New CDs This Week: Richard Thompson, Joe Henry, Terence Blanchard...
Richard Thompson - Walking on a Wire: Richard Thompson (1968-2009)
The best box set of the past few months has nothing to do with Woodstock. Walking on a Wire covers the length of Thompson's rich and varied career, beginning with his days in the influential folk-rock group Fairport Convention and continuing through his work with his wife Linda and into the solo career that continues unabated to this day. Equally revered as a songwriter and guitarist, Thompson is one of the true legends of the 1960s.
Joe Henry - Blood from Stars
Eclectic singer-songwriter Joe Henry offers up a compelling blend of decidedly adult music on his 11th solo release. As always, his music won't be confined by genre definitions, but suffice it to say, his work has a blues hue and a jazz sensibility. The album also marks the debut of Henry's son Levon on saxophone. Levon has snagged two soloist awards already from the Monterey Jazz Festival's honors given to young musicians.
Brendan Benson - My Old Familiar Friend
Benson has long been a favorite in power pop circles, though he is mainly known to the masses as Jack White's bandmate in the Raconteurs. My Old Familiar Friend is the pop ace's fourth solo album and features the sort of catchy pop that once headlined on AM radio everywhere.
Terence Blanchard - Choices
Jazz trumpeter and composer Blanchard returned to his hometown of New Orleans to record his latest album at the Ogden Museum of Art. This is high-brow, cerebral jazz, featuring spoken word interludes by noted intellectual Cornel West. The music achieves urgency both through its inspired setting and the live nature of the sessions, as the whole album was recorded in four days.
Ledisi - Turn Me Loose
Neo-soul chanteuse Ledisi teams with an A-list of producers for his latest outing that continues her genre smashing ways, as the singer brings in elements of jazz, hip-hop and rock to classic R&B. Lesisi is by far one of the brightest lights in soul music today and Turn Me Loose brings the funk in a fashion that would make James Brown proud.
Other notable releases this week:
The Antlers - Hospice
As Tall As Lions - You Can't Take It with You
The Cave Singers - Welcome Joy
Division Day - Visitation
Hot Club of Cowtown - Wishful Thinking
Mark Mallman - Invincible Criminal
Delbert McClinton - Acquired Taste
Reba McEntire - Keep on Loving You
Mount Eerie - Wind's Poem
MUTEMATH - Armistice
Sean Paul - Imperial Blaze
Jack Peñate - Everything Is New
Pissed Jeans - King of Jeans
Jay Reatard - Watch Me Fall
Sister Hazel - Release