Music News 3/14/24



The Messthetics & James Brandon Lewis, THE MESSTHETICS AND JAMES BRANDON LEWIS (Impulse, $14.98) – The Messthetics are a DC-based power trio featuring electric guitarist Anthony Pirog and the Fugazi rhythm section of Joe Lally on bass and Brendan Canty on drums. After recording two albums on the Dischord label, the trio now teams up with tenor saxophonist James Brandon Lewis for a high energy collaboration on their first album together on Impulse!, the label most associated with John Coltrane.


NOTE: The Messthetics & James Brandon Lewis will headline at the Black Cat on Friday, March 29.



Charles Lloyd, THE SKY WILL STILL BE THERE TOMORROW (Blue Note, 2 CDs, $21.98) – Speaking of Coltrane, Charles Lloyd is one of his greatest inheritors, carrying on the spiritual and lyrical side of his legacy. His new quartet features pianist Jason Moran (who’s recorded many times with Mr. Lloyd), bassist Larry Grenadier, and drummer Brian Blade. Mr. Lloyd (tenor & alto saxes, bass & alto flutes) mixes older tunes, spirituals (“Balm in Gilead”) and anthems (“Lift Every Voice and Sing”) with six new tunes, like “Booker’s Garden,” a tribute to the late trumpeter (and childhood friend) Booker Little.



Black Art Jazz Collective, TRUTH TO POWER (HighTone, $17.98) – The BAJC features founding members Wayne Escoffery (tenor sax), Jeremy Pelt (trumpet), James Burton III (trombone), Xavier Davis (piano) and Johnathan Blake (drums). They are joined by current members and guests Victor Gould (piano), Josh Evans and Wallace Roney Jr. (trumpets), Rashaan Carter and Vicente Archer (basses), and Mark Whitfield Jr. (drums).





BEETHOVEN: COMPLETE SYMPHONIES (NSO, 5 SACD & 2 Blu-Ray Audio Discs, $36.98) – In concerts between January, 2022, and June, 2023, conductor Gianandrea Noseda and the National Symphony Orchestra embarked on a “Beethoven journey,” juxtaposing all of the Beethoven Symphonies with George Walker’s Sinfonias.

The complete symphonies have now been released as a box set.

The covers of the box and the individual albums are done by Mo Willems.


NOTE: We are still offering free tote bags featuring the graphics from the National Symphony’s previous release, GEORGE WALKER: FIVE SINFONIAS (NSO, SACD, $21.98), with CD purchase.





Altan, DONEGAL (Compass, $17.98) – Altan has been one of the most iconic Irish bands over the last 35 years. Altan—with its distinctive sound of twin-fiddles, guitars, bouzoukis, vocals, and percussion—now returns to their musical home, County Donegal.


Kacey Musgraves, DEEPER WELL (Interscope, $16.98) – “Rolling acoustic guitars, puffy clouds of strings and synth, warm bass punctuations, layered harmonies, moments of Celtic melody” surround Ms. Musgraves’s great voice.


Paper Wings, LISTEN TO THE WORLD SPIN (Free Dirt, $15.98) – Emily Mann and Wila Frank play “pastoral folk” with their harmony vocals supported by guitar and banjo. Of their new set of songs, Emily Mann says, “we needed these songs to guide and comfort us through the last years…and we hope they’ll do the same for others.”