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French Music - Released March 9, 2004 | Naive

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Contemporary Jazz - Released August 26, 2016 | Abalone Productions

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Contemporary Jazz - Released February 2, 2013 | Laborie Jazz

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Soul - Released January 14, 2014 | Daptone Records

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Slowly rising to power over the course of sporadically released albums and years of touring, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings grew into one of the most rock-solid conglomerates of classic soul revivalism, making it look easy as they turned in increasingly exciting albums. With a fifth album of new studio material, Give the People What They Want, Jones and company are in top form, delivering a collection of classic Northern soul, deep funk groovers, and heartstring-tugging balladry. Tracks like "Now I See" and the burning album opener "Retreat!" slink along with a creeping shuffle reminiscent of the more cracked Supremes hits, while the greasy tremolo guitar and handclap-heavy beat of "Long Time, Wrong Time" call on a more swampy Southern soul influence. Jones' voice is the true star of the show, as usual, soaring and coasting with complete command and never sacrificing any character or nuance for the sake of sounding more like any of her '60s reference points. While Give the People What They Want is somewhat brief by 2014 standards, clocking in at just over half an hour, if it had been released in 1966, it would be regarded as a picture of soul perfection. Jones and her band manage to touch on everything from early-'60s horn-heavy dance-craze soul sounds to the slightly psychedelic flutter of the sublime lazy Sunday ballad "Making Up and Breaking Up (And Making Up and Breaking Up Over Again)." These ten songs sound almost designed to be played on repeat, and keep with the always colorful and ecstatically fun sound audiences have come to expect from one of the best acts going in retrofitted classic soul. ~ Fred Thomas
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Africa - Released November 12, 2013 | Ma Case Records

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Jazz - Released November 4, 2013 | Parlophone France

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Africa - Released October 31, 2013 | No Format!

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Africa - Released November 4, 2013 | Buda musique

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Pop - Released October 24, 2013 | Bootlegger-music

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Contemporary Jazz - Released October 21, 2013 | JMS

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Jazz - Released October 14, 2013 | naïve Jazz

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Indie Pop - Released October 14, 2013 | Talitres Records

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R&B - Released September 30, 2013 | Penniman

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Pop - Released September 23, 2013 | Beating Drum

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If it weren't for the high fidelity, Between Dogs and Wolves, the fifth long-player from British-born singer/songwriter Piers Faccini, could easily be mistaken for a late-'60s/early-'70s Harvest Records release, appearing in a display case next to Shirley & Dolly Collins' Anthems in Eden or Roy Harper's Stormcock. Richly detailed yet tastefully delivered ballads like "Black Rose," "Like Water Like Stone," and "Broken Mirror" resonate in a similar way to classic folk offerings from Nick Drake, Martin Carthy, and John Renbourn. Like his closest contemporary, survival skills-instructor-turned modern British folk emancipator Sam Lee, Faccini uses the genre as a foundation to explore other styles, most notably on songs like the jazz-tinged "Pieces of Ourselves" and the breezy "Il Cammino," the latter of which pays homage to his Italian heritage. Elsewhere, he mines familiar themes like love and loss through an enigmatic musical prism that runs the gamut from deeply melancholic ("Feather Light" and "Girl in the Corner") to hesitantly hopeful ("Wide Shut Eyes" and "Missing Words"), all the while maintaining a stately singer/songwriter vibe that feels both authentic and refined. Between Dogs and Wolves is a quiet record filled with big emotions, but it requires the listener's complete attention, and even then it can be elusive. That said, it all goes down like the smoothest of drams, and between Faccini's smoky, Leonard Cohen-meets-Steve Kilbey (the Church) cadence, his finger-picking acumen, and deeply felt, yet measured and simplistic lyrics, it's hard to resist the urge to go back for seconds. ~ James Christopher Monger
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 8, 2013 | Hjaltalín

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Folk - Released September 2, 2013 | Motion Audio

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Verve

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Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews' third Verve album, Say That to Say This, might be the one he should have cut first. Backatown and For True -- both produced by Galactic's Ben Ellman -- were as steeped in rock and hip-hop as they were jazz and funk; they were actually very experimental records yet both charted and were well-received internationally. This date, co-produced with Raphael Saadiq, is a much more R&B-oriented recording -- and proves a definite plus in a number of ways. Shorty's become much more disciplined, as revealed by this collection of groove-conscious soul and modern NOLA funk (and though it's more polished -- having been recorded almost wholly in Hollywood -- it is closer to what he does live). Things kick off with the title track, one of four instrumentals, led by Michael Ballard's whomping bassline. Though Shorty's horns were cut in NOLA, it feels like the band is playing live, with a Meters-esque groove. The call and response between his horns and Peter Murano's guitar is nasty. The Meters' trademark funk is at the heart of "Get the Picture," with Saadiq on backing vocals. The track is built on Murano's snaky guitar, Ballard's bubbling bassline, and Saadiq's vicious clavinet, with the vocal punch declaring its intention above Joey Peebles' knotty breaks. Speaking of the Meters, the original band appears here on record for the first time since 1978 with their ballad "Be My Lady." It's almost a carbon of the original that appeared on their New Directions album, with only modern production and the trombone solo adding new dimensions -- George Porter's bumping bassline and the gorgeous interplay of Shorty's and Cyril Neville's voices make it a highlight. The brief "Vieux Carre" weds a jazz chart to a Caribbean, Latin-tinged groove with Andrews playing not only horns but also drums with Saadiq on bass. The streetwise "Fire and Brimstone," introduced by Ballard and Murano, is a triumphant, militant anthem to survival and success amid the struggle of life in the Treme. Andrews' vocals and horns underscore the groove (his trombone solo highlights the transcendence in his lyrics), and Saadiq's wonky clavinet flavors it all. It's followed by the breezy jazz of "Sunrise," with Shorty's trumpet solo atop his trombone, his congas complementing Peebles' drums as Saadiq's bass and Murano's guitar sweeten the tune's vamp. "Dream On" is the brighter side of the rise-above-it-all sentiment expressed on "Fire and Brimstone" (though its lyrics are just as gritty) with beautifully arranged vocal harmonies. Say That to Say This closes with the punchy, harder-edged "Shortyville," an instrumental duet. Andrews plays all instruments save for a roiling, pocket-stretching bass played by Saadiq. Shorty's improvising is right out of the NOLA jazz heritage even though it occurs inside a modern funk number. Ultimately, with all of its confidence, production polish, and sophistication, this is the album that should break Trombone Shorty to a much wider, more diverse audience. ~ Thom Jurek
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Verve

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Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews' third Verve album, Say That to Say This, might be the one he should have cut first. Backatown and For True -- both produced by Galactic's Ben Ellman -- were as steeped in rock and hip-hop as they were jazz and funk; they were actually very experimental records yet both charted and were well-received internationally. This date, co-produced with Raphael Saadiq, is a much more R&B-oriented recording -- and proves a definite plus in a number of ways. Shorty's become much more disciplined, as revealed by this collection of groove-conscious soul and modern NOLA funk (and though it's more polished -- having been recorded almost wholly in Hollywood -- it is closer to what he does live). Things kick off with the title track, one of four instrumentals, led by Michael Ballard's whomping bassline. Though Shorty's horns were cut in NOLA, it feels like the band is playing live, with a Meters-esque groove. The call and response between his horns and Peter Murano's guitar is nasty. The Meters' trademark funk is at the heart of "Get the Picture," with Saadiq on backing vocals. The track is built on Murano's snaky guitar, Ballard's bubbling bassline, and Saadiq's vicious clavinet, with the vocal punch declaring its intention above Joey Peebles' knotty breaks. Speaking of the Meters, the original band appears here on record for the first time since 1978 with their ballad "Be My Lady." It's almost a carbon of the original that appeared on their New Directions album, with only modern production and the trombone solo adding new dimensions -- George Porter's bumping bassline and the gorgeous interplay of Shorty's and Cyril Neville's voices make it a highlight. The brief "Vieux Carre" weds a jazz chart to a Caribbean, Latin-tinged groove with Andrews playing not only horns but also drums with Saadiq on bass. The streetwise "Fire and Brimstone," introduced by Ballard and Murano, is a triumphant, militant anthem to survival and success amid the struggle of life in the Treme. Andrews' vocals and horns underscore the groove (his trombone solo highlights the transcendence in his lyrics), and Saadiq's wonky clavinet flavors it all. It's followed by the breezy jazz of "Sunrise," with Shorty's trumpet solo atop his trombone, his congas complementing Peebles' drums as Saadiq's bass and Murano's guitar sweeten the tune's vamp. "Dream On" is the brighter side of the rise-above-it-all sentiment expressed on "Fire and Brimstone" (though its lyrics are just as gritty) with beautifully arranged vocal harmonies. Say That to Say This closes with the punchy, harder-edged "Shortyville," an instrumental duet. Andrews plays all instruments save for a roiling, pocket-stretching bass played by Saadiq. Shorty's improvising is right out of the NOLA jazz heritage even though it occurs inside a modern funk number. Ultimately, with all of its confidence, production polish, and sophistication, this is the album that should break Trombone Shorty to a much wider, more diverse audience. ~ Thom Jurek
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Jazz - Released August 27, 2013 | Jazz Village

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4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] thrilling cross-cultural collision of jazz, percussion-oriented African music and edgy, fusionesque, funk."
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Jazz - Released May 24, 2013 | ECM

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