Half Notes

Soul Asylum – Delayed Reaction (2012): Half Notes

Soul Asylum is back following a six-year gap between projects, the last of which was completed by Dave Pirner and Co. as bassist Karl Mueller succumbed to cancer.

Jimbo Mathus – Blue Light (2012)

Perhaps best known as the leader of the now-defunct band Squirrel Nut Zippers, Jimbo Mathus is returns with a raw, ambitious six-song EP.

Half Notes: Squarepusher – Just a Souvenir (2008)

Squarepusher (OK, it’s really just a guy with a boatload of electronic blurpy noisemaker thingies. Oh, his name is Tom Jenkinson) takes electronic music and infuses it with as much humanity as possible.

Half Notes: Arturo O'Farrill – The Noguchi Sessions (2012)

The Grammy-award winning Arturo O’Farrill, in preparing for his first-ever solo piano performance in concert at the Noguchi Museum in Long Island City, New York, worked out the initial parameters during a Wednesday night residency at Puppet’s Jazz Bar in Brooklyn. Then, he simply set up a piano in the one of the museum’s galleries after closing time and playedRead More

Half Notes: PJ Harvey – White Chalk (2007)

Harvey’s material has never been particularly sunny, but this album is seriously dark. AllMusic uses the word “eerie” in their review and I have to agree – this is haunting, chilling music, all stripped down to bare bones: piano, a few other instruments, and the atmosphere churned up by her voice. This is not easy listening, but it is intriguingRead More

Half Notes: Steve Davis – Gettin' It Done (2012)

Former Jazz Messenger Steve Davis might not have the name recognition of his Blakey forbear Curtis Fuller, but he’s no less a talented trombone player.

Half Notes: The Mars Volta – De-Loused in the Comatorium (2003)

I still remember the day I originally found this album: My drive home was full of modern prog-rock goodness — stuff the likes of which we rarely get to hear anymore, especially from the remnants of yell-rock band At The Drive-in. Long songs (one of which clocks in at over 12 minutes long), intricate structures, soaring vocals: I don’t knowRead More

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings – 100 Days, 100 Nights (2007)

The Dap-Kings may not be a household name, but you likely already know them: They backed the late soul diva Amy Winehouse on her tremendously successful “Rehab” from Back to Black — which, of course, was way better than just “Rehab.” Like Motown’s Funk Brothers, who backed pretty much everyone on the label in the ’60s, the Dap-Kings have sinceRead More

Half Notes: The Offspring – Days Go By (2012)

I haven’t thought about The Offspring in quite a few years, but when their latest record landed on my desk this week, I had to give it a try for old times’ sake.

Half Notes: Surface To Air – Surface To Air (2012)

The most obvious branding of the acoustic trio Surface To Air’s music is “world fusion” but it’s not really a “-jazz” kind of fusion, but rather a mélange of the East Indian/new age/folk variety.