On Laughing Water, the fusion ensemble Jazz Is Dead one-ups the band that it sets out to honor. Laughing Water is a superior remake of the Grateful Dead's rather ordinary rock album Wake of the Flood.
Made up of seasoned players like Jimmy Herring from the Aquarium Rescue Unit, former Santana bassist Alfonso Johnson, and Dixie Dregs alums keyboardist T Lavitz and drummer Rod Morgenstein, Jazz Is Dead doesn't function so much as a Grateful Dead cover band than as an outfit that uses Dead gems as jumping-off points for a sonic journey that leads the listener not into well-traveled grooves, but into an enthralling soundscape without rules, vocals, or fixed time signatures. Superior playing and that special brand of ESP that all good jam bands possess further enrich these adroit and artful reinterpretations of Dead songs. "St Stephen" and "The Eleven" come out sounding like a cross between Indian bazaar music and the Allman Brothers (Herring spent a year filling in for an ailing Dickie Betts in the Allmans). Recorded live at the IMAC Theater in Huntington, New York, this disc captures all the nuances and guitar wizardry that Herring can wring out of his instrument, but one suspects that this band is even more spectacular live.
Love Is Dead is the upcoming third studio album by Scottish synthpop band Chvrches, scheduled to be released on 25 May 2018 through Glassnote Records. The album was co-produced by Greg Kurstin, making this the band's first album not independently produced. The band collaborated with David Stewart from Eurythmics and Matt Berninger from The National during production. The album was announced by Martin Doherty at the start of January, with frontwoman Lauren Mayberry accidentally revealing the album's name in a now-deleted interview that same month.
Brian Jackson JID008 is the first full album released by the great man in 20 years and it's a testament to his multifaceted talents that while there are moments throughout that hint at his game-changing history and track record, for the most part it reveals a musician whose considerable lessons learned from the past only serve to keep his eyes firmly fixed on the future. It's a masterclass in unbridled and open-minded creativity, no different from what Brian did half a century ago. The ease and comfort with which his ideas integrate with those of musicians a generation younger than him bears this out. To listen to this album is to hear a hot up-and-coming musician who also happens to be a major jazz-funk legend.