Express Milwaukee - Album Reviews Wed, 26 Nov 2014 00:00:00 EST en hourly 1 Sam Llanas: The Whole Night Thru (Llanas Music) Led Zeppelin: Led Zeppelin IV, Houses of the Holy (Atlantic/Swan Song) The Incorruptibles: “White Alligator Shoes”/“Laugh Out Loud” Outhead: Send This Sound to the King (Chahatatadra Music) On their second album, the bi-coastal quartet Outhead takes the trail opened by the ’60s jazz avant-garde, but with a determination to hit audiences in the gut rather than sail over their heads. Rock elements echoing the sax-driven Morphine can be heard, along with enough melody in their ]]> Abelardo Barroso: Cha Cha Cha (World Circuit) Abelardo Barroso’s voice was a sophisticated instrument, powerful yet emotionally subtle, silken as a pop crooner but eager to slip into the soaring Moorish modes endowed to Cuba by Spanish rulers and the slaves they brought from West Africa. The singer made these recordings in the ]]> Marshall Allen presents Sun Ra and His Arkestra: In the Orbit of Ra (Strut Records) The Specials: The Best of The Specials (Parlophone) Ska was a subcultural phenomenon until the “2 Tone” movement swept the U.K. and spilled over into the U.S. by the end of the ’70s. The Specials led the way with bouncing rhythms and a sense of fun through their gangster poses and ’60s spy movie guitars. The Specials played party music capable of assuming urgency on ]]> Alma Afrobeat Ensemble: Life No Get Dublicate (Slow Walk Music) Amongst all the limp pop marketed as “world music,” a gem occasionally shines. Alma Afrobeat Ensemble is the real deal on many levels: The lineup is international, based in Barcelona and playing the propulsive West African music associated with Fela Kuti live and in real time. The energy is palpable on their]]> The Uptown Savages: Rock ’N’ Roll With You (Cuca) Piers Faccini & Vincent Segal: Songs of Time Lost (Six Degrees Records) Guitarist-singer Piers Faccini and cellist Vincent Segal met in Paris 30 years ago and have finally released their first album. Their elegantly executed ]]> Laetitia Sadier: Something Shines (Drag City) Whether presiding over the politicized lounge of Stereolab or singing on her own, Laetitia Sadier has been tagged as a “chanteuse.” Primarily because she and the word share French heritage. Still, the je ne sais quoi]]> Cocek! Brass Band: Here Comes Shlomo The slightly melancholy, often madcap sound of Balkan brass bands has assumed a more international feel along with a global audience. The U.S.-based Cocek! Brass Band might not sound entirely out of place ]]> Harold Stewart: One People (Tate Music Group) Paulo Padilha: Na Lojinha de Um Real Eu Me Sinto Milionário (Boranda) Back in the 1960s, Brazil was home to a musical-cultural movement called Tropicalism, an organic synthesis of local traditions with ideas distilled from Anglo-American rock and the European avant-garde. Paulo Padilha is a contemporary heir to that movement. On his latest album whose title translates as “At the Dollar ]]> Olcay Bayir: Neva/Harmony (Riverboat Records) Olcay Bayir is a woman whose voice is extraordinary in range and emotional power. She is a Turkish-Kurdish expatriate with roots in Anatolia, a land (in eastern Turkey) that has been home to Greeks, Armenians and Kurds as well as Turks. On Neva/Harmony, Bayir explores the repertoire of Anatolia and finds common ]]> Jimi Hendrix <em>Rainbow Bridge</em> - <em>The Cry of Love</em> (Experience Hendrix/Legacy) Jimi Hendrix scored his most memorable hits as an African-American expatriate in Swinging London (1966-69). Afterward, he continued playing with different musicians and recording prolifically. Two alb]]> Ian and The Dream: California Cauliflower


Though he claims Brian Wilson and Paul McCartney as inspirations, Waukesha native Ian Ash doesn’t quite as much encompass the simultaneous universality and specificity of The Beatles and The Beach Boys at their best (the latter band’s “Vegetables” inspired the album title). Instead, he]]>
Pharaoh’s Daughter: Dumiyah (Magenta)


Basya Schechter’s Hasidic upbringing in Brooklyn laid the foundation for her music, but she continues to reach higher, adding new stories to her groundwork. On the fifth album by her band Pharaoh’s Daughter, Schechter explores the many cross currents that connect Eastern European Jewish]]>
Mark Elf: Returns 2014 (Jen Bay Records) Returns 2014. The album title refers to the long absence from the recording studio of the session’s leader, guitarist Mark Elf. Elf and Hazeltine swim in the cool tide that flowed out of bebop]]> Various Artists: Look Again to the Wind: Johnny Cash’s Bitter Tears Revisited (Sony Music Masterworks) The face of Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian, Johnny Cash’s 1964 concept album, is lined with the stylistic wrinkles of its time, including Cinemascope production and unnecessary sentimental touches like the military-music stylings bookending “The Ballad of Ira Hayes]]> Brian Wurch Band: Say Yes (Sybil Records) Say Yes is a 16-song collection from Milwaukee’s Brian Wurch that draws from the timeless version of rock ’n’ roll that emerged from the doo-wop streets of Dion and the Belmonts and moved to the scrapple of the New York Dolls, ending up at the swagger of Mink DeVille and boogaloo of Mott ]]> Lillian Axe: One Night in the Temple (CME Records) Moraine: Groundswell (MoonJune) Groundswell is tough yet supple, the improvisations are fluid yet often deliver the crunch and shove of metallic rock. The]]> Leonard Cohen - <i>Popular Problems</i> (Columbia) ]]> D’Pop!: D’Pop! (Straight To The Point Records) In the early ’80s a Milwaukee band with a humble-brag of a name, The Pop, issued a lone single with a heavy debt to Merseybeat-era Beatles, and then...nothing, until now. Partially composed of members of that long-ago band, D’Pop compiled both sides of that collectible 45 onto an album of otherwise new material]]> Tour de Force: Battle Cry / Battle Cry Remixed (Dub-Stuy Records) Brooklyn duo Tour de Force recorded Battle Cry, an album of powerful deep-groove reggae in several styles, and handed it off to a worldwide network of DJ remix artists. The ambitious result is housed in this two-CD set. Disc one is Tour de Force’s authoritative handling of reverb-laden dub and tongue-twisting toasts; disc]]> Simo Lagnawi: The Gnawa Berber (Riverboat Records) Simo Lagnawi came to attention busking on London streets. Even in that polyglot capital he must have stood out for his colorful tribal garb and music. The Moroccan Berber expatriate maintains a thrumming, hypnotic groove throughout his latest album, whether accompanied by a chorus of polyrhythmic percussion or ]]> The Bad Things: After the Inferno (Silent City Records) Various Artists: Salsa de la Bahia Vol. 2: Hoy Y Ayer (Patois Records) Salsa de la Bahia collects 15 Bay area bands on two discs. The pervasive salsa grooves provide the backdrop for a dance]]> Grand Fatilla: Global Shuffle (Grand Fatilla Records) Global Shuffle, the band moves convincingly]]>