REVIEW: The Elements Of Jazz’s self-titled CD

Photobucket When the albums starts out with a funky jazz jam, I’m open for it. The Elements Of Jazz begin with a song called “All The Way”, sounding like a cross between The Beginning Of The End, The Crusaders, and Tower Of Power, not bad for a group that’s only four members strong, with an emphasis on strong. Their self-titled album (EMG) is the kind of jazz, soul, and funk I can never get enough of, where the drummer and bassist are locked in a groove, the guitarist smooths out the tones, while the saxophonist gets ridiculous and helps to organize things while everyone else in the group share those organization duties.

When they get a bit more laid back, they know how to move everything in the right places too. I’d love to see these guys open for Soulive if at all possible.

REVIEW: Melvin Jones’ “Pivot”

Photobucket This is an album that I’d call “pure pump”, because it is an album that pumps. Melvin Jones is a trumpeter who will, for all intents and purposes, smack the fuck out of anyone who cares to claim they can play better than him. In other words, he’ll play and he’ll compliment and jam, but he’s in for the kill, he is not pulling any shit for the sake of making you feel good because you’re a special guest. Even if you’re not in a trumpet battle, you better enter his house inbattle mode for once it’s on, you know it’s on, as he presents on each of the 13 songs that are on Pivot (Turnaround), including the mindfunk “The Jug-Or-Knot”, one of the more intense opening tracks on a jazz album I’ve heard in years. Jones plays with finesse and elegance, he knows how to make his instrument dance. But when he’s throwing out swords, move away. When it’s time to light a candle and place some rose pedals on the bed, move away as well. I love his playing because of that elegance and cocky swagger, and it’s nice to hear in 2011. There are songs here that are perfect for the quiet storm, such as “Angels”,or something that carries you through a rough day, such as “Goodnight Moon”, but after hearing this album, I’m wondering why there wasn’t more. Don’t get me wrong, it’s 13 songs deep, most of them are over the four minute mark, but I wanted an encore. Maybe that’s what the live experience is for. What does Pivot refer to? I’m sure as he shows in his playing, it could mean either or. It’s in your mind to decide how to use it.

REVIEW: Nasar Abadey & Supernova’s “Diamond In The Rough”

Photobucket Nasar Abadey is a drummer who swims in his love of mystical jazz, and along with his group Supernova, they have recorded a brilliant album called Diamond In The Rough (self-released).

While the cover has him looking like someone who may have toured with Jimi Hendrix or The Isley Brothers circa 1976, the music on Diamond In The Rough is not hard rock or soul, but pure,sweet jazz. There are only seven songs here, but some of the best ones are those that clock over nine minutes: “There’s No Greater Love” (9:48), “Multi-D” (13:21), “Eternal Surrender” (13:21), “Sacred Space” (12:47) and the opening title track, clocking in at a few seconds short of the 10 minute mark. The album features help from James King (bass), Joe Ford (saxophones), Jamal Brown (flute), Thad Wilson (trumpet), Gary Thomas (tenor sax), Tom Teasley (percussion), Kush Abadey (djembe), Rashida Jolley, and Allyn Johnson), whose piano work throughout the album is nothing short of amazing. I’d like to hear a Johnson album.

SOME STUFFS: Dennis Coffey brings new music to a new generation


There is no need for argument: Dennis Coffey is one of the most sampled musicians in hip-hop: period. If you know your beats, your samples, your guitar riffs, your basslines, you have heard Coffey at some point. Now he has a new album which was released today (April 26, 2011), and he will be hitting the road very soon to bring fans a taste of the old and a hint of what they know but don’t know they know, no? Dates:
June 2nd – Los Angeles , CA : The Troubadour
June 4th – Brooklyn, NY: The Bell House (Dirtbombs co-headline)
June 5th – Allston, MA: Brighton Music Hall (Dirtbombs co-headline)
June 7th – Philadelphia, PA: World Café Live (Stepkids open show)
June 8th – Cleveland, OH: Beachland Ballroom (Stepkids open show)
June 9th – Chicago, IL: Lincoln Hall (Stepkids open show)
June 11th – Manchester , TN : Bonnaroo

Until then, take a listen to a mix of some of his best work called Constellations – The A to Z of Dennis Coffey: A Mix, put together by House Shoes. Constellations – The A to Z of Dennis Coffey: A Mix By House Shoes by Strut

RECORD CRACK: Mixtapes’ “Hope Is For People” 7″ ready for pre-order

The artwork for this 7″ looks like a Homer Simpson fantasy, but the music may lean more towards Lisa Simpson‘s liking. Groening references aside, this is Mixtapes and they’re about to release a 5-song 7″ EP called Hope Is For People on Animal Style Records. Non-vinyl fiends will be able to buy this on CD and in digital form, but the vinyl junkie in you is saying “screw that” because only 500 copies will be released (100 white / 200 sky blue / 200 translucent pink).

You can buy the single directly from their official Bandcamp page, and sample the entire EP by clicking the player below.

SOME STUFFS: Tour tomorrow, tour to summer: Generationals say so

I want to show you something, and I want you to guess what they are:
04/27 Little Rock, AR Stickyz
04/28 Lincoln, NE Bourbon Theatre
04/29 Iowa City, IA Gabe’s Oasis
04/30 Madison, WI Der Rathskeller
05/01 Hamtramck, MI Small’s Bar #
05/02 Newport, KY Southgate House #
05/03 Bloomington, IN The Bishop
05/04 St. Louis, MO Off Broadway #
05/05 Lawrence, KS Jackpot Music Hall #
05/06 Norman, OK Opolis #
05/07 Austin, TX Emo’s #
05/08 New Orleans, LA New Orleans Jazz Festival
05/11 New York, NY Mercury Lounge *
05/12 Brooklyn, NY The Rock Shop *
05/13 Washington, DC The Red Palace *
05/14 Philadelphia, PA Kungfu Necktie *
05/17 Arlington, VA IOTA Club & Café *
05/18 Richmond, VA The Camel *
05/19 Chapel Hill, NC Local 506 *
05/20 Atlanta, GA The Earl *
05/21 Nashville, TN The Basement *
05/24 Birmingham, AL The Bottletree *
05/25 Oxford, MS Proud Larry’s *
05/26 Houston, TX Fitzgerald’s *
05/27 Dallas, TX Club Dada *
05/28 Austin, TX Emo’s *
06/25 New Orleans, LA Tipitina’s
07/07 San Antonio, TX The Korva
07/08 Tempe, AZ Sail Inn %
07/09 Tucson, AZ Club Congress %
07/10 San Diego, CA Casbah %
07/14 Los Angeles, CA The Echo
07/16 Davis, CA Sophia’s Thai Kitchen %
07/17 Portland, OR Mississippi Studios %
07/19 Seattle, WA Tractor Tavern %
07/20 Boise, ID Neurolux %
07/21 Salt Lake City, UT Kilby Court %
07/22 Denver, CO Underground Music Showcase %
07/23 Santa Fe, NM Corazon %
07/24 Oklahoma City, OK The Conservatory %
07/26 Baton Rouge, LA Manship Theatre %
# = w/ Oh No Oh My
* = w/ Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
% = w/ Gardens & Villa

Figured it out? I would hope you know these are tour dates, and in this case it’s for the group Generationals. They released an EP almost six months ago, enough time for the music’s power to simmer and enough to make their (and your) heads glimmer. WHAT? I shit you not.

VIDEO: Heidecker & Wood’s “Life On The Road”

You may have never seen a million faces in your life, but safe to say you would rock them (if not sit on them) all if you could. Heidecker & Wood aren’t about sitting on anyone’s face unless requested, but this is a song about “Life On The Road”, which can be rough on the mentals.

If you’re in the Los Angeles area, you’ll be able to see them live tomorrow, April 27th, at the Large, with the almighty Neil Hamburger opening up for them. C’mon, this is the glorious Hamburger, do not ever doubt the man. DID YOU HEAR ME, DO NOT DOUBT NEIL HAMBURGER!!!

SOME STUFFS: A misty Mountain Goats tour awaits

Mountain Goats are happy, but they want to be happier. How? By bringing their music… to you. How will they do this? With a tour, of course, which will take them to this year’s Lollapalooza festival. Here are dates. Don’t eat them:

6/14 – Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theater
6/16 – Seattle, WA @ The Showbox
6/17 – Vancouver, BC @ The Biltmore Cabaret
6/18 – Portland, OR @ Aladdin Theater
6/20 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
6/23 – Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre
6/26 – Bloomington, IN @ Rhino’s Youth Center (solo set)
7/27 – Lewiston, NY @ Artpark *
7/28 – Gilford, NH @ Meadowbrook US Cellular Pavilion *
7/29 – South Burlington, VT @ The Green At Shelburne Museum *
7/30 – Montreal, QC @ Osheaga Festival
7/31 – Baldwinsville, NY @ Papermill Island Amphitheatre *
8/3 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Meijer Gardens *
8/4 – Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Room *
8/5-8/7 – Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza