Thursday, January 31, 2019

New Craig Finn Album, Single & Tour Dates

Hold Steady front man Craig Finn has announced the release his new solo album titled I Need A New War which is out April 26th.

The album was recorded with the same musicians and producers who contributed to Finn's last record, We All Want The Same Thing, so RtBE is expecting more of the same. We love The Hold Steady and Finn, but his solo albums have been good, not great to these ears. Expecting another solid if not earth shattering release from the Brooklyn by way of Minnesota resident.
Finn has also announced some solo tour dates with Brian Fallon in Europe which can be seen below. The first single from the new album "Blankets" has also been released so check that out as well as some live solo Finn:


Album Review: Makaya McCraven - Universal Beings

Makaya McCraven
Universal Beings
***and1/2 out of *****

Makaya McCraven is a jazz drummer who is not afraid of playing in the moment and then going back, chopping editing and creating a new flow. He has been doing this since his 2015 debut and now his most confident and best release is presented on Universal Beings.

The Chicago based McCraven, literal spanned the globe as he constructed this record from four pop up sessions (with the help of International Recording Company) based in London, NYC, Los Angeles and his home base of Chicago. Each live recording had a completely different band around Makaya as different themes and modes were explored. The most Impressive thing about Universal Beings may just be it's overall feel as a cohesive offering, which could have moved in four very different directions.

First up is NYC (of course) with Brandee Younger (harp) Joel Ross (vibraphone) Tomeka Reid (cello) Dezron Douglas (double bass) McCraven (drums) and this session proves to be the most fruitful of them all. The recording took place on April 29th in Ridgewood and moves from gloriously beautiful (Younger's harp on "Holy Lands" and Ross' vibes during "Young Genius") to ominous (Douglas' bass on "Black Lion") around the strings and pulsing rhythms laid down by McCraven; his closing run on "Black Lion" in particular is a whirlwind, but his nuanced beat pushes the rolling "Mantra" in restrained fashion as well.

Next up is Chicago as McCraven is joined in his hometown by Shabaka Hutchings (tenor saxophone) Tomeka Reid (cello) and Junius Paul (double bass). This set gets trance laden and hypnotic with it's centerpiece "Atlantic Black" which uses loops and doubling of cello and sax to disorientate around the ever pulsing rise of the beat. While the ten minute outing might not be for everyone the session "Inner Flight" pulls back in the cool groove.

Jumping across the pond the musicinas in London, Nubya Garcia (tenor saxophone) Ashley Henry (Rhodes piano) Daniel Casimir (double bass) join in the fun as McCraven leads them around skittering beats and procedures. The session is more trance orientated with the repitition of "Voila" setting the stage, while "Suite Haus" continues that thought but in a more post-bop fashion. The lounge based "Newbies Lift Off" is the most satisfying of the England excursions, but this stop is the least affecting on the world tour and dulls in the middle of the record.

The album wraps up with Los Anglese as Josh Johnson (alto saxophone) Miguel Atwood-Ferguson (violin) Jeff Parker (guitar) Anna Butterss (double bass) Carlos Niño (percussion) all contribute to the wide ranging session. The chaos of "The Count Off" gets jarringly shifted to the mellow trip hop beats of "Butterss's" before the smooth jazz of "The Fifth Monk" but it is the album closing title track which highlights the west coast portion of the album with it's groove and fluttering horns, lush bass and odd squawks. It is a fitting way to wrap up an overall successful record.   

There is post bop, hip hop, avant garde and free/cool jazz, all blending around an impressive collection of moving excursions. Universal Beings is a testament to McCraven's ear for organic beat music and his teammates for adding to the blissful ride.   
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Ending Jazz January on a high note here at RtBE, thanks for getting cool with us. Support the artist, buy the album, stream it on bandcamp or below and peep some video:


Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Album Review: The Motet - Death or Devotion

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!

It is of The Motet's newest album, Death or Devotion.

The record is pretty solid, but with a bit of editing it could have been great. This is a group who makes their living on the live stage though so the studio records are just a means to an end. Great vocals and disco/funky workouts are at the basis of Death or Devotion and these tracks will translate easily to the stage. 

Support the artists, buy the album, catch them live, read the review and peep some video below:

Album Review: Kamaal Williams - The Return

Kamaal Williams
The Return
**and1/2 out of *****

Kamaal Williams has been a central figure in the London music scene for a long time, having been the musical director of the Katy B band and releasing albums with the Yussef Kamaal project. The Return however is his debut solo record and it is a collection of groovy, funky instrumental outings. Low key and good for nightclubs without really blazing new ground, it works well as a late night downtown soundtrack.

Opening with the wah-wah heavy keyboards of "Salaam" the trio (Williams- Keys, Pete Martin - Bass, MckNasty - Drums) slowly coalesce round the space sounds as MckNasty (aka Joshua McKenzie) kicks up the tempo and things percolate to close. This opener sets the tone for what is to come however both the skittering "Broken Theme" and "Catch The Loop" work better, both keeping the listener on edge with odd timings and jazzy fills. The title track is just a short string excursion and "Situation" recorded live in Milan is a yawning minimalist track that seems out of place around the funky numbers.

"High Roller" is dominated by the deep bass of Martin, with more vibrating electric keyboard work while "Rhythm Commission" slows things down a bit but keeps Martin's bass prominent. The best track on the whole record arrives late as "LDN Shuffle" sums up what this trio does best and adds guitarist Mansur Brown to come in and do his best John McLaughlin impression, firing through riff after riff in shredding fashion. A mix from the albums norm, and a welcome injection of energy.

The Return is a mix between broke beat and smooth jazz as it rolls through the chill night. While never blowing minds, it serves it's funk purpose.
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Support the artist, buy the album, stream it on bandcamp or below and peep some video:


Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Album Review: John Medeski's Mad Skillet - Mad Skillet

John Medeski's Mad Skillet
S/T
**** out of *****

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival brings a lot of talented people together each and every year. Back in 2015 a swampy late night Jazzfest set witnessed the formation of Mad Skillet. John Medeski and Will Bernard came to town and partnered with the rhythm section of Kirk Joseph and Terence Higgins from The Dirty Dozen Brass Band. The one off result was so sweet that the group has stayed in formation, touring and recording their debut self titled album.

The result is just under an hour of professional mix of styles that is at once engaging and challenging, New York City avant-garde jazz mixing with New Orleans grooving brassy/jazzy funk is not the smoothest of pairings in theory, but the more the players spend time in your ears the stronger the outfit becomes.     

Opener "Man About Town" is a warm easy strolling jaunt around town to aquatint the team as the two Northern guests deliver competing solos, Medeski's is forward moving and aggressive while Bernard is more restrained and chill. Things really pick up as guest horn players (Gilbert Elorreaga: trumpet; Dan Bechdolt: tenor sax; Mark V. Gonzales: trombone, horn arrangement; Josh Levy: baritone sax; Jonathan Doyle: bass sax) arrive and fire up "Invincible Bubble" delivering a jolt after starting off the track in psychedelic fashion here the NYC/NOLA mix is delightfully apparent, those are the records best moments and they show up consistently.

"Tuna In A Can" is all about the groove as Higgins drumming leads the way and is magical as the other players do their best to keep up with him while "Piri Piri" also highlights Higgins excellent skin work and Joseph's bouncing sousaphone, this time pairing it with some hot bop piano playing from Medeski in a burner of a short track. The groups experimentation reaches it's the warbling zenith on "Psychedelic Rhino" which ups the freak-out style and may not be for everyone. This track proves the quartet are not shy when it comes to getting out there trying various forms, ranging long for extended workouts.

Two kick ass unique tracks are "Adele" and "The Golden Lady" which both successfully feel between all worlds. "The Golden Lady" is a strange mix of eerie surf rock recalling bayous, haunted houses and desolate shore lines while "Adele" is a spaghetti western theme waiting to happen which jumps up and motors. Bernard and Medeski are comfortable letting the Dirty Dozen boys deliver the groove, as they solo but the whole group are game to try new things and let the sounds flow.

The easy grooves/dance laden breaks of "Little Miss Piggy" and closer "Heart of Soul" both scream late night jam sessions whence this group was formed and where they still deliver the goods. However, for a studio effort this first self titled release is a joy to hear and from the sounds of it, a joy for all involved to create.   
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Support the band, buy the record, catch them live, and pep some video below:



Album Review: Trapper Schoepp - Primetime Illusion

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!
It is of Trapper Schoepp's newest album Primetime Illusion.
Trapper had the insight to take an unfinished Bob Dylan lyric and co-write a song with him over fifty years after it was started. While that is the big take away, the full album is pretty damn solid in a Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers way.

Support the artist, buy the record, read the review and peep some video below:


Monday, January 28, 2019

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe New Studio Album & Tour

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe has announced its new studio album Gnomes & Badgers will be released March 8th on Seven Spheres Records.

Denson has a long history of funky/jazzy/rocky/soulful outings and while he butters his biscuits predominantly on the live stage his studio efforts are always worth a listen. Gnomes and Badgers first single has been released, "I'm Your Biggest Fan" and it can be heard here:


Denson will obviously tour behind the record and those tour dates are below as well. He and the Tiny Universe will be making a few stops in New Orleans including a Jazzfest proper show on 4/26 then hitting Tipitina's later that night where he really belongs; Denson's late night sets are historic.

Having seen KDTU in the past we hope to catch him again soon, and will be reviewing Gnomes & Badgers in the near future. Until then enjoy some of his live tunes:




Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe
Tour Dates
1/23 – Wilmington, NC – Brooklyn Arts Center ^
1/24 – Charleston, SC – Pour House ^
1/25 – Atlanta, GA – Terminal West ^
1/26 – Asheville, NC – Salvage Station **
2/15 – New Orleans, LA – NOLA Brewing Company
2/22 – Ardmore, PA – Ardmore Music Hall
2/23 – Ardmore, PA – Ardmore Music Hall
3/15 – San Diego, CA – Music Box
3/16 – San Francisco, CA – The Independent
4/26 – New Orleans, LA – New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
4/26 – New Orleans, LA – Tipitina’s
5/3 – New Orleans, LA – Orpheum Theatre ^^
7/4 – Quincy, CA – High Sierra Music Festival
7/5 – Quincy, CA – High Sierra Music Festival
7/6 – Quincy, CA – High Sierra Music Festival
7/7 – Quincy, CA – High Sierra Music Festival
7/27 – Floyd, VA – Floydfest

Dylan Cover #360 Scott Amendola Band "Masters of War"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a cover by Scott Amendola Band playing "Masters of War"
Jazzy January has invade Mondays! All this month we will check out various artists covering Dylan in a Jazz vibe, can you dig it daddy-o? 
Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this tune:
Ranking as one of his most accusatory and cutting tracks Dylan condemns the whole "war machine" on this classic and vital song (the "hope that you die" line is so facking cold, it is brutal). Often misrepresented as an attack on war itself (Dylan always said he wasn't a pacifist) this track calls out the government for using war-as-business (the Cold War in particular) and business-as-war models when lives are put on the line for meaningless reasons. As alive and burning now as it was in 1962 when he wrote it.
Cover:


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
The drummer Scott Amendola is a teacher, arranger, promoter etc. This is the first time RtBE has come across his fine work.   

Thoughts on Cover:
A slow burning cover until the 4:20 mark when the Eric Crystal's saxophone comes into the fray and kicks up the proceedings. The rest of the band Jenny Scheinman (violin), Nels Cline (guitar), Crystal and Todd Sickafoose (bass) climb claw and scratch around Amendola's drums. Carla Bozulich vocals are accusatory as are her screams.

This is exhibit A why we continue this series, now on #360. A few weeks ago we covered an artist we dig and respect and were underwhelmed by her take on a Dylan tune. This week? A fantastic artistic take on a blistering song, just kind of the cover we truly appreciate.   

Friday, January 25, 2019

Full Show Friday: Miles Davis Live in Vienna 1973

We search the murky back waters of youtube to find full concerts and post them to the site weekly, come back every seven days to help us celebrate Full Show Friday's. These shows are of varying quality and may not be here for long so enjoy them while you can...As always, please support the artist every which way, but especially by seeing them live (if they are still playing)...This week...Miles Davis!
It's Jazzy January again here at RtBE, so get ready to kick off 2018 with some different styled shows every Friday. For this series we skew into new (or more recent) jazz lands. Keeping it current proves there is amazing live jazz still being performed no matter what Ken Burns says.

For January The Masters focuses on Jazz great Miles Davis

Continuing RtBE's Masters series this month we dig into a Full Show Friday from our favorite era of Davis, (and break our new jazz pledge again) his mid seventies live electrical phase. The concert from Vienna Stadthalle in 1973 may not be as powerful of some of the live albums we highlighted earlier this month, but it bright and cleanly shows a group of musicians getting after it with Davis.

That crew is: Dave Liebman (ss, ts, fl); Pete Cosey (g, perc); Reggie Lucas (g); Michael Henderson (el-b); Al Foster (d); James Mtume Forman (cga, perc). The alchemy and interplay is something to behold and while it certainly isn't for everyone it is some damn fine magic to these ears and eyes...

Pro shot with Pro Sound, which does wave in and out not always capturing all the instruments and I wish it was louder, but still worth hearing.  No need for setlists...Enjoy:

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Album Review: Buzzcocks - Another Music In A Different Kitchen

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!

It is of the re-mastered release of the Buzzcocks debut LP Another Music In A Different Kitchen.

A landmark punk album that doesn't get a huge amount of credit as it is overshadowed by their own, and contemporary releases, but the bands first full length is a winner on all fronts.

Happy to review our second album by the Buzzcocks for Glide, everyone should listen to more of this band.

Support the artists, buy the album, read the review and peep some video below:

Album Review: Michael Chinworth - Three Vapors EP

Michael Chinworth
Three Vapors EP
*and1/2 out of *****

A music teacher at Bennington College in Vermont, Michael Chinworth takes his styles out of the classroom and into the studio. For his most recent offering Chinworth tries to blend pop vocals with avant-garde production and playing on the three tunes presented on his EP Three Vapors. Unfortunately he leans much more towards the weird and in the end these three tracks come across more goofy and irritating then expected.

The opening track is the best and more of a sound/voice collage titled "Good As It Gets" which starts minimal and then begins to layer odd sounds and his vocals on top of a yearning retro looking sad title refrain. Chinworths vocals are soft and warm and the sonic tapestry that he weaves is very cinematic as it floats along with no bottom holding him down. He mentions Frank Ocean and modern R&B in his lead up to this release and this light airy weariness is where he is closest connected to that sound. 

The follow up "Fugue" starts of more typical with a mellow piano before a rush of spoken word phrases arrive at exactly the same time slamming the listen and throwing them off balance. The piano and organ minimal playing continues throughout (with unfortunately little variation) while completely random yells, singing and spoken phrases are tossed out with various levels of intensity. If the phrases had been connected, memorable, or funnier this experiment may have worked, but as it stands it sounds like a failed first year students sound/art project.

The closing "iiVIIViiVi (since you went away)"mixes pretty piano backing with annoying digital siren sounding flares creating a mix of sweet and sour for close to seven minutes. Chinworth's avant-garde leanings have come on strong for Three Vapors, but for pop fans to take notice he will have to increase the saccharine dosage next outing as two out of three of these tracks are arraigned to challenge and do more irritating then elevating.   
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Support the artist, buy the album and peep some video of the artist below:

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

2018 Recap: Favorite Albums, Shows, etc.

With all the hectic happenings at the end of the year, things can be missed. This is just a catch up post to point out a few of our favorite things from 2018 that shouldn't go unnoticed. There were many strong releases, great live shows, amazing musical moments....2019 has a lot to live up to.

 In case you missed it here are our Best of 2018 series of posts...

Our picks for best album art of 2018, where we check out some creative album art from the last year.

Our picks for best live show of 2018, what an amazing year for live tunes...all of these were jaw dropping nights in their own ways.

Finally our three part series for albums of the year. Part one our just misses and letdowns, part two our picks for 10-5, part three our top 5, picks for best albums of 2018.  Again all of these are fantastic and worth your time and attention.

Feel free to let us know your choices in the comments and thanks as always for reading and exploring...as the patron saint of this site stated:

What are those of the known, but to ascend and enter the Unknown? 

Album Review: Mozes and the Firstborns - Dadcore

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!

It is of Mozes and the Firstborns newest release Dadcore.
The group takes it's cue directly from 90's alternative rock and spruces it up with some pop friendly choruses, singalongs and bright playing.

It is a very catchy record and one that sticks with you long after the album ends. These guys will hopefully increase their exposure with such a wining release.

Support the artists, buy the record (out Friday), read the review and peep some video below:



Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Album Review: Dwarfs of East Agouza - Rats Don’t Eat Synthesizers

Dwarfs of East Agouza
Rats Don’t Eat Synthesizers
*** out of *****

The second release from the Dwarfs of East Agouza is a hypnotic journey through sonic vistas which grabs twirls and tosses the listener in all directions. Rats Don't Eat Synthesizers is a pairing of two excursions each running long and allowing the traveler to unfold into the sound, but never without a musical challenge.   

The group is a three piece from the Agouza district in Cairo, Egypt, the trio consists of Alan Bishop (Acoustic Bass & Alto Sax), Maurice Louca (Keyboards & Drum Machine) and Sam Shalabi (Electric Guitar). The players manage to lock in and circumvent hypnotic passages with scratching tribal and cosmic diversions.

The opening title track falls into a rhythmic groove around the four and half minute mark as Shalabi's thin guitar lines catch a groove as Louca's keyboards answer the call all around the steady bass of Bishop. That groove continues to the close with various accents and guitar lines manage to bang about, creating a sweet ride towards the end, which manages (like the beginning) to fall into shambles as it wraps up.

The second track on the album and the longer side of this two song offering is "Ringa Mask Koshari" and it takes it's time to get rolling with an avant-garde intro of clanging and space. There is an emptiness to the opening that delivers a sense nothingness as random passages float through. Around six minutes in the percussion/drum machine kicks in as does the skittering saxophone and muscular electric guitar riffs to give the track some energy.

The squawking and eeriness of the keyboards play counterweight to the rhythmic guitar lines and percussion as the song grows. A sense of chaos arrives around fourteen minutes as the stakes rise and all contribute to the maelstrom as the sense of adventure gorgeously pulsates until the eighteen and a half minute mark before losing steam and moving into electro bursts and warbles to wrap up the ride.

Dwarfs of East Agouza's Rats Don't Eat Synthesizers is a fulfilling listen for fans of experimental sounds and grooving long hauls. Like our favorite electric offerings from this months focus in The Masters series Miles Davis, the pulsing full band organism can fly higher than the individual parts. 
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Support the artists, buy the record, stream it on bandcamp or below and peep some video:



    

Monday, January 21, 2019

Happy MLK Day: March on Washington 1963

This is a tradition here at RtBE. While we are including this in our Monday Dylan series, this is a necessary break from the routine.
We here at RtBE have lots of heroes and most stem from America's hard fought past. We have talked about the godfather of this site, we will probably touch on Lincoln at some point, but the man who we celebrate today is right up there both of them. Martin Luther King Jr. is an American who deserves to be honored right alongside the greatest our country has ever produced.

We are happy to dedicate this Monday to him and to help celebrate the day we will post a 10 minute clip of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and others performing songs at one of the most monumental days for democracy, the1963 March on Washington DC.

Dylan plays "When The Ship Comes In" with Baez helping out, "Only A Pawn In Their Game" solo and joins a group for "Keep Your Eyes On The Prize".



Have a great day and make sure to watch this, MLK's last prophetic public words:


It is still so incredibly moving.

The full speech is located here and worth listening to as well and you can read this amazing writing which unfortunately is still relevant today from King as well:

Friday, January 18, 2019

Full Show Friday: Magic Malik & Jazz Association 2018 @ Jazz sur Seine

We search the murky back waters of youtube to find full concerts and post them to the site weekly, come back every seven days to help us celebrate Full Show Friday's. These shows are of varying quality and may not be here for long so enjoy them while you can...As always, please support the artist every which way, but especially by seeing them live (if they are still playing)...This week...Magic Malik & Jazz Association!
It's Jazzy January again here at RtBE, so get ready to kick off 2018 with some different styled shows every Friday. For this series we skew into new (or more recent) jazz lands. Keeping it current proves there is amazing live jazz still being performed no matter what Ken Burns says.

This week we go back to last October for Magic Malik & Jazz Association. A French outfit who goes after the classics with original twists. Translated from their page:
A unique concert, organized especially for ARTE Concert? Flutist Magic Malik did it! It is within the framework of the Jazz on Seine festival that this eclectic artist introduces us his new project: the Jazz Association Quintet, a formation that celebrates the great figures of jazz, all times combined.
The show is Pro-Shot with Pro Sound. Enjoy:

ARTE Concert offers you the best of the European scene on all your screens: http://concert.arte.tv

Find us also on social networks:
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ARTEConcert
Twitter https://twitter.com/ARTEconcertEN
Instagram http://instagram.com/arteconcert

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Album Review: Nathan Sanders - Legacy

Nathan Sanders
Legacy
** out of *****

Nathan Sanders newest release Legacy is a five track EP which moves with style and grace. The San Jose based artist has familial ties to the soul and R&B of the nineties (being the cousin's with Tony, Toni, Tone) but his songs presented here have no set time or place as his jazz tendencies leads the way.

Opening with "Steppin'" the artist lets the hi hat lead the way as the song slowly works up to speed. Simplistic piano drops enter and occasionally a deep horn blows but it isn't until the four minute mark when a huge bass enters that the track finds a mooring; the song begins to coalesce and then ends to soon.     

Following up is the more organic "This Life" again drums and simply piano set the tone, but the rolling drums move things along at a fair clip. "Town Struttin" feels more towards the smooth jazz side of things, but the random keyboard fills keep things edgy while the title track picks up the digital drum loops, hand claps and skittering percussion in a modern way.

Closing with the live track "Without You" the artist starts singing with a vocal which can rise to falsetto or drop deep. Unfortunately the recording has actual background chatter, and brutal mic feedback taking away from the performance. A passable bonus track for fans, but the amateurish recording is not something someone new to the artist needs to experience in this form.

Legacy is Sanders second digital release in December 2018, and there may be more on the way from the active artist.
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Support the artist, buy the record, listen on bandcamp or below:

Album Review: Earthless - From The West (Live)

Earthless
From The West (Live)
**** out of *****

Earthless went big in 2018 releasing their first album with vocals, Black Heaven and this celebratory live album follow up, From The West. Unlike a lot of metal/stoner outfits who use studio precision to get their ideas across, Earthless have always been more akin to Jambands, doing their most exciting and raw work on the live stage. From The West is the bands third official live album (with many bootlegs and jams floating around) and it is an upgrade over Black Heaven (which did have much better cover art though) if for the blistering energy alone.

The ripping newest instrumental "Black Heaven" kicks things off with surging energy as the frantic riffs of Isaiah Mitchell combines perfectly with the rolling thunder low end of bassist Mike Eginton and drummer Mario Rubalcaba. The opener flows smoothly into "Electric Flame" and while the lyrics and singing of Mitchell are pushed more into the background, their Black Sabbath qualities are actually pushed more to the forefront, accentuating the playing rather then dominating it.

The squirrelly feedback wrapping up "Electric Flame" drips into the pounding grooves of "Gifted By The Wind" but it is the massive "Uluru Rock" which dominates this album. Pushing twenty minutes this behemoth is a heavy psychedelic journey, with both glimpses of darkness and beauty. It trudges along with Brontosaurus like stature and heft while Mitchell is just wailing away at the universe as the tempo slowly rises and rises before soaring to close; a mega jam.

The brief blasting "Volt Rush" makes a welcomed appearance opening ears, but fans will be salivating at the bands inclusion of their take on Led Zeppelin's (whose TMOQ bootleg the cover art/packaging is based on) "Communication Breakdown". While a fine, speedy cover the two album ending originals are even better.       

"Violence of the Red Sea" off of From The Ages, continues the Sabbath on speed style for nearly fifteen minutes as Mitchell reaffirms he is one of the fiercest guitarists going today while album closer "Acid Crusher" released as a standalone single in 2016 is a psych rock beast wrapping up a tremendous live collection of recent Earthless offerings. 

Recorded at The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco on March 1st, 2018 the trio were certainly in the groove. Like on their two other live albums, the stage is where Earthless are most comfortable and do their best work, any fan of adventurous excursions should give From The West a spin.
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Support the band, buy the album and peep some video below:

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Album Review: Maggie Rogers - Heard It In A Past Life

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!
It is of Maggie Rogers debut full length Heard It In A Past Life.

Poppy dance laden tunes is not normally the forte of this site, but it is always great to check out new things, especially when those new things are as successful as Rogers debut album. While she rose to fame with the help of Pharrell who heard her song "Alaska" from the NYU grad (GO VIOLETS!!) and it propelled her to SNL of all places.

The two songs she played on the late night show are her two best on this album and I will post videos of those performances below. Even if you are not usually into this sort of music, Heard It In A Past Life is still a solid listen.
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Support the artist, buy the album (out Friday) and peep some video from her Saturday Night Live appearance below:





The Masters: Miles Davis - Best Live Records

RtBE loves listening to new music and prides itself on keeping tabs on up and coming artists but in 2019 we are also going to have a monthly spotlight on legendary artists who we really love. We are calling this series The Masters. It will focus on the best albums, live records, transcendent shows and other odd ways we appreciate the artists and their contribution to music, culture and our formation.

For January The Masters focuses on Jazz great Miles Davis.

Live music is the best thing out there. Being caught in the moment is religion. Palpable vibes of healing and energy are transmitted and shit...gets...real. For this month's focus, Miles Davis, live performance was a state of living and he did it in a slew of ways over his career. Davis live records span 40+ years and are still being released as legacy albums. There is so much to uncover with him we will surely miss something with our list below, but let's get to it. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Album Review: Rosie Turton - Rosie's 5ive EP

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!
It is the first solo release from trombonist/composer Rosie Turton titled Rosie's 5ive. The release is yet another in the excellent 5ive series from Jazz re:freshed.

While the center piece "Stolen Ribs" wasn't our favorite the rest of the tracks, including the groups re-working of Herbie Hancock's "Butterfly" are all really solid. Rosie's 5ive is a damn fine EP and one fans of new school or old cool jazz will get a kick of.
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Support the artist, buy the record and peep some video below:




2019 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Lineup

The lineup for the 50th New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival has been announced. It is a doozy.

The lineup can be seen in the video below as well, and it is DEEP.  We got a few right and a few wrong, but there is no denying this is going to be a hell of a show.


Some early highlights that jump out are Jerry Lee Lewis, John Fogerty, Little Freddie King and of course all the fantastic local acts. The festival can not come soon enough...let's get in the mood with a few live clips from acts playing the fest: 









Monday, January 14, 2019

Dylan Cover #359 Eddie Cano & Nino Tempo "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune comes from Eddie Cano & Nino Tempo covering "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright"
Jazzy January has invade Mondays! All this month we will check out various artists covering Dylan in a Jazz vibe, can you dig it daddy-o? 

Thought's on Original:
From the first time we reviewed a cover of this tune:
This song is so iconic and flat out awesome, even people who dislike Dylan have to enjoy this tune right? Biting and yet not bitter, a toss off of the grandest proportions, "Don' Think Twice, It's All Right" is epic and yet so straight forwardly simple. It easily ranks as one of the bard's best works, truly a classic and has been covered by so many people in so many ways.
Cover:

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
RtBE is unfamiliar with Eddie Cano & Nino Tempo, but in researching they are a piano player and saxophonist respectively.
Thoughts on Cover:
A perfect jazz interpretation of a Dylan tune. When we brought this series into Jazzy January this is exactly what we were hoping to find. A cool tune, will need to do more research on these artists.  

Friday, January 11, 2019

Full Show Friday: Miles Davis Quintet 10/11/64 Milan, Italy

We search the murky back waters of youtube to find full concerts and post them to the site weekly, come back every seven days to help us celebrate Full Show Friday's. These shows are of varying quality and may not be here for long so enjoy them while you can...As always, please support the artist every which way, but especially by seeing them live (if they are still playing)...This week...Miles Davis!
It's Jazzy January again here at RtBE, so get ready to kick off 2018 with some different styled shows every Friday. For this series we skew into new (or more recent) jazz lands. Keeping it current proves there is amazing live jazz still being performed no matter what Ken Burns says.

For January The Masters focuses on Jazz great Miles Davis

This week we are breaking with our own rule from up above and skewing old to continue The Masters series. Here is Miles second great quintet early on in their run playing a show at Teatro dell'Arte in Milan, Italy. Trumpet: Miles Davis Saxophone: Wayne Shorter Piano: Herbie Hancock Bass: Ron Carter Drums: Tony Williams are all world class and this hour long television broadcast captures their playing in 1964. 

Playing with classics like "Autumn Leaves" and "My Funny Valentine" the quartet are up to snuff, vamping all over and around the standards with Davis leading the way with his exploratory horn. While the TV sound is not perfect (the bass and drums get short changed) having video of this group is a plus in and of itself. 

Pro shot and Pro Sound (for 1964) Enjoy:

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Fia Nic Rosa Sound of Travel Vol 1: E-Jazz Fusion Travel Album/Video Project

The combination of styles and mediums between music and film have been around for a while and Irish artist Fia Nic Rosa has decided to combine her personal travel videos with her newest music project into Sound of Travel Vol 1.

The songs and accompanying videos go around the world with the sounds and visions as Fia Nic Rosa uses light beats, washes of sound, poetry and breathy singing to set the scene. Here is the opener from San Francisco:


The full album can be heard/watched so the listener/viewer to travel with Rosa in her ongoing journeys.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Live At Little Gem Saloon Release Party 1/12

Basin Street Records are throwing a release party this Saturday night for their recently compiled live album, Live at The Little Gem Saloon.
The album is a celebration of the record labels 20th anniversary and was recorded live at the club during Jazzfest in 2017 (specifically May 5th). The concert on Saturday will feature some of the artists who are on the record, all around the excellent Kermit Ruffins and his BBQ Swingers who will be playing two sets and Special Guests will include: Davell Crawford, Dr. Michael White, Irvin Mayfield, and Lena Prima

Tickets are still available and for those in NOLA this seems like a hell of show for a Saturday in January. Below is live video of Jason Marsalis and band performing his killer tune "Bourbon Street Ain't No Mardi Gras" from the live recording back in 2017 and it is a doozy:
   

The Masters: Miles Davis - Top Five Studio Albums

RtBE loves listening to new music and prides itself on keeping tabs on up and coming artists but in 2019 we are also going to have a monthly spotlight on legendary artists who we really love. We are calling this series The Masters. It will focus on the best albums, live records, transcendent shows and other odd ways we appreciate the artists and their contribution to music, culture and our formation.

For January The Masters focuses on Jazz great Miles Davis

What better way to supplement Jazzy January then with the the iconic Davis? He has so many eras, rebirths and styles it is amazing. Fans may love one period of his recording and be repulsed by another. He (like many others in this series) followed his muse wherever it would take him, dark places, beautiful places it didn't matter. He had demons and issues.

He also had ungodly talent and is by far our favorite Jazz artist for the risks he took, the results he got and the way his music always keeps us guessing no matter how many times we hear it.  As Richard Brody stated much more eloquently:
Davis’s musical development, from the age of twenty-nine through forty-nine—and his personal evolution and musical revolution is itself one of the grandest artistic dramas of the dramatic time.
For this first installment we are going to look at Miles Davis Top Five Studio Albums to RtBE's ears. Let's get down on the corner...

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Album Review: Ryan Porter - The Optimist

Ryan Porter
The Optimist
**** out of *****

Recorded at The Shack, the basement of Kamasi's Washington's parents house in 2008-09, comes Ryan Porter's, The Optimist. Before this talented group of players would go on to score Netflix series, tour the world or partner with Kendrick Lamar they were just a group of hungry jazz players in Los Angeles California known as the West Coast Get Down.

The Optimist is a fiery offering which kicks off with a bang on "The Psalmist". The blowing horns set the tone as the group locks in before an amazing piano flurry from Cameron Graves ignites the band to reach even higher. Washington's smooth tenor is a cool interlude and Porter's rougher trombone brings back the groove as the track closes on a triumphant note.

The album is filled with these moments and while Porters name is on the record it is easy to hear the formation of a cohesive unit who would go on to succeed more then any jazz collective in decades over the next few years.

"Obamanomics" and "Deja Vu" are both smoother numbers but show the collective can be just as successful with it's electric keys and trumpet lead as with their blow out tunes. Miles Mosley's upright bass kicks of the somber "Strugglesville" which manages to bring in classic jazz style with modern itching and scratching while 

The bright and shiny "The Instrumental Hip-Hoppa" is a sweet roll, but for some reason sounds recorded at a distance, throwing off the jubilant sound of the record half way through.It is an odd placement of a number which could be a highlight but comes off the weakest of the bunch. 

"Night Court In Compton" recalls the opener, competing with it for the most exciting track on the this collection. The band gets down and funky while keeping the jazz horn vibe alive. Porter in particular shines here with a great lead line as things manage to get exploratory and challenging through out. "K-Wash" goes back to the smoother side of things augmented by some killer bass fills as Washington takes the lead throughout before "Anya" continues the laid back exploratory vibe in more full on group fashion. 

"Little Sunflower" allows the drums of Tony Austin, Robert Miller and Lyndon Rochelle to get creative and propel things along; that Bootsie Collins inspired electro fills (bass or keybs?) are quality add as is the bright trumpet work of Jumaane Smith. Porter again though blasts a great solo as the band continues to thrive as he leads them charging into unknown vistas.

The album wraps up with two of the records longest excursions, the players take on a standard with John Coltrane's "Impressions" and an original entitled "Chocolate Nuisance". The groups cover of Coltrane slows down the original, giving it more of a soulful feel, admirable and solid, just not particularly memorable or exciting. "Chocolate Nuisance" on the other hand is both of those things. The album closer is a whirling mix of horns, blackplotation funk, adventurous yet nuanced playing and a sense of mirth.

Porter and everyone on this disk has been discovered but these recordings prove that even before that the players were something special to behold and The Optimist keeps things positive; any fans of any sort of jazz should be checking out this and other records by West Coast Get Down collective.
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Support the artist, buy the record, stream it on bandcamp or below and peep some video:



Monday, January 7, 2019

Dylan Cover #358 Nina Simone "I Shall Be Released"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a cover by Nina Simone  playing "I Shall Be Released"
Jazzy January has invade Mondays! All this month we will check out various artists covering Dylan in a Jazz vibe, can you dig it daddy-o? 
Thoughts on Cover:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this song:
"I Shall Be Released" has been covered by too many artists to count and with reason; it is a masterpiece. A simple song that will forever be etched in Rock Legend as it ended perhaps the best concert in rock history, The Last WaltzThe Band are always connected to the tune as Dylan wrote it during those amazing days playing with the group up at Big Pink in the Catskills and the group released it on their first album. Gospel in nature the song is about salvation that can be certain, and each listener (and performer) can add their own personal feelings into the sketch, perfect for covering, especially live to close a show with friends.

Cover:

Thoughts on Cover Artist: 
Nina Simone was a troubled woman but a true artist. The recent documentary on her, ,is tough to watch but her voice and style can be captivating. "Sinner Man" is one of RtBE's all-time favorites. She was special in many ways. 

Thoughts on Cover:
A fine cover slow soul cover with piano and back up singers, but for an artist as moving as Simone can be this one falls a bit flat and dull. Not the best song for her talents. Imagine if she tore into "Masters of War", "Idiot Wind" or "She's Your Lover Now"? Woof.  

Happy 5th Anniversary to The A&V EP from Angels & Vagabonds

Hard to believe @angelsvagabonds released our debut effort, The A&V EP five years ago today.
It has been fun writing about music on various websites and publications over the last ten plus years, but nothing beats the act of creating music, playing it live and recording it. Our first EP was an excellent experience, a huge learning process for me personally, and five years removed, I am still very proud of the final result.

From the cover photo that stayed exactly as Bruno_Pek_ shot it, to the great production from our good friend Glen to the contributions of everyone involved The A&V EP is a joy to remember. More importantly, we still like listening to it and you can do the same now.

You can download from our bandcamp site, you can buy it from iTunes, stream it on Spotify or below. As always, thanks for reading, and on this day I can say thanks for listening.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Full Show Friday: Hiromi: Jazz in Marciac 2010

We search the murky back waters of youtube to find full concerts and post them to the site weekly, come back every seven days to help us celebrate Full Show Friday's. These shows are of varying quality and may not be here for long so enjoy them while you can...As always, please support the artist every which way, but especially by seeing them live (if they are still playing)...This week...
Hiromi!

It's Jazzy January again here at RtBE, so get ready to kick off 2018 with some different styled shows every Friday. For this series we skew into new (or more recent) jazz lands. Keeping it current proves there is amazing live jazz still being performed no matter what Ken Burns says.

A solo piano show to kick start the month as we find Hiromi Uehara the piano wizard doing her thing at Jazz in Marciac 2010. She is a whirlwind on the piano and a joy to watch and hear. She also wrote a song for New York titled "BQE", how can you not dig that? 

Pro Shot, Pro Sound, full set list below. Enjoy:


Hiromi Uehara - Live in Jazz in Marciac, August 4, 2010. 01. I Got Rhythm 02. Sicilian Blue 03. BQE 04. Berne, Baby, Berne 05. Pachelbel's Canon 06. Choux a la Crème

Thursday, January 3, 2019

NOLA Jazzfest 2019, Artist Predictions

The lineup for the 2019 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival will be announced very soon (hopefully next week) but we got the early scoop...

Actually no we don't...but since it is fun to predict, lets look into the crystal ball and guess who will be and who should be playing.

We will exclude the brass bands and local acts (even though they are truly the main reason we go) including nationally touring NOLA acts like Irma Thomas, Kermit Ruffins, Galactic and Trombone Shorty who will all be there. Lets just talk about the bigger national touring artists for now....We will focus more on locals closer to the show.

To get in the southern festive NOLA mood, here is a great video done by Jeronimo Acero that my friend the fantastic Lu Brow sent north to warm me up during the winter.
Now on to the predictions....

Album Review: Juan Ibarra - NauMay

Juan Ibarra 
NauMay
**** out of *****

Released in early 2018, Juan Ibarra's collection of soaring Jazz originals may have offered more promise and positive spiritually than the year could deliver, but the dulcet tones continue to enchant, and will do so for any listener who picks up NauMay in the future. It is a stunning post-bop based jazz debut from an artist who has studied around the world and returned home to produce his first record at Mastodonte Studios. 

Ibarra is a drummer originally from Uruguay who leads his base quintet (Gonzalo Levin - Tenor/Spr/Alto Sax, Ignacio Labrada - Piano, Martin Ibarra - Guitar, Antonino Restuccia - Double Bass) in unique fashion. Just listening to the intro for "Angkor" (our favorite) and you can hear how his dense percussion patterns juxtaposes with the melodic piano and saxophones. The track (like all of them on NauMay) runs long and moves through various stages but remains hypnotic all along the journey.  It is just one of the many impressive offerings on this record which fans of exploratory music (not just jazz heads) will dig.

Opener "REM" is more a dreamy slow build helped along by guests Benjamin Barrios tenor sax and Federico Lazzarini trumpet while "Indigo" has more of a free jazz vibe with a pleasant focus on the bass work of Restuccia. Barrios and Lazzarini return again for the triumphant "Pepper Blade" as the marching drums and bright horns lead the way forward.

"Oceanos" is the smoothest offering on the record and oddly the least engaging as the other tunes deliver more of a musical journey, but the chilled out vibes are certainly solid, just a bit one note/familiar. More exploratory and adventurous is "Nair (Candombe 5)" which flies by as the band climbs up and down scales around Ibarra's frantically direct drumming. Closer "Pataskala" highlights Martin Ibarra's electric guitar work with clean flourishes and bright passages before the relaxed sax and steady piano make their mark as well.   

There is a lot of music to digest on NauMay with a running time pushing seventy five minutes, however each long offering is rewarding. Ibarra has been compared to Brian Blades Fellowship with good reason, he and his players have created an exhilarating debut record that will reward listeners again and again. 
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Support the artist, buy the album, stream it on bandcamp or below and peeps some video:

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Album Review: Noun - Slug

Noun
Slug
**** out of *****

Marissa Paternoster has been collecting side recordings and snippets of home audio for a while and has periodically released these tunes under her pseudonym Noun. Back in 2010 she released her first collection of songs under this moniker, Holy Hell. It is an amazing collection of tunes which spill out from her Screaming Females day band into something unique. RtBE loved the record and rated it high in our year end review. Now comes Slug, a more intimate offering and one that seems to be a proper solo effort as opposed to an overflow of songs; however Paternoster has told RtBE directly that writing Noun songs is a reclusive activity and Slug sounds incredibly personal/reflective.   

The record plays as if it was a collection of found sound, lo-fi recordings for the most parts, but the intimacy and beauty which flows through can be stunning at times. The album runs the gamut from fairly straight ahead acoustic numbers like the opening timely "Corpus Christi" to the dystopian disco of the banging "Fame and Famine". The personal, intimate vibe is present with the direct honesty of "Drag" to the recorded snippets which capture the church's brazen hypocrisy with it's stance on homosexuality ("Glass Diamond") and a parents reassurance phone call to a gay child, that latter arriving before a great cover of AC/DC's "Shoot to Thrill" which could have been even more over the top.

Paternoster's guitar work is always mind altering, pairing with her wide ranging vocals, she is a dynamo on the layered "Easy" and the sultry/sexy riffing of the bad ass "Vicious Expert". The heavy and tape recorded/looped "Sleepwalker" thuds along while "Your Head" also plays with tape recorders; it starts distant and lo-fi before, looping back and coming in full functioning.

Paternoster also has a gift for ominous pop offerings like on the visceral "Feed Myself To You" or the so pretty it hurts "Just How Angry I Am".  Walls of grimy distortion ("Wet Rag") fit swimmingly next to odd acoustic folk ("Build Me A Lantern") and even if these songs were written worlds and years apart the cohesive whole of Slug works, because Paternoster is a skilled song writer; closer "Tied To An Anchor" could have worked perfectly on Rose Mountain as well.

Two covers of Patsy Cline standout as "I Fall To Pieces" is a gorgeously sung slice of disenchanted echoed folk with supportive tambourine while "She's Got You" is a sweet swirling blissful rendition. From the bass lead buzzing "Sleeping" to the piano/organ "Dead Swan" or minimal "Ain't My World" Paternoster paints a unique, slightly off-kilter, picture, a lot like one of her actual drawings. Marissa is an artist who has continued to evolve, grow and engage, Slug is just the most recent example of that and the next record will surely continue the trend.           
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Support the artist, buy the record and peep some video below: