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New Album Releases Project 2020-12-28

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And then there were … Liner Notes

Christmas week leading into New Year is not the most fertile ground for new album releases and re-issues/re-masters for that matter. To put the latter into perspective, this week, that portion of NARP is comprised of albums by Bonnie Raitt, Dr. John, and Swans. Tell me now, could there be any three more incongruous. All of their albums well worth a listen, especially Bonnie’s live performance from Sausalito in ’73.

I’m adding two Christmas albums to my playlist for 2021 and they are Kelly Finnigan’s A Joyful Noise and The Soul Santas’ Christmas Crackers, Vol 1.  Both, a wonderful departure from the all too familiar tried and true. High time to expand the canon.

I reserve a soft spot for proper Japanese pop/vocals and Kaede comes through with two albums: Aki no Wakusei, Heart wa Night Blue, and Ima no Watashi wa Kawaritsuzukete AnoKoro no Watashi de Irareteru. Kaede is a member of the Japanese Pop group Negicco. The Japanese pop group was formed in July of 2003. Based in the Niigata prefecture they were originally (sic) formed to promote the sale of onions in the area. The word “Negi” means green onion in Japanese. The word “Co” (), means child and is mostly used with girls. (background information courtesy of Japanese Pop Wiki)

Admittedly late to the party with Four Tet making its way on my radar. Don’t let the name fool you, as this is Kieran Hebden’s long-standing solo project. I consider myself fortunate that Keiran was quite prodigious during this pandemic of ours releasing a handful of recordings:

Four Tet – Parallel
Four Tet – Sixteen Oceans
00110100 01010100 – 871 (Four Tet)

I encourage you all to not only listen to these albums but his earlier works as well, most notably Pink Ibrahim Maalouf’s trumpet and flugelhorn playing is both haunting and enchanting. His latest album, 40 Melodies, manage to tell so many stories and convey even more images. This is one that requires focus and multiple listening sessions. Subtlety, the watchword.

Who doesn’t smile when they hear a vibraphone? Wait, you don’t? Then you’re not human. Joel Ross’s Who Are You got my toes tapping, and my fingers snapping. When you get through his latest, make sure to listen to his earlier Kingmaker.

Aly Keïta, Jan Galega Brönnimann, and Lucas Niggli’s Kalan Teban is a must-listen.  Aly Keïta is joined by percussionist Lucas Niggliand woodwind player Jan Galgen BrönnimannThe melding of African (Cameroon) and European influences on and in this album make it seriously top-notch, a go-to album for sure. Here’s what each member brings to the party:

1. Aly Keïta: Balafon, Kalimba, Voice
2. Jan Galega Brönnimann: Contra Alto- and Bass Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone, Kass Kass, Thumb Piano
3. Lucas Niggli: Drums, Percussionist

And yes, admittedly so, I just got to know of this album at the end of the year, even though it had come out at the beginning. I’m not going to make excuses for my lapses, and I’m not about to let my frailties prevent me from sharing worthwhile music. In all cases, the albums I share are indeed NEW to me having been released in the current year.

And then there’s Daft Punk’s TRON Legacy – The Complete Edition (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack). This was so welcome and so needed. Crank this up loud and play it as the lead-up to your respective New Year’s celebrations.

Good-bye and GOOD RIDDANCE to 2020. A bad year in just about every way, but as loyal NARP’ers know, some really fabulous music was released, so 2020 wasn’t all bad.

New Releases

Alexander Hawkins and Tomeka Reid – Shards and Constellations

Aly Keïta, Jan Galega Brönnimann, and Lucas Niggli – Kalan Teban

Anton Revnyuk – Duo Live in Japan

Christian Sands – Be Water

Christian Thielemann, Camilla Nylund, BFO – Wagner at Wahnfried

Daft Punk – TRON Legacy – The Complete Edition (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Eric Reed – For Such a Time as This

Esenvalds – There Will Come Soft Rains

Four Tet – Parallel

Four Tet – Sixteen Oceans

00110100 01010100 – 871 (Four Tet)

Frank Peter Zimmermann & Martin Helmchen – Beethoven: Violin Sonatas Nos. 1-4

Helena Deland – Someone New

Herbert Blomstedt, Gewandhausorchester – Brahms: Symphony No. 1 & Tragic Overture

Ibrahim Maalouf – 40 Melodies

Jim Black Trio – Reckon

Joel Ross – Who Are You

Kaede – Aki no Wakusei, Heart wa Night Blue

Kaede – Ima no Watashi wa KawaritsuzuketeAno Koro no Watashi de Irareteru

Kelly Finnigan – A Joyful Noise

Pedro Tagliani – Guitarra Brasileira

Sara Serpa – Recognition

Shoshana Bean – Sing Your Hallelujah

Sir Stephen Cleobury – Bruckner: Mass in E Minor, Motet

Stanley Cowell – Live at Keystone Korner Baltimore

Sylvaine Helary – Glowing Life

Sylvie Courvoisier Trio – Free Hoops

The Soul Santas – Christmas Crackers, Vol 1

Re-Issues, Re-Masters & Miscellany

Bonnie RaittCryin‘ Mercy (Live, Sausalito ’73)

Dr. John – The Night Tripper

Swans – Feel Good Now

Share NARP with your friends, family, colleagues, and everyone in your respective extended networks.

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One Response to New Album Releases Project 2020-12-28

  1. Patrick Fantis says:

    How can I request/suggest that John Lee Hooker’s multiple Grammy album Don’t Look Back be finally released on vinyl?

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