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The Hot Sardines: Welcome Home, Bon Voyage

Read "Welcome Home, Bon Voyage" reviewed by John Bricker

The Hot Sardines' impressive musicianship and infectious energy make it hard to accept that early 1900s swing and proto-jazz ever went out of style. The New York-based eight-piece band gives a perfect example of how they revitalize classics on Welcome Home, Bon Voyage, a collection of live recordings from sets at Joe's Pub in New York ...


Ranky Tanky: Good Time

Read "Good Time" reviewed by John Bricker

The West African phrase Ranky Tanky roughly translates to “get funky" or “work it," according to the band's website. The band earns this title with danceable blends of gospel and jazz, celebrating the Gullah culture found in their home state of South Carolina. Although Good Time delivers more infectious energy than their self-titled debut, Ranky Tanky ...


Tony Molina: Songs From San Mateo County

Read "Songs From San Mateo County" reviewed by John Bricker

Songs From San Mateo County would seem like an afterthought from a musician with a normal discography. The compilation of 14 unfinished and unreleased tracks, most barely more than one minute long, gives each song barely enough time to make an impression before rushing on to the next. This brief project only makes sense coming from ...


Phil Keaggy at Mount Hermon

Read "Phil Keaggy at Mount Hermon" reviewed by John Bricker

Phil Keaggy
Conference Center
Summer Concerts 2019
Mount Hermon, CA
July 13, 2019

During a performance of his song “Mercy," from his 2016 album All At Once, Phil Keaggy shouted to the audience, “Put those hands together!" Hundreds of people clapped in unison while he played an expressive solo over ...


Angles 9: Beyond Us

Read "Beyond Us" reviewed by John Bricker

Across their discography, Angles 9 constantly evoke powerful emotions through finely-tuned chaos. In the near-traditional jams of 2014's Injuries and the abstract noise of 2017's Disappeared Behind the Sun, the sheer kinetic energy of nine gifted players, led by saxophonist Martin Küchen, working together while competing for a moment in the spotlight, creates unique and spellbinding ...


Ebi Soda: Bedroom Tapes

Read "Bedroom Tapes" reviewed by John Bricker

The closing minutes of Ebi Soda's Bedroom Tapes perfectly demonstrate the album's strengths and weaknesses. “Daughter of Doris" opens with an invigorating mix of bustling rhythms, powerful piano chords and an earworm trumpet melody, all layered over soft, electric guitars. Gradually, the song loses momentum as its lack of any impressive performances or compositional shifts leave ...


Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah at Bandcamp Record Store and Performance Space

Read "Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah at Bandcamp Record Store and Performance Space" reviewed by John Bricker

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah
Bandcamp Record Store and Performance Space
Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah Live at Bandcamp
Oakland, CA
June 27, 2019

While his band played “Songs She Never Heard," a piece from his 2019 album Ancestral Recall, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah paced across the stage, shaking a steady groove ...


Slauson Malone: A Quiet Farwell, 2016–2018

Read "A Quiet Farwell, 2016–2018" reviewed by John Bricker

Like the black hole its cover image evokes, Slauson Malone's debut solo album, A Quiet Farwell, 2016—2018 is a beautiful mystery, using disorienting samples and despondent beats to confuse and captivate. Jasper Marsalis—son of jazz legend Wynton Marsalis—rejected formal musical training, instead establishing himself under his pseudonym as a forward-thinking hip-hop producer through his work with ...


Durand Jones & The Indications: American Love Call

Read "American Love Call" reviewed by John Bricker

Durand Jones & The Indications prove with American Love Call that the sounds of 1960s and '70s soul are as beautiful today as they were first time around. The group's second album has great songs, passionate performances and immaculate production.

“Morning in America" is an ambitious opener, establishing American Love Call's updated soul ...


Dos Monos: Dos City

Read "Dos City" reviewed by John Bricker

Dos Monos' debut album Dos City is a remarkably efficient record. In only 34 minutes, the Japanese experimental hip-hop trio fully realize an alien world with dark production and relentlessly off-kilter performances. Producer and rapper Zo Zhit fills Dos City's instrumentals with jazz samples, jarring vocal snippets and hard-hitting percussion, perfectly riding the line between old ...