Sonic Reducer

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Pianist/vocalist Joan Stiles brings new ears to old tunes, and she offers originals that honor the past without solemnizing it. The smile begins with her exuberant opening collage, “The Brilliant Corners of Thelonious’ Jumpin’ Jeep,” and continues to widen. From solos to sextets, Stiles finds new ways to honor Ellington, Hodges, Monk, Rowles, Waller and Williams. She captures the pathos of “’Round Midnight” without over-romanticizing it, plays “Jitterbug Waltz” as if she’d just got some tremendously good news and rejoices in the second line of the remade bop classic “In the Land of Oo-Bla-Dee.” [MM]

Marsupious Stone Baby (Self-released)

Intricate drum work and hot-fingered bass playing make Marsupious one of the most technically proficient bands in town. Bassist Joseph Michel’s polyphonic lines help fill the void between highly embellished drums from Dave Barela and the decent but fairly monotone vox from singer Jeff Holland. Like Tool in Tool’s more self-indulgent moments, the songs tend to meander somewhat, drowning in complexity. Chops are chops, and this local trio holsters chops to spare, but more attention to the big song picture, its movements and moods, would put to use all those ornate details. Go to for more. [MD]

P.O.S. and Turbo Nemesis Meat Tape (Rhymesayers)

Originally available solely on cassette sold on tour, the Meat Tape collection is taking a hack at redistribution through CD and vinyl. Meat Tape started out as a mixtape for friends that eventually got pushed to the public as a sampler of rare unreleased and preview tracks from Doomtree (the Minneapolis hip-hop crew that MC P.O.S. and DJ Turbo Nemesis spring from), Atmosphere, Brother Ali and some Midwest punk bands. The majority of the recordings still sound cassette quality. A few tracks blare with amateurism, but the more refined artists make Meat Tape a quality cut. [JAH]

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