Written by 6:02 am Audiophile Music

New CD Releases for 10-5-2012

This week’s new releases include jazz from Opus 3 Records and Uli Geissendoerfer, modern folk from Lucy Kaplansky, americana from Darrell Scott and Tim O’Brien, and bluegrass from the Hillbenders.

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Title: Tim O’Brien & Darrell Scott – Live (We’re Usually a Lot Better Than This

Genre: Roots, Singer-Songwriter, Country

Description: Taken from two benefit concerts Tim O’Brien and Darrell Scott did back in 2006, the performances are so good that it’s easy to forgive the pedestrian sound quality. O’Brien and Scott have an uncanny ability to musically zig and zag both vocally and instrumentally, that it’s hard to believe they haven’t been playing together since birth. Released on Darrell Scott’s Full Light Records, I strongly suggest buying the disc directly from the artists as opposed to from that big ol’ A in the clouds.

Rating (0- 10): Overall – 8, Sonically – 7



Title: Uli Geissendoerfer – Colors

Genre: Jazz

Description: Pianist and composer Uli Geissendoerfer’s special form of atmospheric jazz reminds me of some of the more adventurous early Windham Hill releases from the ’80s. With an occasional percussional or vocal exclamation to shake up the instrumentation, which consists of piano, synth, Rhodes, saxophone, bass, and drums, Geissendoerfer’s polished, and at times even breezy, jazz percolates along with well-polished verve and sly sideways energy. If modern, yet accessible jazz is your thing, you should hear Uli Geissendoerfer.

Rating (0- 10): Overall – 8, Sonically – 8


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Title – Jazz Delights Volume II

Genre: Jazz

Description: On Jazz Delights Volume II you can hear a baker’s dozen of superb recordings that give you a taste of the breadth of European jazz on the Opus 3 record label. European jazz is, in my humble opinion, an acquired taste. Some listeners may find the music is overly left-brained, but no one could complain about the sound quality here. Every cut is good enough to be used for reference equipment evaluation…

Rating (0- 10): Overall – 8, Sonically – 9



Title: Hillbenders – Can You Hear Me

Genre: Bluegrass

Description: Although they ARE a bluegrass band, the Hillbenders do a lot more bending of genres than hills. With not merely good, but superb multi-part vocals, the Hillbenders could sing the alphabet and make it interesting. Josh Graves dobro and Mark Cassidy’s banjo deliver hot solos and fills that complement Nolan Lawrence’s strong lead vocals and the band’s intricate arrangements. The Hillbender’s cover of the power-pop group, The Romantics, hit “Talking in Your Sleep” is perfect.

Rating (0- 10): Overall – 9, Sonically – 8



Title: Lucy Kaplansky – Reunion

Genre: Singer-Songwriter, Folk

Description:  A couple of years ago Lucy Kaplansky chucked her successful psychology practice to return to music full-time. Since then she’s amassed a string of superb albums. For her seventh solo effort she’s enlisted Buddy Miller, Richard Shindell, John Gorka, Eliza Gilkyson, and Duke Levine, to create an album of modern folk songs. The six originals, co-written with Richard Litvin, focus on Kaplansky’s family roots in a Toronto bakery. I dare you to only listen to ONE song on this album without letting it track to a second and third cut…

Rating (0- 10): Overall – 9, Sonically – 8

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