October Album Recommendations

Every month the teachers at MSOM will be recommending albums that they are either currently listening to or are considered "must" listens from their past. Enjoy!

Dave: Mehliana- Taming the Dragon
Brad Mehldau and Mark Guiliana created one of the most interesting albums of 2014 when they came together to play this duet of electronica/jazz. Mehldau, most often associated with the acoustic piano and often the standard piano trio format, uses only synthesized sounds throughout. What is most remarkable about this is that not only is it a huge break from his normal sound, but that he sounds completely natural using these sounds and in fact is able to find a new voice, different from his concept of the piano, that is equally as captivating. Guiliana is the perfect foil for Mehldau's sound excursions, using a complex combination of breakbeats and jazz stylings to create tension and groove at the same time. Although there is minimal overdubbing this recording never sounds lacking in any way. Given their virtuosity, it's actually impressive how little they play and yet still make this album sound so rich and full. Sonically amazing, technically fascinating, and compositionally sound, this album has everything a jazz album today should have.

Jason: Revocation - Deathless
Revocation are an American metal band that combine all the best elements of 80's thrash metal and modern technical metal. They mix in lots of progressive and sometimes quirky musical noodling, and yet they still manage to come away with tight, catchy songs. By far the biggest draw to me personally is lead singer/guitarist Dave Davidson. He is definitely one of the most inventive shredders out there today as he very liberally uses scales outside of the common language of metal. His riffs and lines sometimes border on the jazzy, and occasionally stretch out even further that that! An album that equally melts your face and your brain

Matt: The Beatles- Abbey Road 
To me, this album is the definitive "album", where you can sit down from measure 1 of "Because" and not get up until the last note of "Her Majesty", and you will experience a musical journey like no other.  Each song has contributions from all four members, and listening to it, you never think to yourself that "yeah, that song just doesn't fit".  Hey, it even has a drum solo!!

Tom: (Tom never sent in his picks this month, but I know his son has been singing Old McDonald a lot so we'll recommend that. Next month, something by the Ventures. Or possibly Miley Cyrus. We'll see.)

Winston: Jimmy Smith- Home Cookin'
The quintessential jazz organ album, this great session from 1959 features Jimmy Smith at the organ, Percy France on tenor sax, Kenny Burrell on guitar and Donald Bailey on drums. Jimmy Smith might not have been the first jazz organist, but albums like this go a long way in explaining why he is the most influential. When played live the organ can be a loud, rockin' instrument, but it takes a true master like Smith to play it quietly and slowly in the studio. The whole album simmers, just barely boiling, never cooling down, for ten tracks. Get out your best scotch, turn down the lights, light a cigar, and sit back while Smith and company bring you home.

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