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Harry Connick Jr, Alone With My Faith was released on March 19, 2021.

 

"Is there anything Harry Connick Jr can't do? Not only does he have the voice of an angel and beyond impressive piano playing skills, but the musician has also acted in numerous films in Hollywood and even created his own Broadway musical. He's one busy guy so he didn't let the 2020 pandemic stop him from being creative. He recently released his latest new album, Alone With My Faith, which he completely recorded in his home studio in Connecticut. His daughter Georgia Connick even took the photo that became the album cover and directed two of his new music videos."

 

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I’m at the point in my audio journey (and I’m sure a few of you are too) where I really don’t need more gear, are at least gear that is significantly better than what I already have is beyond my means

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Robin Trower, Maxi Priest, Livingstone Brown, United State of Mind was released on October 9, 2020.   "Three legendary artists singer/songwriter Maxi Priest, guitarist Robin Trower, and prod

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Steve Wilson, The Future Bites was released on January 29, 2021.

 

"Despite its dark, cautionary subject matter, The Future Bites is Steven Wilson’s most powerful and commercially appealing set to date. Beautifully produced—it’s one of the first studio albums of new material mixed in Dolby Atmos surround—this is the bristling sound of Wilson taking a bite into the future of prog-rock.:

 

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Blackmore's Night, Nature's Light was released on March 12, 2021.

 

"Blackmore’s Night founded in 1997 by ex-Deep Purple and Rainbow guitarist, Ritchie Blackmore & vocalist Candice Night, have released their eleventh studio album Nature’s Light’. The story of `Nature’s Light’ is the story of nature being the true queen and the simplicity and magic of everyday miracles that happen right before your eyes according to Candice Night."

 

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Greta Van Fleet, The Battle at Garden's Gate is released today, April 16, 2016

 

"After listening to it repeatedly, I found the standout element of “The Battle at Garden’s Gate” to be the beginning of trying to part ways with the sound that the band’s detractors accused of being too similar to Led Zeppelin. Their newest effort sees Greta Van Fleet looking for its own identity, trying to forge its sound, and showcasing an ambition to continue conquering the hard rock skies. The only problem will be if the enchanted fans who felt for the proposal that reminded too much to Led Zeppelin will be as excited with the almost more original sound direction."

 

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Florida Georgia Line, Life Rolls On was released on February 12, 2021.

 

"... this album’s main theme is nostalgia. Florida Georgia Line incorporates many songs that reflect on love and southern life, specifically the first two, “Long Live” and “Life Looks Good.” The latter is a feel-good, sing-along tune. Kelley backs Hubbard as he sings about laying on a blanket and looking at the stars with his better half. “Good To Me” is another track in which the two show their gratitude. Written by Hubbard, Kelley, Canaan Smith, and producer Corey Crowder, they admit they have made their fair share of mistakes, but God has always had their backs. Faith has been the focus of many Florida Georgia Line cuts recently, including “Drinkin’ Beer. Talkin’ God. Amen.” with Chase Rice and their collaboration project with Christian singer, Chris Tomlin."

 

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Saxon, Insprirations was released on March 19, 2021.

 

Kickstarting this album we have the heaviest version of the Stones’ “Paint it Black” you’ll ever hear, with Biff capturing Mick Jagger’s melancholic delivery of the original and taking it a step further. The bleakness of the lyrics is in contrast with the razor-sharp guitars, creating an unsettling feeling. “Immigrant Song” is next, with the throbbing Jimmy Page riff getting an extra dose of heaviness, and the back end masterfully handled by Nibbs Carter’s tasteful bass licks. Biff does his own version of Robert Plant’s wail at the beginning, and sounds more like a maniac out of a psychiatric ward than a Nordic god, which gives their version an extra charm."

 

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Ringo Starr, Zoom In was released on March 19, 2021.

 

"Zoom In is the title of the brand new EP from Ringo Starr out today, and it’s safe to say the Beatles legend made the most out its five new songs.

 

The following friends pop up on Ringo’s new tunes in one way or another:

Sir Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Finneas, Sheryl Crow, Chris Stapleton, Lenny Kravitz, Ben Harper, Dave Grohl, Jenny Lewis, Corinne Bailey Rae, Eric Burton, and Yola, while the backing instrumentation is delivered via Steve Lukather of Toto, Benmont Tench of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Bruce Sugar, Nathan East, Charlie Bisharat, and Jacob Braun.

 

That’s a ton of fellow icons combining their talents into one project, and it’s a great listen from start to finish (though only being five songs runs rather short)"

 

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Ally Venable, Heart of Fire was released on February 26, 2021.

 

"21-year-old Texas guitar sensation Ally Venable riffs hard and comes on strong on her fourth album Heart of Fire. Set to meet the world on February 26th, 2021 on Ruf Records, the record is a blazing statement from a young guitarist, singer, and songwriter with an ability to make passionate roots music with the crossover potential to succeed outside of the roots universe. Tracked at the Bessie Blue Studio in Stantonville, Tennessee last February with renowned producer Jim Gaines (John Lee Hooker, George Thorogood, Bernard Allison, Stevie Ray Vaughan) and featuring guest spots from Devon Allman, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Cody Dickinson, the set marks Venable as one of those who represents the future of American music. Her sound explodes with the spirit of greats gone by but also displays the fearless, unbound creativity of an emerging performer determined to do things her own way. Heart of Fire melds genres, explores song craft, and carries a challenging, unguarded authenticity that speaks the truth, even when it hurts.:

 

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Arc of Life, Arc of Life was released on February 12, 2021.

 

"Arc Of Life is the new band from current Yes members Billy Sherwood and Jon Davison, with Jay Schellen (Yes’ unofficial touring drummer), Jimmy Haun (who played guitar on the 1991 Yes album “Union” and worked with former Yes bassist Chris Squire in Conspiracy) and Dave Kerzner (keyboardist formerly with Sound Of Contact) rounding out the lineup."

 

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Weezer, OK Human was released on January 29, 2021.

 

"For the album, the title of which conspicuously winks at Radiohead’s OK Computer, Cuomo & Co. traded loud guitars for flowery string arrangements. The approach is a not-so-subtle nod at chamber-pop benchmarks like Pet Sounds and Let It Be but without the confessional diary entries of the former or the sentimentality of the latter. Instead, Cuomo tempers his natural sense of humor to the mood of the music and the world in front of him."

 

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Cheap Trick, In Another World was released on April 9, 2021.

 

"There are few, if any, American rock bands in Cheap Trick’s league. The veteran Midwestern Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, now celebrating 47years together, sound as inspired on this 20th studio album as on 1977’s still fresh debut. “We’re too dumb to quit,” quips founding guitarist Rick Nielsen, an indication of the quartet’s sly, self-deprecating wit that remains one of their trademarks. "

 

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Rob Zombie, The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Conspiracy was released on March 12, 2021.

 

"Robert Bartleh Cummings is prone to big statements. Whether it’s changing his name to Rob Zombie, playing festivals across the world looking like he’s just crawled out of the earth backstage, or directing some of the most distinctive and gruesome horror films of the past 20 years, he knows how to grab the attention. Even armed with this knowledge, though, there were more than a few raised eyebrows when, 36 years into his career, Mr. Zombie declared his latest album, The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy, to be the best he’s put his sinister name to. It’s not so much that this piece of Hellbilly hyperbole is difficult to believe, it’s more a question of what exactly sets a Rob Zombie album apart another these days."

 

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Dirty Honey, Dirty Honey was released on April 23, 2021.

 

"To the uninitiated, this new sensation of a rock quartet takes their stylistic cues from the likes of Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC and a host of other iconic 70s outfits and distills their riff-happy, jagged-edged approach and marries it to the smoother swagger of a southern rock outfit."

 

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Bob Baldwin, NewUrbanJazz 3 was released on February 26, 2021.

 

"Bob Baldwin’s 32nd studio offering is a musically unplanned birth that was caused by a simple procedure…Stay-at-home orders.

 

For some, staying home has its’ benefits, like less miles on the car, cleaning bill eliminated, less office utility overhead. For an artist like Bob Baldwin, it means more time to record, produce, arrange and perform music."

 

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Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Way Down In The Rust Bucket was released on February 26, 2021.

 

"Recorded in 1990 at a small Santa Cruz club, this joyous live document flips the energy of 1991’s Weld on its head, swapping out incendiary arena rockers for oddball picks and warm, woolly vibes."

 

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Wow! an amazing array of suggestions. 

 

Sk1Bum, The detail you add to your selections is fantastic. 

 

I look forward to checking out as many as possible. If I'm not working on the equipment, I'll be listening to these. Netflix has taken a third row backseat in my life now!

 

Thanks to everyone!

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"Trading big romantic gestures in the one moment with impressionist subtlety in the next, the pianist's fingers navigate across the keys with rare conviction, as if he were reading the music off a sheet. In the process, Wania demonstrates relentless precision and effortless speed that appear to be informed by his background in classical music. The conflation of the classical world of piano music and jazz amount to an abundance of nuances, textures and forms in the hands of the pianist, covering a wide range of impressions, emotions and atmospheres in a matter of under an hour."  continued

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The Chicago Underground Quartet, Good Days was released on January 20, 2020.

 

"Mazurek, Taylor, and Parker have collectively worked on dozens of projects and their telepathy is long-established. Johnson is an excellent, if somewhat understated addition, and his piano work shines here. Parker's contributions to Good Days can't be applauded enough; whether complex or simple, his playing is always meaningful. Chicago Underground releases are always welcome; this one is a superior example of what maturity and openness can net."

 

You can read the rest of the review here...

 

My notes:

 

This is not my kind of jazz, but some will love it. To my ears, and on my system, the horns are harsh. Some Miles Davis recordings are the same way. 

 

So the purists can banish me to rap, hip-hop hell, but I much prefer the smoother jazz artists with easily followed transitions and saxophone or guitar leads.

 

 

 

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