More Cd reviews below...
Marcus Miller - A Night in Monte Carlo
Jazz plus strings albums should always be approached with trepidation. Generally, the strings just manage to lessen rather than add to the jazz element. This Cd succeeds for a couple of reasons. First,Marcus Miller is more associated with the fusion/electric side of things so there will be less jazz purists showing up to this party anyway. Secondly,Miller is much more than a bass player,he is also a composer,producer and arranger and brings those skills to the fore front here. Trumpeter Roy Hargrove and guitarist Raul Midon both make memorable contributions.
Lazarus A.D. - Black Rivers Flow
Of all the current crop of new thrash bands,Lazarus A.D. owes far less to classic Bay area thrash than their contemporaries. They have wider influences and aren't afraid to let more modern metal influences into the mix. Strong songwriting,excellent guitar work and a wide ranging but cohesive sound makes this Wisconsin band one of the best of the "new kids" for sure. For my Arizona metal heads: these guys are coming to town with an impressive line up including Death Angel and Bonded By Blood, hitting Club DV8 in Tucson on 02/18/11 and The Clubhouse in Tempe on 02/19/11.
Giant Sand - 25th Anniversry Editions
A feast for Howe Gelb fans.Reissues of "Swerve","The Love Songs" and "Long Stem Rant". Ignore at the risk of living an incomplete life. You have been warned.
Manowar - Battle Hymns MMXI
It is dangerous ground rerecording an album your fans consider a classic. It is always done under the guise of "Recording technology has finally caught up to our vision." or "We didn't have the budget then,but do now". Right! They should really be saying "We don't own the rights to that album anymore and would like to make a few bucks from it" or "We would like to deprive a former member from as many royalties as we can". I don't have a big problem with these recordings as long as two criteria are met. First,it has to be "in addition to" not "instead of" the old recording. Don't like the stereo mix of Pet Sounds? Fine,the mono mix didn't magically go away. Don't like Iggy remixing Raw Power? Hey,relax,you can still get the original mix. Secondly,it has to be a quality effort. Battle Hymns 2011 fits the bill on both accounts.
Peter Eigenmann Trio - Behind You
This excellent trio date,recorded in 2009, is unfortunately,unlikely to get a reasonably priced domestic issue. Fans of straight ahead jazz might want to consider a purchase anyway. Featuring a mix of his own tunes,classics and songs by Jim Hall and Pat Martino,this is fine stuff. Audio clips are available at his website.
Abysmal Dawn - Leveling the Plane of Existence
Precise and high speed modern death metal from LA.
Corpus - Creation a Child
Import reissue of early 70's Texas psychedelic rock. Great guitar work.
Arabrot - Revenge
If you like you rock on the weird and noisy side,like the bands they get compared to the most (but don't really sound like) Jesus Lizard or the Melvins for example,give this a listen.
Michael Hedges - Taproot
Hey,don't be insulted,I know YOU are cool enough to own this already,but let you buddy who's having a hard time finding a copy know that it's back in print!