Forever Ray Charles
Concord Records / Tangerine Records Release

Author:
john shelton ivany

"forever" is another classic by soul man, ray charles. his jump-blues rhythm and gospel inflected vocals is an approach that has electrified pop fans for decades. what charles mastered is a curious hybrid of the brassy r&b of his pop-oriented recordings and the showy style by the era's middle-of-the-road acts. here are many string-laden hits. his heartfelt eclecticism has resulted in some astonishing music.

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Shifting Treks St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra / Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra
Navona Records

Author:
john shelton ivany

sydney hodkinson has written these orchestral pieces with a jazz-inspired classical genre that is performed by the st. petersburg state symphony orchestra on his album entitled "shifting treks." here is a joyful, meditative break from the madness of life. he must have created these masterpieces in a peaceful, relaxed setting.

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The Barn Birds The Barn Birds
Self-Released

Author:
john shelton ivany

jonathan byrd and chris kokesh are the barn birds and have released their debut self-titled album. the record is about love, missing love, finding love, letting go of love and celebrating. nobody want to admit that all those feelings go on. but there only two of them. and they're so good at touchiiing and capturing those feelings.

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The Chris Parker Trio The Chris Parker Trio
GPR Records

Author:
john shelton ivany

the chris parker trio, with chris parker handling the drums, is the contiguous, sonic and personal extension of all the music he has been a part of.

the release of the self-titled album, includes a pianist and bassist, and when i listen to the music they create i can feel the trees and the different people i've known over the years, the flowers, the sunlight--the way things look when you're falling in love. and how that turns in on itself when you have to leave or move on in life.

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Late Night Drive Quinn Deveaux & The Blue Beat Review
Shift Indie

Author:
john shelton ivany

get on board, quinn deveaux & the blue beat review will take you wherever you've got to go on "late night drive." he'll change you or change your partner. one reflects on the music in such a beautiful or tragic way. she will always be a part of you. you'll see her everywhere.

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New Celebration Phil Woods and the Festival Orchestra
Chiaroscuro

Author:
john shelton ivany

five-time grammy winner phil woods returns to the jazz world with his band, the festival orchestra, to release "new celebration." phil, his trumpet, and his band, breathe music with the simple truth about real life. after a blistering heartache comes the soothing rain.

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Azure Stephan McQuarry Trio
Mandala Records

Author:
john shelton ivany

the stephen mcquarry trio, with piano, bass and drums, brings swing, bebop and contemporary glorious jazz sounds into your living room with the album "azure." they capture melencholy sounds with perfect grace of bittersweet moments. it's sly and unpretentious but has incredible power. they must change any room where this music is played.

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Solo Live From the Meisenfrei Blues Club Kirsten Thien
Screen Door Records

Author:
john shelton ivany

what a show kirsten thien must have played for lucky german fans, singing not only her own great tunes but classics by artists like bob dylan, elvin bishop and bill withers. the album is titled "solo live from the meisenfrei blues club." she gives singers permission to bring a whole new level of strength and intelligence and vocal anarchy. she creates another place for people to explore.

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Yes Agachiko
Accurate Records

Author:
john shelton ivany

agachiko, a septet formed by kenyan-born gabrielle agachiko, has released their debut album entitled "yes." she sings with an international sensibility of artists like nina simone and abbey lincoln. her voice isn't a strained perfect crescendo of notes. it is more like a pure, emotional woman of anger, of love. who knows. as bruce says, she's "all that heaven will allow."

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Branch & Dean Branch & Dean
SSM Nashville

Author:
john shelton ivany

known for their explosive live show, which i have been lucky enough to see, branch & dean have released their debut self-titled album. it is loaded with power and tragedy. if someone could make a drug that are as great as branch & dean, i'd be first in line.

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It Ain't Necessarily So Nashville Jazz Orchestra
Jazz Music City

Author:
john shelton ivany

the nashville jazz orchestra has released a masterful jazz album of gershwin classics, entitled "it ain't necessarily so." the nashville jazz orchestra is a talented aggregation from the top studios in nashville. this is an introduction to somebody facing heartbreak with an upbeat attitude. they may be getting old, but they'll never get older to me. that's what these mythological characters are to me, along with the music they make.

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Vocal Sides Carline Ray
Carlcat Records

Author:
john shelton ivany

now carline ray may have been born in harlem in 1925 and "vocal sides" may be her debut album. but don't be fooled. and don't be a fool. her respect for music history and clear mastery of all the musical traditions she presents, her vocal repertoire, her humor, her depth, her perfect diction, her complete artistry is all here. her voice encompasses such a deep range of emotions, the widest range of colors of any blues singer. the album is as seductive as it is foreboding, painful, defiant, angry--all those emotions are so acute with her. and that's what draws us to the blues. and that's what draws us to great jazz. a must buy album. i kid you not.

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dewaBudjana 436
Moonjune Records

Author:
john shelton ivany

dewa budjana may not be a household name outside of his native country, indonesia, but this guitarist's release "joged kahyangan" will change that. this jazz album sounds like it's effortless in a most positive way. dewa and his comrades sounds like they are moving when they're standing still.

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You Can't Make Old Friends Kenny Rogers
Warner Music / Nashville LLC

Author:
john shelton ivany

"you can't make old friends" is the latest album by the one and only gambler, kenny rogers. the single, with the same title as the album, is a glorious duet that kenny sings with dolly parton.. his pure country twang mixed with a pop sound will never grow old, and will always be infectious and impeccable. as many great country stars he came from a humble background. so he has created moods that are radically different from each other. he can sound like a player who just scored a touchdown. but then he can pull back the wizard of oz curtain and reveal a lonely shell of a man. but if you can get past the single he does with dolly, and listen to cut two, etc. i'd be very surprised.

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When the Night St. Lucia
Neon Gold / Columbia Records

Author:
john shelton ivany

this synth-pop album, "when the night" has finally been released by st. lucia. we are treated to a unique brand of dreamy, nostalgic pop. as a lucky fan who had the pleasure of watching st. lucia live, there was jean-philip grobler with his glorious voice, with a very erotic pull. i was swept away by the power of his voice. i was trembling and was broken out in a sweat by the time he was done. i needed a cigarette, and i don't smoke, by the time the concert was over.

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E. J. Decker A Job of Work
Self-Released

Author:
john shelton ivany

it's been quite a while that east-coast based vocalist edward james decker has waited to release "a job of work." and what a treat. he has the voice that has the smoothness of the late barry white. but, unlike barry, we are are hit with the raspiness of a mountain lion. check it out.

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Gravity Pulls Hounds of Finn
New Folk Records

Author:
john shelton ivany

"gravity pulls", released by the band hounds of finn exposes a broad range of authentic emotions, and delves into the highs and lows of love and other human conditions. singer leslie rich sings swift, little country-rock tunes, but he must have written the songs about profound feelings. spend all day listening, and you still don't know where the humility or anger is going.

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Nothing to Lose EMBLEM3
Simco / Columbia

Author:
john shelton ivany

emblem3 has released their highly anticipated debut album "nothing to lose." i had some serious luck to see them live. and even though they are labelled a teen act, everything parents don't want you to get into as a teenager--that's what you'll hear in their songs. everything you love about the night, about love, about desire, sex and retribution; all of those sides of us the teen rappers touch on.

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Songs from Scandal: Music for Gladiators S
ABC Studios

Author:
john shelton ivany

here is a compilation of classics from artists including sly & the family stone, nina simone, rufus and chaka khan and many other great artists from the television show, SCANDAL. if you want real, powerful soul music pick this album up. a "must buy" album.

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Made to Last Jory + Rory
Farmhouse Recordings

Author:
john shelton ivany

joey & rory (joey martin and rory feek) are a husband and wife team and released their debut album, "made to last" on their self-run label. the one little thing in the corner of an album, a movie, a book, or any work of art can be the most important thing of all. their dramatic, sonorous voices--sounding as if it comes from a church, is unrivaled in its ability to move effortlessly between r&b, pop, country and gospel.

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Descent From Hell The Ordeal
Dust on the Tracks

Author:
john shelton ivany

"descent from hell" is led by oliver oppermann, who wrote and belts the ordeals album. it's all about sex, joy, temptation and paranoia. despite the poetic distractions, oliver delivers sensual and loud vocals.

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