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1) John Scofield-54
On this album John collaborates with Vince Mendoza and Metropole Orkest. Mendoza offers up absolutely lush arrangements of two of his tunes and several Scofield classics for the 54 member orchestra. Scofield and Mendoza have worked together in various ways since Mendoza's Blue Note albums of the early 90's. This long friendship and the high caliber of musicianship seems to urge Scofield into his best playing in years. Don't miss this one.
2) Blind Guardian-At the Edge of Time
Let's not forget,in the years that Iron Maiden and Judas Priest wondered off track a bit,Blind Guardian kept the faith. Here they keep their track record for quality power metal unbroken. Following the current record company trend,this is offered in multiple "editions" ,the regular edition and the "deluxe" 2 Cd version with demos and extras.
3) Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters-Spread the LoveThis all instrumental offering pushes the blues into soul, jazz and funky territory,but we've come to expect nothing less from the Strat wielding blues master.
4) The Sword-Warp Riders
Austin Texas metal revivalists take a stab at the concept album and come up with a winner. It's a good time to be a metal head!
Kataklysm returns with tightly controlled,riff based anthems. This will please current fans of the Canadian band and is well crafted and catchy enough to gain a few more.
6) Turtle Island Quartet-Have you ever been...?
A string quartet taking on Jimi Hendrix is no new idea (see Kronos Quartet or Turtle Island's "Gypsy Eyes" on their 1994 "Who Do We Think We Are? album) but don't be fooled. This is far more than a jaw dropper of a background Cd to play at your next wine and cheese tasting for your NPR buddies. Turtle Island has built their career on the deconstruction and reinterpretation of unexpected musical styles. Song selection leans heavily on the Electric Ladyland album and following the format set by 2007's "A Love Supreme: The Legacy of John Coltrane" they include several of their own compositions.
7) Malevolent Creation-Invidious Dominion
Death metal veterans return with their 11th album to show the kids how it's done. Mainstay Phil Fasciana brings his current crew of revolving door musicians to demonstrate he's as brutal as ever.
8) Charlie Musselwhite-The Well
Harmonica master Charlie Musselwhite always has great guitar players in the band and "The Well" is no exception. Guitarist Dave Gonzales sticks with a clean jazzy tone throughout and his rhythm guitar is on the mark. Electric and upright bass is provided by the excellent John Bazz and Musselwhite himself plays guitar on a couple of songs as well.