It’s Bruce Springsteen New Vinyl Thursday at The Vinyl Underground at 7th Heaven. Check out this week’s list of new vinyl arrivals:
Alice Coltrane – Ptah The El Daoud (Verve By Request Series)
A Tribe Called Quest – Midnight Marauders
AC/DC – Back in Black (Remastered)
Bobby Hutcherson – Stick-Up!(Blue Note Tone Poet Series)
Jazz vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson entered the sessions for his fifth solo album with a completely new
set of musicians. They only performer on the album who had previously worked on a session with
Hutcherson as leader was tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson. The new rhythm section of pianist McCoy
Tyner, drummer Billy Higgins and bass player Herbie Lewis provide the perfect foil and launching pad for
Hutcherson and Henderson’s solos, creating a reliable bed for the soaring solos while simultaneously
pushing and prodding the featured performer.
This chemistry is evident on opening number “Una Muy Bonita,” the only song on the album Hutcherson
didn’t write. At this point in his career, Hutcherson had played on several avant garde albums, but on
Stick-Up! Hutcherson is content to swing rather than experiment.
And swing this album does. “Black Circle” flies from the first bar, with the quintet locked into a tight
groove before unfurling solos from Henderson, Hutcherson and Tyner, in that order. Speaking of Tyner,
his playing on the contemplative “Verse” strengthens the song’s John Coltrane spirit. The swagger of
closer “Blues Mind Matter” and ballad “Summer Nights” ensure that Hutcherson and his compatriots
don’t stay locked into a single mode for too long.
Hutcherson came out of the gate hard, releasing several classic albums on Blue Note in the second half
of the 1960s. Stick-Up!’s confident swinging and irresistible melodies make it among top albums in
Hutcherson’s expansive catalog. -Joel Francis
Bill Frisell – Four
Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath (Deluxe Edition, 180 Gram Vinyl)
Bruce Springsteen – Only The Strong Survive (Gatefold LP Jacket, Poster, 140 Gram Vinyl, Etched Vinyl)
Brent Windler – New Morning Howl
Not unlike it’s cover art, the music of local KC singer songwriter Brent Windler’s latest studio album, “New Morning Howl,” showers down upon the listener like the flickering sparks of a late summer fireworks display.
If you’ve payed any attention to the local Kansas City music scene for the past ten years you may already be familiar with Windler’s voice as the frontman and main force behind the Americana, indie band: Sons Of Great Dane.
For his first solo album under is own name, Windler seems to have dug a little deeper into his love for late 60’s/ early 70’s psychedelic folk rock made popular by bands like The Beach Boys, Big Star, and Love.
The opening track, “Around The Bend,” is a shimmering mid tempo, jangle pop tune that immediately summons a top down drive on a warm summer day. The song takes a few sonic curves including a minor key shifting bridge that has Windler faithfully declaring: “I don’t know what to say, so I’ll just stay out of the way.”
The album’s vibe is nicely set, making way for the single: “My Josephine (Wildwood Flowers Are Where You Roam)” which begins with an epic descending chord progression that morphs into a weeping slide guitar and strings intro. The song sets sail Windler’s inner Alex Chilton vocals as he pines away through a pounding floor tom and kaleidoscope of ambient strings and growling bass line.
The ambitious title track to “New Morning Howl” is a swirling menagerie of ukulele and string sounds seemingly arranged by Brain Wilson’s living ghost, while “Can You Sleep Tonight Under Lightening Bug Skies” is a watery instrumental that resembles a lost John Fahey song performed in a mystical underwater cave on the edge of consciousness.
Sonic delights abound like explosions in slow motion with Windler’s crystal clear voice and rich harmonies serving as a friendly observant guide through the beautifully arranged conclave or orchestrated vintage guitar tones and reverb drenched drums.
Some of the sounds on New Morning Howl will be familiar but the song craft offers rewards with each repeated listen. I catch something different I sit down with it.
And perhaps that’s the greatest gift any piece of art can give in this competing world of sound bites and short attention span Tick Toc videos.
Like anything worthwhile in life, the gravity and depth of this record might not fully come across upon the first listen. But like a flower in the forest through time it rewards your attention with its radiance.
I recommend giving this one a deep listen on a slow Sunday morning.
If you’re in the KC area you can help celebrate the release of this record at The Brick on Friday, Nov. 18 with The Lazy Projector, Daniel Gum, and Brent Windler playing songs from the album. -Major MattCage the Elephant – Cage the Elephant
Cage the Elephant – Melophobia (180 Gram Vinyl, Digital Download Card)
Cage the Elephant – Tell Me I’m Pretty (180 Gram Vinyl, Gatefold LP Jacket)
Charlie Hunter – Bing Bing Bing (Blue Note Classic Vinyl Series)
Devin Townsend – Lightwork (Yellow Colored Vinyl, 180 Gram Vinyl, Gatefold LP Jacket, Booklet)
Dinosaur Jr. – Beyond – Purple & Green (Purple, Green Colored Vinyl)
Released in 2007, “Beyond,” was Dinosaur Jr’s first album with the original lineup of J Mascis, Lou
Barlow and Murph since 1988. Sonically the album fits snugly between “Bug” and “You’re Living All Over
Me” and feels like the natural resumption of a conversation that should never have ended. Mascis has
been fine regardless of the musicians he’s surrounded himself with; however, “Beyond” hammers home
the fact that Barlow and Murph bring out the best in their leader and each other.
Mascis’ wailing guitars and mourning vocals on “Almost Ready” open the album like a long-lost relative
kicking in the door for a surprise visit. But “Beyond” is far more than a nostalgia trip, even if it is
impossible to not float back to the early ‘90s while listening.
Barlow’s “Back to Your Heart” has a jangle and buoyancy missing from the rest of the album while his
“Lightning Bulb” follows Mascis’ acoustic ballad “I Got Lost,” which may be the most beautiful song the
band has done.
A good band getting back together is always interesting – even more so when it improves their legacy.
With Beyond, Dinosaur Jr not only conquered the studio phobia plaguing most reunited bands, but
opened a strong second chapter in an undefeated catalog. -Joel Francis
Etta James – Hits (180 Gram Vinyl, Gatefold LP Jacket)
First Aid Kit – Palomino (White Colored Vinyl, Indie Exclusive
Florence + the Machine – Lungs (Digital Download Card)
Foo Fighters – Colour and The Shape
Ghost – Prequelle
Gorillaz – Plastic Beach
Guns N Roses – Use Your Illusion I
Guns N Roses – Use Your Illusion II
Hank III – Straight To Hell (Red Colored Vinyl)
Harold Vick – Steppin’ Out (Blue Note Tone Poet Series)
Harold Vick didn’t release many albums in his lifetime, preferring to work as a sideman to both jazz
legends such as Horace Silver, Grant Green and Jack McDuff and onstage with soul legend Aretha
Franklin, King Curtis and the Apollo Theater house band. Because Vick blurred the lines between soul
and jazz and appeared on only eight albums as a leader, he tends to be forgotten.
A new reissue of Steppin’ Out, Vick’s solo debut and the only album he recorded for the Blue Note label
as a leader, should put this underrated saxophonist back on the radar. On this 1963 date, Vick is
supported by an unusual combination of players: Blue Mitchell on trumpet, guitarist Grant Green,
organist John Patton and Ben Dixon on drums.
With no bass, Patton’s organ takes particular prominence, providing a soulful groove to the
performances. The bluesy swagger of opener “Our Miss Brooks” almost has a Booker T and the MGs
feel, while Patton’s solo on “Trimmed in Blue” wouldn’t be out of place on a Delvon Lamarr album. The
ballad “Laura” – album’s only song not written by Vick – is almost as much a showcase of Patton’s ability
to establish and tease a mood as it is Vick’s soloing.
Side two opener “Dotty’s Dream” is the most straight-up jazz number on the album, with everyone but
the drummer given space to solo on the hard bop outing. The blues of “Vicksville” wouldn’t be out of
place in a hard-boiled police thriller.
Because Vick released so few albums under his own name, his catalog will always be dwarfed by his
contemporaries. But every serious jazz library needs to get Steppin’ Out! -Joel Francis
Incubus – S.C.I.E.N.C.E.
J. Cole – The Off-Season
Jane’s Addiction – Nothing’s Shocking (180 Gram Vinyl)
Jill Scott – Who Is Jill Scott: Words And Sounds, Vol. 1 (Limited Edition)
Johnny Adams – South Side Of Soul Street (White Colored Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)
Korn – Korn
Khan Jamal Creative Arts Ensemble – Drum Dance To The Motherland
Lonnie Liston-Smith – Astral Traveling (Gatefold LP Jacket)
Leon Bridges – Coming Home (180 Gram Vinyl, Download Insert)
Lauryn Hill- Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
Madonna – Erotica (Picture Disc Vinyl)
Michael Jackson – Thriller (Picture Disc)
MF DOOM – Operation: Doomsday
Marion Brown – Le Temps Fou
Milton Wright – Friends & Buddies
Ndikho Xaba – Ndikho Xaba & Natives
Nirvana – Unplugged In N.Y.
Palehound – A Place I’ll Always Go (180 Gram Vinyl, Pink, Colored Vinyl, Digital Download Card)
Per Husby Septett – PEACEMAKER
The Plains – I Walked With You A Ways (Pink, Clear Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)
Robert Glasper – Black Radio (10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition, Bonus Tracks, Anniversary Edition)
Steve Lacy – Gemini Rights
Saigon Kick – The Lizard
The Stooges – The Stooges (Colored Vinyl, Brown, Brick & Mortar Exclusive)
T-Bone Walker – Stormy Monday Blues (White Colored Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)
Tom Petty – Greatest Hits
Tyler Childers – Long Violent History (140 Gram Vinyl)
Tyler The Creator – Flower Boy (Gatefold LP Jacket, 150 Gram Vinyl)
Various Artists – A Tribute to Pink Floyd: Return To The Dark Side Of The Moon (Colored Vinyl, Red, Black, Blue, Bonus Track)
White Stripes – The White Stripes Greatest Hits (150 Gram Vinyl)
Whitesnake – Slide It In (2019 Remaster)
Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2022 Remaster) (White Colored Vinyl, Indie Exclusive, Remastered)
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Enjoy the music and we will see you soon. Your loving Vinyl Underground at 7th Heaven staff:
Sherman, Gordon, Cat, Matt, Dylan, Doyle, Heather, Gregg, Dave, Kimmie and Lain.