ “Your Good Thing (Is About To End)” as well as Otis Redding’s “Nobody’s Fault But My Own,” the latter of which also features vocals from new drummer Les Falconer. He’s switched producers for his second album in two years for Mascot/Provogue, going with Steve Jordan, but kept the same visceral guitar presence as hear on the lead single “You Move Me.” (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

RushSpirit of the Airwaves (Prog/Rock)
ShakiraShakira: Deluxe Version (Pop/Rock)

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B00IACUO8S” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00IPEBUKC” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00I0TFR9C” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00I32DVL2″ container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00HAH7HSO” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /]

Social DistortionPrison Bound: 25 Anniversary (Pop/Rock)
The “5” RoyalesSoul and Swagger: The Complete “5” Royales (R&B)
Tina TurnerOne Last Time/Celebrate!: Blu-ray (Pop/Rock)

TOPHAM McCARTY BAND – TOPHAM McCARTY BAND (BLUES): Top Topham’s recent rejoining the Yardbirds — for whom he served as original lead guitarist in their art-school days — was a chance to come full circle. He began that journey here, however, in an often-overlooked reunion with drummer Jim McCarty. The former Yardbirds bandmates got together back in 1990 for sessions that make up the forthcoming Topham McCarty Band recording, highlighted by this energetic take on an Otis Rush classic, but for some reason never released the album — until now. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

VARIOUS ARTISTS – LOOKING INTO YOU: A TRIBUTE TO JACKSON BROWNE [Don Henley, Bruce Springsteen, Lyle Lovett, Bonnie Raitt, others] (POP/ROCK): There’s a fizzy mixture of cult favorites, up-and-comers and, of course, the expected classic-rock legends sprinkled throughout this double-disc set. For every Don Henley and Bruce Springsteen (who cover “These Days” and “Linda Paloma”), we find Lyle Lovett, David Lindley, Griffin House and J.D. Souther. Henley, in fact, is paired with Blind Pilot, and Lindley appears alongside Bonnie Raitt. Elsewhere, Marc “Walking in Memphis” Cohn sits in with violinist Joan Wasser. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

Vicki LawrenceThe Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia: The Complete Bell Recordings (Pop/Rock)
Waylon JenningsRight for the Time (Country)
Will KimbroughSideshow Love (Pop/Rock)

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B00I3TWZ9Y” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00IILTZZ4″ container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00I3SXTXQ” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00H4B7TVQ” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00I89Y3AS” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /]

Something Else!

The Something Else! webzine, an accredited Google News affiliate, has been featured in The New York Times and NPR.com's A Blog Supreme, while our writers have also been published by USA Today, Jazz.com and UltimateClassicRock.com, among others. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.