Sunday, February 12, 2017

Pain Meds

Ten absorbing new albums have provided comfort and distraction during my recovery from an invasive surgical procedure.  My ranking and notes follow.

1. Syd- Fin.  The promising producer a.k.a.Syd the Kid, a.k.a. The Internet, isn’t Prince reincarnated, but she has her moments.  RIYL: The Weeknd, works in progress, Usher.

2. Alejandro Fernandez- Rompiendo Fronteras.  So romantic!  RIYL: Juan Gabriel, gorgeous schmaltz, Rod Stewart.

3. Tinariwen- Elwan. Further confirmation that Tinarwen is the world’s best blues band. RIYL: Terakaft, Mali, John Lee Hooker.

4. Mats Gustafsson- Ljubljana.  Cracking the code of the free jazz duet between the saxophonist and pianist Craig Taborn is well worth the effort.  RIYL: Albert Ayler, room-clearing noise, Matthew Shipp.

5. Miguel Zenón- Típico.  The celebrated album is a tad musty.  RIYL: Charlie Parker, critical consensus, Benny Golson.

6. Howe Gelb- Future Standards.  A compellingly morose cocktail jazz album from the Giant Sand dude.  RIYL: Bobby Troup, despair, Hoagy Carmichael.

7. Allison Crutchfield- Tourist in This Town.  Ingratiating retro pop- rock. RIYL Camera Obscura, handwritten letters, Ellen Foley. 

8. Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears- Backlash.  Scuzzy garage-rock (that’s a good thing, of course).  RIYL: The Fleshtones, Burger Records, the Sonics.

9. Ces Cru- Catastrophic Event Specialists. Jazz interludes are interspersed throughout the Kansas City duo’s best album.  RIYL: conspiracy theories, Twistid, “real” MCs.

10. Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society.  Sublime synth nostalgia.  RIYL: Brian Eno, getting lost in space, Tangerine Dream.

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)

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