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One Track Mind: Leon Russell, “Big Lips” from Life Journey (2014)

One Track Mind: Leon Russell, “Big Lips” from Life Journey (2014)

Leon Russell makes a bold return to “Big Lips,” originally featured on 2008′s In Your Dreams, and uncovers something randier, rawer and all together rascally along the way.

Medeski, Martin and Wood + Nels Cline – Woodstock Sessions, Vol. 2 (2014)

Medeski, Martin and Wood + Nels Cline – Woodstock Sessions, Vol. 2 (2014)

Remember back in the late 90′s, when the then-little-known acid jazz trio Medeski, Martin & Wood got together with John Scofield and caused a funk-jazz commotion?

Into the Great Divide: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, “Mystery Man” (1976)

Into the Great Divide: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, “Mystery Man” (1976)

Tom Petty sets the record straight with Paul Zollo in Conversations With Tom Petty, concerning a very particular label that is often cast upon the Heartbreakers: “We’re always referred to as a Southern band,” he says.

Chuck E. Weiss – Red Beans and Weiss (2014)

Chuck E. Weiss – Red Beans and Weiss (2014)

I’ll say it right now: Red Beans and Weiss is the perfect album for the year 2014.

One Track Mind: The Black Keys, “Turn Blue” from Turn Blue (2014)

One Track Mind: The Black Keys, “Turn Blue” from Turn Blue (2014)

The Black Keys keep their foot off the gas pedal on the title track from the upcoming Turn Blue, offering a quietly effective journey into falsetto-sung heartache — like a stripped-down, next-gen update of the Temptations’ Psychedelic Shack.

Worst Beatles Song Ever?: ‘The Ballad of John and Yoko’ (1969)

Worst Beatles Song Ever?: ‘The Ballad of John and Yoko’ (1969)

John Lennon and Paul McCartney recorded “The Ballad of John and Yoko,” a bluesy retelling of Lennon’s marriage to Yoko Ono, between 2:30 and 9 p.m. on April 14, 1969 — and released it later that May. Was it, in fact, the worst Beatles song ever?

New Music Monday: Ian Anderson, Stick Men, the Both, Black Sabbath, Jeremy Spencer

New Music Monday: Ian Anderson, Stick Men, the Both, Black Sabbath, Jeremy Spencer

Turns out, the old classic-rock dogs Ian Anderson and Jack Bruce know a few new tricks. Both have intriguing albums out that recall, in some ways, their celebrated earlier work with Jethro Tull and Cream, respectively. But neither, as we hear this week, are bound by those legacies.

Roscoe Mitchell, with Craig Taborn and Kikanju Baku – Conversations I (2014)

Roscoe Mitchell, with Craig Taborn and Kikanju Baku – Conversations I (2014)

Roscoe Mitchell is a revered name in improvised music circles, an out-jazz giant who is often spoken as if his great works come from so long-ago period

The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger – Midnight Sun (2014)

The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger – Midnight Sun (2014)

The current musical offering from the Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger finds pop/psych/folk/garage troubadours Charlotte Kemp Muhl and Sean Lennon partnering with Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Invisible Familiars

Peter Brendler – Outside the Line (2014)

Peter Brendler – Outside the Line (2014)

I first encountered the savvy of Peter Brendler’s bass when sizing up Jon Irabagon’s wild, seventy-eight minute improvisation ride, Foxy (2010).