* Scelsi: Ka & Ttai (Schroeder) (hat ART CD)
* Scelsi: Bot-Ba (Schroeder) (hat ART CD)
* Sun Ra: Strange Celestial Road (Rounder CD)
* Bobby Hutcherson: Head On (Blue Note CD)
* New Tony Williams Lifetime: Believe It (Columbia LP)
* New Tony Williams Lifetime: Million Dollar Legs (Columbia LP)
* James Blood Ulmer: Johnny D’s, Somerville, MA 1989-02-17 (AUD WAV)
* William Parker & Hamid Drake: Volume 1: Piercing The Veil (AUM Fidelity CD)
* William Parker & Hamid Drake: Volume 2: Summer Snow (AUM Fidelity CD)
* Louis Sclavis: Napoli’s Walls (ECM CD)
* Louis Sclavis Quartet: Silk and Salt Melodies (ECM CD)
* Mary Halvorson Quintet: Bending Bridges (Firehouse 12 2LP)
* Mary Halvorson Septet: Illusionary Sea (Firehouse 12 2LP)
* Unconscious Collective: Unconscious Collective (Tofu Carnage 2-45RPM LP)
* Unconscious Collective: Pleistocene Moon (Tofu Carnage 2LP)
* Steven Halpern & Georgia Kelly: Ancient Echoes (Heru LP)
* Constance Demby: Sacred Space Music (Hearts of Space CD)
* Steve Roach: Structures from Silence (Fortuna CD)
* Steve Roach & Robert Rich: Soma (Hearts of Space CD)
* Emerald Web: Catspaw (Audion LP)
* Dereck Higgins: Dereck 2 (DVH LP)
* Bob Dylan: Shadows in the Night (Columbia LP/CD)
* Grateful Dead: Dave’s Picks Vol.13: Winterland 2/24/74 (GDP/Rhino 4HDCD)
* Jerry Garcia Band: Jerry Garcia Band (selections) (Arista 2CD)
* Heldon: II: “Allez-Tela” (Cuneiform/Superior Viaduct LP)
* Thurston Moore: VDSQ – Solo Acoustic Volume Five (Vin Du Select Qualitite LP)
* Cocteau Twins: Sunburst and Snowblind (4AD/Capitol CDEP)
* Cocteau Twins: Aikea-Guinea (4AD/Capitol CDEP)
* Cocteau Twins: The Spangle Maker (4AD/Capitol CDEP)
* Cocteau Twins: Echoes in a Shallow Bay (4AD/Capitol CDEP)
* Cocteau Twins: Tiny Dynamine (4AD/Capitol CDEP)
* Fushitsusha: Fushitsusha [a/k/a Live 2] (PSF 2CD)
* Anatomy of Habit: Ciphers & Axioms (Relapse LP)
* YOB: The Illusion of Motion (Metal Blade 2LP)
* YOB: The Unreal Never Lived (Metal Blade 2LP)
* Wye Oak: Shriek (Merge LP)
Bob Dylan's new album, Shadows in the Night, came out this week and, of course, I ran out and bought it.
As I'm sure you all know by now, this is an album of covers, songs that were covered by Frank Sinatra at one time or another. So, it contains some pretty hoary old material like "Autumn Leaves," "Some Enchanted Evening" and "That Lucky Old Sun." But you what? It works.
Dylan has sensibly been using his touring band in studio lately and they carry these subtle, countrified arrangements with deft professionalism. Working with the legendary engineer Al Schmitt at Capitol Studios in Hollywood was a brilliant move as he knows how to work old school: everyone in the same room, cut live, no headphones, no overdubs. Accordingly, the sound quality is utterly delicious--even on CD.
Moreover, Shadows in the Night features some of Dylan's best singing on record in many years - maybe ever. He gets inside these old chestnuts and makes them new, or at least moving and alive. If, like me, you think Dylan has one of the all-time great voices in popular music, you will be astonished by his virtuoso performances here. If you are one of those people who think he can't sing, maybe this will convince you otherwise.
There is also a newly-voluable Bob Dylan making the rounds with the release of this record and his extended interview with AARP is one of his most nakedly revealing interviews ever and his thirty-minute-long speech at the MusicCares Awards the other night blew everyone's minds with its humility, clear-eyed honesty and self-deprecating humor. It would seem that, at the age of 73, Dylan has decided to drop the mask and dispense with the bullshit. Good for him -- and us.
All of the above is highly recommended to everyone reading this!