David Bowie- The Sharrows- Miles Davis and Gil Evans
Let's go for a spin! Spinning records that is. Here's a look at some tasty new titles available on vinyl.
"Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)"
b/w "'Tis a Pity She Was a Whore"/ "Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)" radio edit
10" 45-RPM single
The one new song found on his recent Nothing Has Changed compilation and released here as a single, "Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)" is a bit of a departure, even for Bowie, as the nearly seven-and-a-half minute tune is a vocal number performed over a lush and slightly woozy jazz jam filled with busy drums, talkative bass and lots of flirty horns. As is the case with so much of Bowie's work, there's a noir-ish overtone even when the melody is at its chirpiest. On the flipside is another new song but one not found on Nothing Has Changed; "Tis a Pity She Was a Whore" is performed in a style that'll be more familiar to most fans as it grooves along to a repetitive synth honk and a big drum sound, recalling the sort of music Bowie made back when he was jazzin' for Blue Jean. In a nice touch, the disc is packaged in a die-cut cardboard sleeve that mimics the way Columbia served up their 78-RPM records in the old days. Order it here
Days of Yore
12" 45-RPM EP
This tasty five-cut offering begins with "Yours and Mine," a bluesy number that features guitarist Matt Smith showcasing on an intro that brings to mind ZZ Top's "Jesus Just Left Chicago," and indeed most of the song, also featuring quavering organ, taps the Texas/southern blues rock vibe perfectly. An interesting thing happens at song's end though as an almost Beatles-esque pop psychedelia finishes the tune. "Yours and Mine" is a good hint that the Sharrows don't cotton to being pigeonholed, and that soon plays out in the wistful Americana of "Slips Away" and the alt-rock-meets-the-Kinks bounce of "Echo." The common denominator throughout is the vocal work of Phil Sharrow, who while having a instantly friendly voice and delivery, doesn't sound like a clone of anybody, and that keeps the songs sounding original which is what they are. The EP ends with the piano-driven, sort of Modest Mouse-y "Passionate Man," another song that changes gears at the ending, finishing with Smith playing the song out with a bluesy Clapton-esque solo. Get it here.
Miles Davis and Gil Evans
"Blue Xmas" b/w "Devil May Care"
7" 45-RPM single on blue vinyl
Davis delivers his typical flair and funk on "Blue Xmas" and the Gil Evans Orchestra swings like mad, but the spotlight on the tune belongs to be-bop singer Bob Dorough, the guy who wrote the song. With lyrics referencing Santa's that are too thin, the season's gimme-gimme-gimme attitude and general bad taste, Dorough's almost feminine vocals don't exactly stir up any Christmas cheer. But the mocking of the phony side of the holiday is a hip listen suited for any time of year. "Devil May Care" is a fast instrumental, also written by Dorough, where Davis plays bright tones on the beat, matching the speedy bass and percussion parts note for note. Packaged in a clear vinyl sleeve with a picture sleeve insert.
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