Sunday, February 12, 2017
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.)