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Family Photo takes Indie Rock to New Musical Heights on Debut Album

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The band in question

Taking sounds from the furthest reaches of indie rock, jazz, electronic music, and everything in between, Family Photo’s debut full-length, All We Ever Do, is a tour de force of artistic ingenuity, with no shortage of tunefulness and catchy grooves. Calling to mind the technicality of Dirty Projectors and Maps & Atlases, the Ohio/Boston/Salem-by-way-of-Sacramento group is poised to take the indie world by storm with their complex, interweaving melodies and stellar harmonies. From the joyous bounce and melancholy strings of “Eureka” to the hushed electronics and eerie whistling of “Faceyear”, this album will satisfy all your musical needs. Sit somewhere comfortable, apply directly to your ears, and let the music take you somewhere magical.

Check them out on bandcamp!

Watch the video for “Eureka” below:

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The Jazz Charts: 3rd Week of April

CHARTS:

1 LISA HILTON Kaleidoscope Self-Released
2 AMBROSE AKINMUSIRE The Imagined Savior Is Far Easier To Paint Blue Note
3 BRAD MEHLDAU AND MARK GUILIANA Mehliana: Taming The Dragon Nonesuch
4 CATHERINE RUSSELL Bring It Back Jazz Village
5 BOSSA ZUZU Under Leaves Under Sky
6 NIR FELDER Golden Age OKeh
7 MONTY ALEXANDER Harlem Kingston Express Volume 2 Motema
8 PETE MILLS Sweet Shadow Cellar Live
9 RUDY ROYSTON 303 Greenleaf
10 SHAWN MAXWELL’S ALLIANCE Shawn Maxwell’s Alliance Chicago Sessions

ADDS:

1 DAVID HAZELTINE For All We Know Smoke Sessions
2 JERRY TACHOIR GROUP Stories Avita
3 NELS CLINE SINGERS Macroscope Mack Avenue
4 MARK BUSELLI Untold Stories oa2
5 VERVE JAZZ ENSEMBLE East End Sojourn

BOSSA ZUZU
We had the pleasure of interviewing Dan Reckard from neo-Brazilian jazz group BOSSA ZUZU last week. After their fantastic show at Kuumbwa Jazz last wednesday, they are continuing their tour down sunny California promoting their new CD, Under Leaves Under Sky. Check out the group’s website below,  give them a listen and catch them live if you can!

http://www.bossazuzu.com/

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Album Review: Natural Child – Dancin’ With Wolves

Natural-Child-In-LAFor the current crop of garage rockers its not 1965 anymore. Many of the bands who have been champions of scenes like the now virtually defunct San Francisco one have moved on from their raunchy roots to embrace a more sonically sophisticated 1969 feeling. Mikal Cronin and Thee Oh Sees have embraced lush string arrangements, The Fresh & Onlys have become a pop band, and Ty Segall’s decision to go acoustic on last year’s “Sleeper” had a tinge of the controversy that Dylan brought by famously deciding to do the opposite. Chances are if you were a lo-fi mainstay in 2009 you’ve upped the fidelity quite a bit by this year. Evidence of this especially rings true with the release of the fourth album by Nashville good ol’ boys Natural Child. On Dancin’ With Wolves the three piece has added two new members, keyboardist Benny Devine, and pedal steel player Luke Schneider, and has produced ten tracks of boozy, groovy, country bliss.

On their earlier releases Natural Child channeled the raw riffs that made their forbears superstars. Their debut album “1971” made no secrets of their influences with song titles like “Let It Bleed” and a stomping blues about an intoxicating lover named “Yoko.” Guitarist Seth Murray, Bass player Wes Traylor, and drummer Zack Martin pounded out southern flavored jams for two more records after that slowly moving out of the garage and into the studio. The two albums released in 2012, For The Love Of The Game and Hard In Heaven, show a band eager to put out music, and whose talent is increasing exponentially. Natural Child’s brand of country rock emphasizes a band with strong roots in the South. The twin lead vocal harmonies of Seth and Wes give the songs a jamboree vibe, and the grooves that the trio root themselves in are simultaneously rocking and rolling.

Dancin’ With Wolves keeps the rock n’ roll freight train choogling along, but is driven mainly by straight up country. Natural Child channels less of the Stones, and more of the likes of Waylon Jennings, JJ Cale, and the Allman Brothers. The album opener “Out In The Country” sits back into a lazy ride on the bayou. Devine’s keys punctuate Murray’s guitar gracefully, and the song feels like a summer evening jam session in a smoke filled houseboat. On the next track the boys remind you that they can kick it up a notch. “Don’t The Time Pass Quickly” showcases their new pedal steel player who hovers over the top of a racing rocker. Other standouts like “Country Hippie Blues” and “Saturday Night Blues” demonstrate the lyrical prowess of the Nashville crew. Natural Child’s stories are timeless, yet current. “Country Hippie” sees the longhairs explaining their pot smoking ways to their more straight-laced Nashville-ites. On “Saturday Night” the group explores the familiar feeling of being stuck at home on the weekend with no cash or prospects.

Most of the tracks on Wolves demonstrate Natural Child’s mastery of stoned down home blues. However, the band shows their range on the jazzy “Bailando Con Lobos.” Complete with Spanish lyrics the boys bounce around on a difficult timing, while the steel guitar whines hauntingly and the organ packs a punch of melody. There are few dull patches in the forty minute album. Unfortunately a brush track is much too heavy in the mix on Tom T. Hall’s “Nashville’s A Groovy Little Town,” the only cover on the record, to distract from an otherwise fun jangly tune. At other times when only one member steps up to the mic the sound loses some of it’s fullness; like on “Rounder.”

On the whole Natural Child’s Dancin’ With Wolves shows a mature and talented group of young musicians, who like their peers have had faith in their fans to be able handle more than just 1-2-3-4. Garage bands, given time, have always evolved into more, and with Natural Child Nashville rock n’ roll is in capable hands.

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Updates from the RPM Department

Greetings, KZSCers!

There’s a lot going on in the RPM department right now. We’ve been flooded with so many great releases in the past few weeks that some may have flown under your radar. Here’s a roundup of best releases has received as of late:

Tensnake – Glow: Ranging from house to disco and taking sonic queues from the likes of Disclosure and Daft Punk (even going so far as to feature Nile Rogers on a track!), Tensnake delivers 16 tracks of hip-shaking goodness for your worthy ears. I am sure it will be throughly rinsed out on KZSC’s electronic shows.

Patten – Estoile Naiant: On the more experimental, ambient side of the electronic palette, Patten has created a lush maze of sound to sink into. Using elements of drone, techno, drum and bass, and found sounds, Patten creates a deep sonic universe in which you can easily immerse yourself in.

Thomas White – Ariose EP: Built for the club, Thomas White’s Ariose EP turns up by combining trapped-out percussion and hard-hitting bass with smooth chords and range of unique samples. This is absolutely one to play loud!

I also thought I’d include one last one from up-and-coming 17-year-old producer Dolphin Tears; some classic Jersey Club:

Considered your itch for new music scratched, KZSCer’s! Until next time!

Ambrose Akinmusire

Ambrose Akinmusire Does it Again

 Ambrose Akinmusire (ah-kin-moo-sir-ee)  and his new album The Imagined Savior is Far Easier to Paint really cooks! His second release on Blue Note records since his debut in 2011, Ambrose truly takes you on a auditory exhibition for over an hour with his emotionally-packed new compositions. Featuring collaborations with artists such as Becca Stevens, Theo Bleckmann and Charles Altura on several tracks, Ambrose Akinmusire continues to paint a dramatic narrative for the listener as his musical career continues to unfold and flourish.

Oakland’s own, Ambrose has received countless awards for his musicianship and compositions since beginning his career as a  jazz trumpeter. Winning the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition in 2007, as well as the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition,  one could say Ambrose Akinmusire is one of the most decorated young musicians in the world today.

His newest album is no disappointment – Check it out as it hits the streets March 11th!

AmbroseAkinmusire_ImaginedSavior_cover Personnel on The Imagined Savior is Far Easier to Paint:

Ambrose Akinmusire: trumpet
Walter Smith: tenor sax
Sam Harris: piano, Mellowtron
Harish Raghavan: bass
Justin Brown: drums

 

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Bloomfield Box Set Revisits 60’s Icon

In the 1960’s there were few guitarists more prolific and higher profile than Michael Bloomfield. Cutting  his teeth with blues masters like Muddy Waters, session playing for Bob Dylan’s famed Highway 61 and backing him up at the legendary “electric” Newport Folk performance of 1965, then serving an essential role in the white rediscovery of the blues with the Paul Butterfield Band before playing at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival with his own band Electric Flag. What could be considered a career of legendary status for most, it was not a bad decade for Mike. In the 70’s he continued to do session work, collaborating frequently with fellow Dylan alum Al Kooper. Plagued by constant insomnia and personal demons, Bloomfield would die of an overdose in 1981. In an effort to elevate his old friend to the legend status he deserves, Al Kooper put together “From His Head to His Heart to His Hands”, a 3 CD box set showcasing some of his finest work. The DVD documentary, ” Sweet Blues” is included as well, profiling Bloomfield at work through all phases of his professional career. For anyone interested in blues, the San Francisco music scene in the late 60’s or the blues revival in America, this is as good a place as any to start. And when you hear his electric guitar, give a nod to Michael Bloomfield.