New Releases - 5/12/17

Art Pepper – The Art Pepper Quartet [Reissue/1957] CD (Omnivore)
Recorded in late 1956 and released in early 1957, the same year as the landmark Art Pepper Meets The Rhythm Section, The Art Pepper Quartet (Art Pepper: saxophone, Russ Freeman: piano, Ben Tucker: bass, Gary Frommer: drums) is back for its 60th anniversary. Pawelski. In addition to the album’s seven classics, this remaster includes five bonus tracks—alternate takes of “Pepper Pot” and “Blues At Twilight” (originally issued in 1990 in Japan) and a journey through the creation of “Val’s Pal” (including previously unheard incomplete takes and false starts) via three more tracks. New liner notes from Laurie Pepper trace the story of how her (and many folks’) favorite Art Pepper record was not only conceived, but ended up back where it belongs—with Art’s estate, and in the eyes, ears, and hands of jazz lovers everywhere.

Between The Buried & Me – Coma Ecliptic Live 2xLP (Metal Blade)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Between The Buried & Me performed their 2015 Coma Ecliptic in its entirety live on October 4, 2016 at The Observatory North Park in San Diego, CA.

Christopher Paul Stelling – Itinerant Arias LP+MP3 (ANTI-)
Released last week on CD – now available on vinyl. There is a fearless quality to the music of Christopher Paul Stelling. A voice that sounds both old and young, an effortless yet intricate finger-picking guitar style and lyrics that are both dramatic, and intensely confessional. It’s a sound that channels the restless spirit of a young man who left home to travel the country, haunting and impassioned songs formed by endless nights alone on stage with a guitar, playing to packed houses, other times to nearly empty rooms. Stelling estimates that he’s played over four hundred shows in just the past three years. It places him within a longstanding tradition that serves to nurture one’s character and art.

Colter Wall – Colter Wall CD (Young Mary’s Record Co.)
Husky voiced 21-year old Canadian singer-songwriter Colter Wall releases his self-titled debut album. Helmed by Grammy Award-winning producer Dave Cobb, Colter Wall was recorded at Nashville's historic RCA Studio A. In addition to Wall on vocals and acoustic guitar and Cobb on acoustic guitar, the album features Chris Powell (Brent Cobb, Jamey Johnson) on drums, Robbie Turner (Waylon Jennings, Chris Stapleton) on pedal steel and Mike Webb (Southern Family) on piano. A native of Swift Current, Saskatchewan Canada, Wall's sound is comprised of resonate and raw baritone vocals, folk and bluegrass style guitar and banjo picking, steady kick-drum stomping, and visually provoking, storytelling lyrics. Since debuting in 2015 with the release of his EP, Imaginary Appalachia, Wall has received overwhelming acclaim – Steve Earle declares, “Colter Wall is bar-none the best young singer-songwriter I've seen in twenty years,” while Rick Rubin, who recently signed Wall to his American Songs publishing company, proclaims, “Colter sings and writes songs in ways seemingly lost in time. There is an agelessness about him so unusual in someone so young.”

David Bowie/Trevor Jones – Labyrinth [Reissue/1986] LP (Capitol)
New remastered vinyl reissue of the soundtrack to the Jim Henson film featuring David Bowie, returning to vinyl for the first time since its original 1986 release.

Don Bryant – Don’t Give Up On Love CD/LP (Fat Possum)
Memphis soul original and Hi Records hit man Don Bryant returns to music with Don't Give Up On Love. Recorded in honor of his wife of 43 years, the soul legend Ann Peebles, the collection is Bryant's first release in decades. From the opening vamps of the classic “A Nickel And A Nail,” it's evident that Don Bryant, at 74 years old, is in prime fighting shape and as versatile a performer as ever – sensual and expressive on “It Was Jealousy,” swaggering and suave on “One Ain't Enough,” and swept up by the grandeur of the Almighty on “How Do I Get There?” These ten songs – including seven Bryant-penned originals – show a soul survivor in action, exhibiting the kind of sharp vocal acumen that can only be honed by years spent on the road and in the studio.

Dreamcar – Dreamcar CD (Columbia)
There's something romantic about a band's early days. A sense of innocence, optimism, and wonder courses through the music. In the summer of 2014, No Doubt's Tony Kanal (bass), Tom Dumont (guitar), and Adrian Young (drums) and singer Davey Havok (AFI, Blakq Audio) began writing and demoing music together. Without telling a soul outside of their significant others, the four musicians clandestinely moved into a cramped downtown Los Angeles rehearsal spot and revved up what would become Dreamcar. When Havok heard the first four demos, the music immediately resonated, transporting him back to his childhood fascination with the celebrated New Romantic movement. Rife with shimmering guitar tones, percussive slap bass, bombastic drums, and a neon-lit dancefloor dreaminess, Dreamcar gleefully nods to the decade of Boy George and Back To The Future through a kaleidoscope of wisdom. The first single “Kill For Candy” instantly enchants with its upbeat energy and sweet, saccharine chant punctuated by a twisting and turning guitar and driving rhythms. The album swings between the Frankie Goes To Hollywood-style risqué spoken narrative of “On The Charts” to the delicate longing of the synth-washed “Slip On The Moon” where Havok pleads, “Just look for me, I will look for you.” “Born To Lie” builds from a breathy verse into an expansive refrain, while the opener “After I Confess” sees his hypnotic and haunting vocal soar over airy and open soundscapes.

Jake La Botz – Sunnyside CD (Hi-Style)
Jake La Botz's story seems entirely too cinematic to be true. On his album Sunnyside, Jake's songs are heavily informed by his life, one that wraps shades of Merle Haggard, Charles Bukowski, Jim Jarmusch, and Sid Vicious all in one. La Botz learned from pre-war blues masters such as David Honeyboy Edwards and Maxwell Street Jimmy Davis, but Sunnyside makes a sonic move well beyond string blues. Sunnyside was produced by Jimmy Sutton at Hi-Style Studios in Chicago, whose previous production work includes albums for JD McPherson and Pokey LaFarge. The rock ‘n’ roll groove is paramount throughout, propelled by driving bass and drums, ethereal piano, and doo-wop inspired gang vocals. This isn't your dad's blues music - it's roughhewn by La Botz's stories from the more shadowy corners of America, with an unforgettable atmosphere that hangs like thick smoke and lingers long after the first listen. [Vinyl edition due June 16.]

Jazzmeia Horn – A Social Call CD (Prestige)
Jazzmeia Horn - winner of both the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocal Competition and Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition - releases her highly-anticipated debut recording A Social Call, an album that reveals a talent ready to take its place alongside the best headlining jazz vocalists of today. The album features 10 tracks composed of originals and covers. “On this superb recording, a highlight might be the medley of ‘Medley: Afro Blues / Eye See You / Wade In The Water.’ It begins with an imaginative, tour de force reworking of the Mongo Santamaria classic, initially performed as a duet with Jennings before the rhythm enters and has some operatic vocalizing at the upper reaches of her extensive range. This segues into a spoken social commentary rap before transitioning into the spiritual with gutbucket trombone also heard. The album closes with a lively and uplifting cover of Mary J. Blige's ‘I'm Going Down.’ Again, she her vocal soars while she delivers a message for brothers and sisters to hold on and stay strong in trying times. Jazzmeia Horn is a most gifted singer whose originality, horn-like phrasing, timbre and timing will enthrall listeners on this auspicious debut.” – In A Blue Mood

Los Colognes – The Wave CD/LP (Big Deal Media)
One of the highest and rarest aspirations in popular music is to reach for the transcendental, to access the spirit. On the third album The Wave by Nashville based Los Colognes, they succeed just this - in breaking through the confines of everyday pop song lyricism to tell a sort of holistic story. It's not a concept piece, but it's a brooding and still joyful song cycle filled with philosophical rumination, effortless hooks, inspiring musicianship, and expansive arrangements. It's an album perfectly suited of the current zeitgeist of unease and hope. It is an album about archetypes and about the everyday. There are allusions to the Great Flood, to Plato's Cave, to Poe, to the hero's quest so iconically defined by Joseph Campbell. There are recurring metaphors about the water, about the vastness of the ocean and the delicate balance between riding the wave and being pulled under. There is struggle, there is dread, there is hope, there is ultimately the knowledge only gained by a journey. It's an album about attempting to gain acceptance with the flow of adulthood, life in the music business, the changing awareness that only time and maturity can hand to someone.

Panic! At The Disco – A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out [Reissue/2005] LP (Fueled By Ramen)
Vinyl reissue of the double platinum Vaudeville-meets-pop-punk full-length debut from the Las Vegas, NV pop/punk band

Paramore – After Laughter CD (Fueled By Ramen/WB)
Paramore are back with their fifth album and first in four years. After Laughter marks the return of drummer Zac Farro, who quit the band in 2010. The album also represents the first-time Paramore recorded an LP in their native Nashville, with the group laying down the album at the city's famed RCA Studio B with producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen. In an interview with The New York Times, the band cites Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club, Cyndi Lauper and Blondie, as influences on the new album. “We’ve gotten to a point with our new music where we don’t really want to headbang anymore,” guitarist Taylor York said. Singer Hayley Williams revealed it was a difficult process getting to this point, due to various personnel changes, lawsuits and personal issues. “You can run on the fumes of being a teenager for as long as you want, but eventually life hits you really hard,” Williams explained. “I didn’t even know if we were going to make another record. There was a moment when I didn’t even want it to happen. Then it was like, I want it to happen, but I don’t know how we’re going to do it.”

Paul Weller – A Kind Of Revolution CD (Parlophone)
Weller releases his eagerly awaited thirteenth studio album A Kind Revolution -- ten absolute classic modern Paul Weller songs (expanded double-CD and five-piece 10” vinyl editions contain both an instrumental version of the album as well as eight remixes and the non-album track “Alpha”). By “modern Paul Weller songs” we mean, instantly recognizable but in no way predictable. He doesn't make a “kind of” album, he fits together all his influences - rock, R&B, soul, jazz, funk, folk...whatever - and builds a song from them, delivering something that drifts through genres unselfconsciously and at ease. Two great examples of this are two of the most reflective, contemplative songs, “Long Long Road” and “Hopper,” which in lesser hands might have been delivered as ballads, but Weller adds so much texture and color to each that they defy categorization. With great age comes great wisdom...

PWR BTTM – Pageant CD/LP+MP3 (Polyvinyl)
“Every episode of RuPaul's Drag Race — reality TV's finest drag queen competition — ends the same way. Host and judge RuPaul turns to the assembled queens and says, with an air of total sincerity: ‘If you can't love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love somebody else?’ The sentimental send-off is corny, but it comprises a powerful truth about being queer: In a world where LGBT identity can get you fired from your job, or kicked out of your home — or jailed or even killed — the act of loving yourself (and loving the capacity of queerness to upset entrenched norms) can be radical. Pageant, the sophomore album from pop-punk duo PWR BTTM, may as well take RuPaul's question as a mission statement. Over 13 tracks, the duo fleshes out its razor-sharp pop-punk sound while exploring the challenges and rewards of queer self-actualization. Many tracks include horns and flutes, and some even feature the operatic vocals of Hopkins' mother. The album feels larger and more mainstage-ready than the band's earlier music, while retaining the intimacy fostered during years of performing in dorm rooms and basement venues. Most importantly, PWR BTTM hasn't lost its sense of joy: the kind that inundates the songs' singalong hooks, cascades from Hopkins's flamboyantly extravagant guitar solos and sparkles in Bruce's campy, swaggering humor” – NPR. [Limited color vinyl pressing also available.]

Soundtrack – The Bob’s Burgers Music Album 2xCD/3xLP+7”MP3 (Sub Pop)
The Bob's Burgers Music Album features 109 songs from the first 107 episodes of the show (all six existing seasons), plus five special cover versions of songs from the show. Originally broadcast within the episodes – and often in abbreviated form – these songs appear here in their freestanding glory for the first time. The Bob's Burgers Music Album – in both its standard edition and its impressive deluxe edition – is a must-have for any fan of the show (and, really, any sentient life-form). The album features the main cast members – Bob (Jon Benjamin) and Linda (John Roberts) and their children Tina (Dan Mintz), Gene (Eugene Mirman) and Louise (Kristen Schaal) – singing original songs that build on the show's unique sense of humor. Also featured are many of the show's recurring and special guests, from comedians like Aziz Ansari, Sarah Silverman, Kevin Kline, Bill Hader, Zack Galifianakis, and Fred Armisen, to musical guests Cyndi Lauper and Carly Simon. Includes five never-aired “Bob's Buskers” cover versions of songs from the show performed by St. Vincent, The National, Lapsley, and Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields. [Limited Deluxe “condiment” color vinyl pressing also available.]

Todd Rundgren – White Knight CD (Cleopatra)
Veteran producer, pioneering performer and legendary songwriter Todd Rundgren returns with a new album featuring a stellar line-up of all-star guest performers. White Knight showcases Rundgren's incredibly diverse range of styles from soulful art rock to ambient synth pop and includes performances from Rundgren's equally diverse musical companions such as Trent Reznor, Donald Fagen (Steely Dan), Joe Walsh (The Eagles), Daryl Hall, Dam Funk, Joe Satriani, Robyn and others. Rundgren says: “It's easy to get used to playing to your own audience, even if you are absorbing and experimenting with new ideas. I wanted to collaborate not just for the musical possibilities, but also to play for new audiences and expose my fans to the range of artists I enjoy working with.”

Zac Brown Band – Welcome Home CD (New Elektra)
“Zac Brown isn’t just trying to sell records, he’s selling a way of life, a Southern Fried way of life, and he’s doing it very successfully. He and his band are as tight as a small community and they play a highly professional, appealingly commercial country style. His voice is a warm, comforting aubergine and the tunes are homespun and inclusive. There was a feeling they over elaborated on their last couple of albums, so on Welcome Home they are back to the simplicity of their breakthrough, The Foundation, with some songs completed in one take. It’s very skillfully produced and very easy on the ear. Ten tracks, forty minutes, job done. This is music with its feet firmly on the ground. Welcome Home evokes a family gathering in the sunshine, barbecue smoking away, a few beers being drunk, children and dogs running around. Then, dad fishes out his guitar, uncle Jimmy places his fiddle under his chin, cousin Clay tickles an ivory and they are away until the sun sets” – The Afterword.