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Esquire featuring Nikki Squire, “Ministry of Life” (2016): One Track Mind

Esquire featuring Nikki Squire, “Ministry of Life” (2016): One Track Mind

“Ministry of Life” is an excellent preface for what’s coming on ‘Esquire III: No Spare Planet,’ the third album from Yes co-founder Chris Squire’s ex-wife Nikki Squire.

Rob Reddy – Citizen Quintet (2016)

Rob Reddy – Citizen Quintet (2016)

Rob Reddy’s ‘Citizen Quintet’ imposes itself as more than just a collection of songs but as a creature: inhaling, exhaling, always moving in crooked paths while always finding its way home, displaying evolving emotion as it bursts with complexity.

The 1957 Tail-Fin Fiasco – The 3 Song Drive (EP) (2016)

The 1957 Tail-Fin Fiasco – The 3 Song Drive (EP) (2016)

The 1957 Tail-Fin Fiasco are superstars alongside XTC and Squeeze in an alternate universe in which pop music doesn’t insult your intelligence and sometimes even challenges it.

Adam Schneit, “A Clearer View” from Light Shines In (2016): Something Else! exclusive stream

Adam Schneit, “A Clearer View” from Light Shines In (2016): Something Else! exclusive stream

Adam Schneit keeps the Neil Young-like melody of “A Clearer View” melody well within sight while retaining the immediacy of a good Young song without needing lyrics to get that across.

Ryan Blotnick – Kush (2016)

Ryan Blotnick – Kush (2016)

Guitarist Ryan Blotnick moves back to Maine and an album of eight, spacious Blotnick compositions gently swayed by African-derived rhythms happens.

Leon Russell Was the Last of the Bird-Flipping Genre-Busters

Leon Russell Was the Last of the Bird-Flipping Genre-Busters

This gravelly marvel of a singer, Leon Russell leaves us as the consummate musician – and a never-ebbing rebel.

Murali Coryell – Mr. Senator (2016)

Murali Coryell – Mr. Senator (2016)

With his eighth release ‘Mr. Senator,’ Murali Coryell continues to forge his own path as a soulful blues-rock singer, songwriter and — as you’d expect from a Coryell — mighty fine guitar player.

Dizzy Gillespie and Friends – Concert of the Century: A Tribute to Charlie Parker (2016)

Dizzy Gillespie and Friends – Concert of the Century: A Tribute to Charlie Parker (2016)

‘Concert of the Century: A Tribute to Charlie Parker’ crosses so many boundaries – not the least of which is time.

Leonard Cohen, Always Wise Beyond His Years, Nourished Both the Heart and Intellect

Leonard Cohen, Always Wise Beyond His Years, Nourished Both the Heart and Intellect

I returned to a 2009 live album, Leonard Cohen’s first newly recorded release since 2004’s ‘Dear Heather,’ during the first dark evening without him.

Mary Halvorson Octet – Away With You (2016)

Mary Halvorson Octet – Away With You (2016)

Inspired by Susan Alcorn’s pedal steel guitar, ‘Away With You’ keeps Mary Halvorson’s idiosyncratic ideas fresh and pushes forward her boundless conception of jazz on the frontier.