Two words best to describe John Coltrane's 1958 "Lush Life", casual elegance. This newly remastered release on the Prestige label is perfect for an autumn night and a well-mixed cocktail. Coltrane's playing is contemplative and restrained, while still harboring the questing spirituality he would soon begin exploring in subsequent recordings. The absence of a piano player on the first three tracks clears the way for Trane's emotive runs. Tone, pure and bluesy, is the focus on "Lush Life". The last two tracks feature the addition of Red Garland on piano and Donald Byrd on trumpet. At close to 15 minutes the title track hints at some of the more adventurous playing Coltrane would be known for. But this record finds him contented, in all his nuanced glory.
Flying Lotus “1983”
The Last Shadow Puppets “The Age of the Understatement”
Animal Collective “Strawberry Jam”
What do you get when you place Brian Wilson, Philip Glass, and Dan Deacon in a blender and push puree? You might get Baltimore transplants now residing in Brooklyn, Animal Collective. Last year’s release “Strawberry Jam” is one of the most confounding and brilliant examples of laptop rock. Critical darlings to be sure and worth the accolades, main songwriting forces Panda Bear and Avey Tare craft layered, inventive, joyous whimsy. Animal Collective reference “Smile” era Brian Wilson, celebrating the druggy glory, they offer an alternative universe for those voices in his head. The variegated playground these musicians inhabit is a feast for the ears. Soaring harmonies mix with world music influences, which are then left to swim up the bit rate stream. The songs on “Strawberry Jam” begin as innocent experimentation, quickly escalate into addiction, have you finding God and then relapsing back into the magical world of Animal Collective.
Shudder To Think “Funeral At The Movies/Ten Spot”
Cold War Kids “Loyalty to Loyalty”