Sep 13 - 19, 2007 

Sonic Reducer

Joey Calderazzo Amanecer (Marsalis Music/Rounder)

Bypassing the omphaloskepsis that plagued his 2004 solo recording, Haiku, the longtime Branford Marsalis Quartet pianist ventures over a wide range of sonorities and historical styles on Amanecer, in solo, duo and trio formats. On Michael Brecker’s “Sea Glass,” he achieves a deft balance between motion and stillness. His own “Toonay” features rhythmic rubs of right hand against left, and a Glenn Gould–like touch. His highly personal rendition of “Waltz for Debby” lays a lovely veil over Bill Evans’ tune. Four tracks add Claudia Acuña (vocal) and Romero Lubambo (guitar), with particular success on the Calderazzo/Acuña composition “So Many Moons.” [MM]

PlayRadioPlay! The Frequency E.P. (Stolen Transmission)

Audio-Surgeon General's Warning: Listeners may experience many common side effects during their electronic music enjoyment. Subjects are prone to such actions as tapping of the feet, booty shaking and, sometimes, gyration of the hips. Listeners are warned that The Frequency E.P. comes with a high risk of feeling like a high schooler with a secret crush in addition the above side effects. PlayRadioPlay! should be taken in moderation as it is highly addictive and contains vast potential to reproduce even more potent works. Enjoy only at high volumes and with a keen ear for sensitive lyrics. [AD]

Chaka Khan Funk This (Strategic Marketing)

Unrestrained melisma and double-barreled singing have long marked Chaka Khan's signature soul-funk. Funk This is no exception, even with all the sweet reminiscences and matured bearing, Khan's hallmark is still her less-than-proper vocal colorings. Though Khan and her backup band are super funky and slick, sad to say, there's not a truly memorable number in the bunch. Significant duets and covers, though great résumé stockers, aren't enough to turn this thing out. But if you want to hear Khan go off all "I'm Every Woman" style, her first new recordings in more than a decade have got your number. [MD]

[MM] Mel Minter, [AD] Amy Dalness, [MD] Marisa Demarco

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