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Home » New Album Releases 01/13/09: Notorious Soundtrack, Derek Trucks Band, Blue Note 7, Joshua Redman, Arthur Lee, Bee Gees, Satyricon &…Yes We’re Back!

New Album Releases 01/13/09: Notorious Soundtrack, Derek Trucks Band, Blue Note 7, Joshua Redman, Arthur Lee, Bee Gees, Satyricon &…Yes We’re Back!

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We're back from our holiday break. Hopefully yours was as good to you as it was to us. Of course, that depends on whether or not your own idea of holiday fun was being buried under a couple of feet of snow, as NAR World Headquarters in Seattle, as well as much of the rest of the country was.

But with it being already two weeks into the new year, now is probably as good a time as any to relaunch the weekly report on all the greatest and latest in New Album Releases. The thing is, because it is still so early in the New Year, there's really nothing all that earth-shattering to talk about just yet.

The real fireworks, in fact, don't begin to get underway for another two weeks with the first real blockbuster of 2009, in the form of the new Springsteen album (due January 27). From there, the first few months of 2009 continue to look very promising indeed, with new music expected from the likes of Eminem, 50 Cent, and U2. On paper, the first quarter of 2009 looks pretty damn good so far.

That's the good news. As was the case in 2008, NAR will be there to cover it each and every week too. Once again, this will include the ever popular Saleski's Choice reports from NAR stalwart Mark Saleski, as well as our usual rotating and ever-expanding panel of regular BC/NAR contributors.

In the meantime, we have this week to consider.

Topping the list is the soundtrack for the biopic Notorious, based on the life and times of the late, great Christopher Wallace, a.k.a. Biggie Smalls, a.k.a. the legendary rapper Notorious B.I.G.. The soundtrack features wall to wall hits emphasizing the "gangsta" rap of this largest of the large hip-hop legends, including tracks like "Hypnotize." There are also new tracks contributed by rap royalty like Jay Z, as well as an appearance by B.I.G.'s son, Christopher "CJ" Wallace, Jr.

Derek Trucks, who is probably best known for riding shotgun for Gregg Allman in the current version of the Allman Brothers Band, is back this week with Already Free, the latest from his appropriately named Derek Trucks Band.

Trucks is joined on this album by an all-star cast including Susan Tedeschi and Doyle Bramhall II. Tracks include a said-to-be-tasty cover of Dylan's "Down In The Flood." For a more in-depth rundown of the new album, be sure to check out the review by BC's own Pico (who will incidentally also be along in just a second to talk about the new one from the Blue Note 7).

Joshua Redman returns with the Sonny Rollins influenced jazz of Compass. Top reissues and deluxe editions this week include a 3-disc box of Bee Gees, in the form of the Gibbs' psychedelic sixties-pop opus Odessa; a reissue of the long sought after second solo album from Love's Arthur Lee; and a deluxe edition of last year's The Age of Nero from metallurgists Satyricon.

Now, here's Pico to tell us all about the Blue Note 7:

Pico's Pick: The Blue Note 7 – Mosaic, A Celebration Of Blue Note Recordings

In 1939, German immigrant Alfred Lion founded Blue Note Records along with Max Margulis as a label dedicated to signing and recording jazz and blues artists. Over the years, this label became a central part of jazz history itself, as it became the home for seminal recordings by Thelonius Monk, Bud Powell, Art Blakey, Horace Silver, Lee Morgan, Wynton Marsalis, Joe Lovano and the just-deceased Freddie Hubbard, amongst an enviably large roster of other notables.

To commemorate seventy years of this iconic label, current label owner EMI Group is today releasing a CD by The Blue Note 7, as an all-star tribute band consisting of members of the current generation of jazz lions. The Blue Note 7 album is called Mosaic, a carefully chosen collection of eight songs which the group felt salutes the label and some of its most vital musicians.

The songs range from the overly familiar (Herbie Hancock's "Dolphin Dance") to the less obvious but still solid choices (Horace Silver's "The Outlaw"). The renditions given by these seven, led by its pianist and musical director Bill Charlap, are clean and virtually flawless, but lack much of the edge and imagination of the original versions. Nonetheless, there are some fine individual performances here and there, such as Peter Bernstein's perfectly played, graceful lines on the Grant Green staple, "Idle Moments," for instance. The full album can be streamed here.

Here are all of this week's new album releases courtesy of All Music Guide:

Original Soundtrack
Notorious [Soundtrack]
Bad Boy
Hardcore Rap, East Coast Rap, Gangsta Rap, Hip-Hop, Soundtracks

Joshua Redman
Compass
Nonesuch
Post-Bop

The Derek Trucks Band
Already Free
Victor
Jam Bands, Blues-Rock, Modern Electric Blues

Neil Ardley
Harmony of the Spheres
Decca
Experimental Big Band, Jazz-Rock, Prog-Rock/Art Rock

Bee Gees
Odessa [Deluxe Edition]
BeeGees/Reprise
Psychedelic Pop, Baroque Pop, Pop/Rock

The Blue Note 7
Mosaic: A Celebration
Blue Note/EMI
Post-Bop

Freddy Cannon
Boom Boom Rock 'n' Roll: The Best of Freddie Cannon
Shout! Factory
Early Pop/Rock, Rock & Roll

Ravi Coltrane
Blending Times
Savoy Jazz
Post-Bop

Amy Dickson
Smile
RCA Red Seal
Arrangements for Saxophone and Piano

Judy Garland
Love Songs
Savoy Jazz
American Popular Song, Vocal Jazz, Traditional Pop

Linda Hayes
Atomic Baby: Hollywood R&B from the Platters First 'Dish'
Shout!
Early R&B

Paavo Järvi
Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 5 [Hybrid SACD]
RCA Red Seal
Romantic Orchestral Music

Late of the Pier
Fantasy Black Channel
EMD Int'l
Indie Electronic, Indie Rock, New Wave/Post-Punk Revival

Arthur Lee
Arthur Lee
Friday
Folk-Rock, Psychedelic

Jeb Loy Nichols
Parish Bar
Compass
Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock

Satyricon
The Age of Nero
Roadrunner
Scandinavian Metal, Heavy Metal, Death Metal/Black Metal

Rokia Traoré
Tchamantché [Bonus Tracks]
Tama/Universal
Afro-Pop

Various Artists
Now That's What I Call Motown!
Universal
Pop-Soul, Motown, Soul, Urban, Funk

Various Artists
You'll Be in My Heart: The Essential Disney Love Song Collection
Walt Disney
Sing-Along, Show Tunes, Musicals

Collin Walcott/Don Cherry/Nana Vasconcelos
Complete Codona
ECM
World Fusion, Modern Creative

Glenn Yarbrough
Bend Down and Touch Me/Each of Us Alone
Collectors' Choice Music
Folk-Pop, Traditional Folk, Folk Revival

Glenn Yarbrough
Let Me Choose Life/Yarbrough Country
Collectors' Choice Music
Folk-Pop, Traditional Folk, Folk Revival

Glenn Yarbrough/Marilyn Child
Sing Folk Songs
Collectors' Choice Music
Folk-Pop, Traditional Folk, Folk Revival

Glenn Yarbrough
Somehow, Someway/Jubilee
Collectors' Choice Music
Folk-Pop, Traditional Folk, Folk Revival

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About Glen Boyd

Glen Boyd is the author of Neil Young FAQ, released in May 2012 by Backbeat Books/Hal Leonard Publishing. He is a former BC Music Editor and current contributor, whose work has also appeared in SPIN, The Rocket, The Source and other publications. You can read more of Glen's work at The Rockologist, and at the official Neil Young FAQ site. Follow Glen on Twitter and on Facebook.