This week's snack-sized helping of new album releases comes to you a week late courtesy of a dead hard drive, and on the same day that BC launches it's bee-yoo-tee-full extreme makeover of a new look.
So, how ya' like us now?
Anyway, with last week's computer problems hopefully solved permanently, we're letting our good pal Josh Hathaway break the rules a bit to talk about the delectable new slab of plastic from Nick Moss a week after the fact. Pico will also be along shortly to jizz all over the jazz fanatic's wet dream that is the new collaboration between John McLaughlin and Chick Corea.
In the meantime, we've got this new disc from some guy named Bob Dylan.
Dylan's lyrics continue to amaze on his 46th album, the bluesy, Tex-Mex flavored Together Through Life. "I'm listening to Billy Joe Shaver, and I'm reading James Joyce. Some people, they tell me I've got the blood of the land in my voice," Dylan sings on "I Feel A Change Comin' On," one of this album's many standout tracks.
Still, Together Through Life doesn't feel quite like the masterpiece that was 2006's Modern Times. There's nothing here with the hell hounds on my trail sort of desperation of "Thunder On The Mountain" or "Ain't Talkin'" — although the best songs on this record, like "Beyond Here Lies Nothin'" and "I Feel A Change Comin' On," come awful close. It's still a very good record, and one easily worthy of a four-star rating.
I have to admit that I really like the way that the Black Crowes have reinvented themselves by embracing their Southern roots since reuniting back in 2005.
As evidenced by last year's excellent comeback record Warpaint, the Robinson brothers have all but shed the big arena-rock trappings of their Shake Your Money Maker days, by becoming more of a modern-day southern-fried rock 'n' soul band.
On the new Warpaint Live, the Black Crowes bring the songs of that album to the concert stage, along with a few well-chosen covers like the Stones' "Torn And Frayed," Delaney Bramlett's "Oh, Elijah," and Eric Clapton's "Don't Know Why." In doing so, the Black Crowes give rise to their southern roots in such a way as to suggest that this may the real Southern Harmony And Musical Companion.
The Devil You Know is the new one from what amounts to the Ozzy-less, Ronnie James Dio led version of Black Sabbath. Calling themselves Heaven & Hell these days (after an eighties album Sabbath did with Dio), the current incarnation features Dio, drummer Vinnie Appice, along with original sab-sters Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler.
We're going to adjust our definition of "new" this week to include an album released last week because it's still new and you still need it.
Live at Chan's: Combo Platter No. 2 is the sequel to Nick Moss & The Flip Tops' critically acclaimed Live at Chan's. To make sure the sequel topped the original, the band invited Chicago blues luminary Lurrie Bell on stage to sit in with them and the results are some of the finest Chicago blues sounds being made today. Combo Platter No. 2 serves up 79 generous, scrumptious minutes of authentic blues so good you'll wear out your CD hoping and waiting for a third plate.
Don't let one more day of your life pass without your copy.
What happens when the founder of The Mahavishnu Orchestra and the founder of Return To Forever get together with Kenny Garrett, Christian McBride & Vinnie Colaiuta? Fusion jazz at its most artistic and challenging. Some of the material might be too profuse for some of today's rock-jazz listeners, but perhaps that only goes to show how watered down and bleached out fusion has become. Here is the genre as originally conceived by two of its most prominent living progenitors. Herbie Hancock sitting in for Miles' fusion classic "In A Silent Way/It's About That Time" is the cherry on top of this high-octane sundae.
Five Peace Band Live is a summit meeting that actually comes close to meeting the hype.