Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Where you been?

Hello ladies and gentlefolks,
Sorry about the delays! We've got a couple super-anticipated ones coming up in a bit, but before we get there, just letting you guys know that we're juggling tons of projects over here, and are looking to scale back a bit. Feel bad? Come write for the blog!
But really, 'preciate the patience, and thanks for your continued clicks. Peace out,

Monday, January 16, 2012

Unsung Heroes finds a strong voice in Brian Lynch

Brian Lynch - "Unsung Heroes" (3 Vols)
Hollistic Musicworks
-out now
4 / 5

Brian Lynch is a master of over-achieving: on his Grammy-winning latin jazz album Simpatico (with Eddie Palmieri), we were blown away by the astounding quality - and quantity - of music provided. Jumping far beyond a measly 1.5 hrs here, the brilliant concept behind this three-volume set is worthy of recognition in and of itself; on Unsung Heroes, the Urbana, IL native compiles several relatively unknown jazz trumpeters and their compositions to cover. The amount of aural scholarship and knowledge is valuable enough, in our estimation, but Lynch also provides a tight ensemble here, with his always excellent musicianship and well-crafted solos. Our only regret on this fantastic volume of work is that it isn't as fiery and engaging as Simpatico, with its diverse, driving playlist, and we're going to suggest you to pick up that one first. But hey, intense criticism is what you get for winning a Grammy (sorry Brian!). We're going to recommend this one on its several merits, and suggest jazz-o-philes turn an ear to this modern trumpeter.

Start streaming it right here!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Bella Clava flies straight as the Holy Crow

Bella Clava - "Holy Crow"
-out now
4 / 5

Paralyzing lyrics, heavy, foot-stomping guitar and blasting melodies make this album one of those rare gems that you can't wait to tell your friends about. Based in Toronto, the classic-rock inspired quartet pounds out high-wire riffs like they'd gone out of style, and here on their debut LP, there's more than enough slash-and-burn going on to make you nauseous from rocking out. It's difficult for us to pick out only a handful of tracks when the album on the whole is incredibly strong, but suffice it to say that if the opener "Ding Dong Ditch" somehow doesn't get you up and started, then you should check your pulse. While the performances here are excellent (especially Caitlin Dacey's driving vocals) the real champion here is the top-notch songcraft, which is dynamic, exploring, and goes into every space it that it should. We regret not catching up on this one for you guys in 'aught-eleven, but here it is: download it, enjoy it, bathe in its sheer, heavy glory. Bella Clava is one band you'll want to keep track of in the coming years. Highly recommended.

Holy crow! They've got their debut for free???