Music for 8/20/20!!! Paul Grabowsky, Dubmatix, Kamaal Williams, All We Are

@@@ Paul Kelly & Paul Grabowsky: True to You (Cooking Vinyl, 2020) Off this week’s All Music notable release email.  Retro jazz vocals with just a piano.  Certainly not as croony and Vegas-y as Tony Bennett but still polished in its way.  It is interesting to hear how far our culture has travelled — from lightly cheesy romantic poetic ballad anthems to love all the way to Wet Ass Pussy by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion.  That is a journey!  Mr. Kelly is the gruff singer here and Grabowsky the piano player.  The sound is modern and intimate. Modern production is about soaring spaces but this thankfully is not one of them.  The piano is pretty epic here but there are no Celine Dion reverb patches at play here.  It’s a nostalgic club set of original straight piano jazz tunes for the Covid era.

@@@ Dubmatix: Rub a Dub (Kingston Express, 2020) Off a reggae compilation I got to via the WRIR weekly charts email.  A bit retro and a bit modern with some low and rough side of town toasting style.  He’s all about the rub a dub style with some tasty guitar and bubbling organ sounds with additional dub spaceship action.  If you Google rub a dub style what do you think it would return?  Rub a dub refers to the transition between reggae and dancehall.  Exactly.  This is a really solid compilation out in 2020 referring back to musics that went down a long time ago.

@@@ Kamaal Williams: Street Dreams (Black Focus, 2020) The opening track on a record entitled Wu Hen, which makes you wonder if this musician was inspired at all by the Wu Han virus.  Probably not but you never know.  Prominent New Age/fusion-y feels as this tune opens.  Soft jazz melody, some harp (yes!), swolled strings, I want to take a nap in the clouds!  It’s a table setter, that’s how I hear it, it’s bringing you into the record so I will check a bit of the second track to see if it switches up.  The second tune goes electro, also with a Brit spoken word making threats, and some pretty chopped up funky drums.  Proggy Prince, that’s how I hear it.  Super clean production and jazz fusion/prog is a tough sell for me.  It comes off nerdy to my ears and I prefer fire.

@@@ All We Are: Providence (Domino, 2020) Also off this week’s All Music notable release email, this time in the indie electronic part of town.  You never know what you’re gonna get with Domino — it could be pleasantly weird, it could be whacky, it could be art school dreck.  This is pretty straightforward ’80s inspired white people dancefloor business with a slight shout out to the ’70s.  After the falsetto chorus you do get an atypical thick guitar solo sound, and other unique garnishes.  I like the bass sound, a tad rocky and funky in a first grade sorta way, and I like the vocal harmonizing as you get the males and the females and everything in between and not that and I like the Prince feels.  It’s pretty straight rhythmically, it could use some swing or drag or something.  Oh boy, the second tune clicked on and it’s an ’80s flavored guitar ballad, oy.

YTD recordings listened to: 636
Good music, not list worthy: 331
Not good music: 286

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge, Nico Gomez, Nohe and Sus Santos, schroothoop, Tiny Bit of Giant’s Blood, Pole, Naeem, Mekons, Santrofi, DJ Nigga Fox, Flor do Toloache, Alexander Hawkins/Tomeka Reid, STORMLIGHT, Venomous Concept, Chezidek, Shy One, Muqata’a, Protomartyr

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