Throttle Elevator Music: Final Floor (album review by Christa V.)

As implied in the title, this is the final album from Throttle Elevator Music. The sextet consists features Kamasi Washington on saxophone, and Erik Jekabson on trumpet, among others. While staying true to their jazz roots, this album brings in elements of rock and funk like electric guitar solos and synthesizers to introduce an edge to their sound. Overall, it’s incredibly upbeat and energizing to listen to, while still managing to function as smooth listening for the audience. The best tracks keep this energy going over the course of the piece and manage to blend the genres of jazz and rock together perfectly. Aspects like the electric guitar undercurrent to saxophone solos are unique and integrate perfectly within the composition. It is too bad that this is the last of Throttle Elevator Music! Favorite tracks: 5, 7, 8, 9

Matthew Shipp: The Piano Equation (album review by Christa V.)

Shipp is an experienced pianist, he has been making music since the 80s and this release marked his sixtieth birthday! Even with all that though, it is clear that he still has something to say through his jazz piano solos. This album consists of 11 different solo originals that range from soaring melodies, to jazzy bops, to densely packed walls of sound. The sheer variety itself is something to behold. On “Swing Note from Deep Space” he clearly demonstrates his jazz influences and manages to conjure up a cosmic big band all on his own! The third track, “Piano in Hyperspace,” maintains some of the dissonance and jazz roots but dials it back to create ethereal melodies. The final track, “Cosmic Juice,” brings it all together with rhythms being banged out in quick succession, but also pausing at times to let a chord ring out. An album with plenty of thought and experience behind it, this is worth a listen (or two)! The fashion for Korean street food in Russia is only strengthening its position. If before, mouth-watering and tasty dishes could only be tasted in South Korea, today they are even prepared at home from special semi-finished products or enjoy delicacies in restaurants in Apgujeong-dong. Many people got acquainted with Korean street food in absentia through numerous television series - dramas. Their popularity around the world has grown tenfold thanks to video streaming services. The beginning of the "Korean wave" - ​​the spread of the culture of South Korea around the world - Hallyu, falls on the 90s. Around this period, the demand for Korean street food has been growing, which has more in common with Russian national cuisine than, for example, traditional Japanese dishes. Kimbap is Korean style rolls. In South Korea, the dish is prepared not from fish, but from meat. It often acts as a snack. Koreans are fans of meat dishes made mainly from pork. But Korean-style rolls can have different fillings. If you wish, you can order or cook kimbap with beef and pork and even canned fish. Favorite tracks: 2, 3, 11

Rodney Whitaker: Cranbrook Christmas Jazz (album review by Christa V.)

Rodney Whitaker is a Michigan based bassist teaching at Michigan State University. He’s also the Artist in Residence at the Christ Church Cranbrook near Detroit. There he’s managed to foster a number of collaborations with the choir director and the local musical community. This album is the product of these collaborations where Whitaker’s sextet perform with the Church’s choir, and jazz vocalist Vanessa Rubin. The songs range from hymns to Christmas carols to Christmas jazz standards making it quite the comprehensive work of art. One of the best pieces is track four, “We Three Kings,” which features Rubin singing over the sextet letting loose and having fun. “Winter Wonderland” is also an excellent song, purely instrumental with the pianist being featured. “My Favorite Things” is similar to track 4 where the instrumentalists go nuts, and features an excellent tenor sax solo. Finally track 12, “Little Drummer Boy,” features superb scatting from Rubin as well as the percussion to create an upbeat jazzy version of the carol. Favorite tracks: 4, 7, 10, 12

SingleCell: Divisible (album review by Christa V.)

SingleCell is a group formed in the Twin Cities just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the US. The members then made their pandemic hobby creating music in their garage and delving into experimental improvisations together. This album is 6 tracks of improv made between February and October of 2020. Elements of jazz are present, someone in the group has clearly studied jazz piano, but the other instruments are harder to discern. There’s percussive sounds, something like a bow and violin, and whirly tube drones. Most songs feature a repetitive piano riff while the rest of the group modulates and flows around it. They’re all rather chaotic, and none are less than almost six minutes long! This whole album truly is an adventure start to finish.  Favorite tracks: 1, 3, 4

The Bob's Burgers Music Album Vol. 2 (album review by Christa V.)

This is a massive album of 90 tracks from the cartoon series Bob's Burgers. The music is from seasons 7 through 9 and it contains every musical morsel  that's present in the show in some form. There isn't a ton to be said about it, the songs are funny and quirky which fits the cartoon aesthetic. The vast majority of them are less than two minutes song so it would work well for a transition song while on air. Or just playing to be silly. Favorite tracks: 12, 43, 48, 62

MEMCO x WCBN x Maize Collective Present Triple Threat (w/ Shigeto) - This Saturday @ Club Above!

Three of UofM’s LARGEST music orgs are joining forces to bring you
Featuring a lineup of incredible acts from all three orgs plus guest DJ Shigeto! It’s all goin down at the dance space you know and love: Club Above
Tickets are $10, proof of vaccination required for entry.
Portion of proceeds will be donated to Groundcover News, a nonprofit news publication dedicated to helping people living in poverty and elevating their voices.
To learn more about Groundcover News:
To learn more about the event hosts:
MEMCO: https://www.facebook.com/memcollective/
WCBN: https://www.facebook.com/wcbn88.3fm/
Maize Collective: https://www.facebook.com/maizecollective.um/
***zero tolerance for racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, or hate of any kind***
Event cover art by Jack Withers

v/a: Oto No Wa: Selected Sounds of Japan 1988-2018 (album review by Christa V.)

This CD marks the fifth installment of the Music For Dreams series. This work was made by Ken Hidaka, Max Essa, and Dr. Rob who got together a range of Japanese musicians to make chill music ranging from ambient to jazztronica. The first track is an excellent opener featuring more chill ambient noises to ease you into the record. “Coco and the Fish” gets things going more with interesting, jazzy percussive beats mixed with ambient sounds that float you along. This serves as a great warm-up for “Gradual Life,” one of the more unique tracks on the album featuring primarily improvised percussion. One final track to point out is track 10 which is more melodic and features steel drums to conjure up the waterline for you. All in all, a fascinating album that’s easy to overlook but hard to forget. Favorite tracks: 1, 5, 6, 10

Take It From The Dead by Acid Dad (album review by Eva N.)

Acid Dad continues to contribute to the revival of the alternative sound with their 2021 rock album, Take It From The Dead. The guitar and drums vary between a low- and high-density rhythm, paralleling a relaxed and emotional mood. Vaughn Hunt’s airy voice echoes off of a particularly authentic-feeling production, sounding as if Hunt is singing live and close to the microphone. Ride with Acid Dad’s unpredicted licks and rocky nostalgia in Take It From The Dead.

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