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Sample Track 1:
"Trabajala" from Roots Before Branches
Sample Track 2:
"Solo dos veces" from Roots Before Branches
Layer 2
Album Pick

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Perfect Sounds, Album Pick >>

<p>I'm throwing these notes and grades out there ahead of the poll deadlines.</p>

<p> * Grass Roots (Sean Conly, Alex Harding, Darius Jones &amp; Chad Taylor): Grass Roots (AUM Fidelity) - [Reviewed in Klassekampen, Nov. 19th, 2012: 5,5 stars out of 6] 8</p>

<p> * Titus Andronicus: Local Business (XL Recordings) - [Reviewed for Klassekampen Oct. 22nd, 2012: 4,5 stars out of 6] 7</p>

<p> * Ceremony: Zoo (Matador) - If there is one thing I've learned over the years of following punk and hard core, it's that &quot;hard core&quot; hard core fans tend to be an annoyingly retrograde bunch. The smart HC/punk bands know this, too, just ask Ian McKaye or Mike Watt. So when the latest Ceremony, formely of hard core powerhouse Bridge Nine, received fairly mixed reception seemingly on the grounds that they had abandoned their roots, I shrugged. Me, I find that their new garage leaning, slightly off-kilter, stop-start punk approach coupled with a newfound penchant for writing, y'know, hooks haven't softened their message one bit, but rather given their music focus and purpose. 7</p>

<p> * Ravi Coltrane: Spirit Fiction (Blue Note) - Ask me not why it took me so long to get to this, although I must admit to not having been fully convinced by Ravi Coltrane's previous efforts. But the band here &ndash; Ravi Coltrane on saxophones, Luis Perdomo on piano, Drew Gress on bass &ndash; E.J. Strickland on drums &ndash; serves up some free-as-in loose, mostly flitting and airy tunes, some of them very short, with their interweaving improvised melodic lines that make for a very compelling and rewarding listen. About as soothing as modern jazz can get, without disappearing into the background, 'though &quot;Check Out Time&quot; also provides some oopmh. 7</p>

<p> * Gavlyn: From the Art (Broken Complex) - Tough, sassy, quick witted, articulate (you bet that counts) and with an assured flow that blows most of her male collegues out of the water. The backdrop heavily sampled and funky, like a loving homage to 90's era Stones Throw (&quot;What I Do&quot;, &quot;Staring Problem&quot;, &quot;Why Don't You Do Right&quot;) 7</p>

<p> * Jasmine Lovell-Smith's Towering Poppies: Fortune Songs (Paintbox Records) - Quintet led by New Zealand born, New York based soprano saxophonist Jasmine Lovell-Smith, currently studying music at Wesleyan University. I've seen chamber jazz applied, but to me this is less arranged, yet still a gorgeous collection of subtle, loose knit, sweet with just a pinch of sour, lyricism. Nothing is rushed, here, and it's all the more rewarding for it. 8</p>

<p> * Sonic Avenues: Televison Youth (Dirtnap) - These Montreal, QS, pop-punks lovingly recreate the 70's British forefathers, even down to the accent, with a splash of 60's garage rock. Hardly revolutionary, but at times quite catchy (&quot;Givin' Up On You&quot; &quot;Television Youth&quot;). 7</p>

<p> * Cities Aviv: Black Pleasure (Mishka) - Barely audible half rap, half spoken words over stark synths. Interesting sounds, but few themes, no hooks, no stories of interest. Not much of anything here, really. Apart from sounds. 6</p>

<p> * Clinic: Free Reign (Domino) - 6</p>

<p> * Henry Cole &amp; The Afrobeat Collective: Roots Before Branches (self-released) - 7</p>

<p> * Donald Fagen: Sunken Condos (Reprise) - 7</p>


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