It was subtle mastery of a timeless sound. Cave / Threace (Drag City) Initially we were skeptical that there was Kim K any way Cave could one-up the excellent Neverendless, but with Threace, they have produced something still more impressive. The new line-up is even tighter, the songs are even more epic (adding in sax, flute, and congas), and their live show is even more dizzying! Fake Limbs / The Power of Patrician Upbringing (BLVD) On album number two, this mighty Chicago quartet continued to refine its talent for pumping out pummeling guitar rock with goofball attitude — what you might get if Les Savy Fav performed the complete works of my company the Jesus Lizard for one night only, except that, lucky you, this comes on a slab of vinyl that you can listen to over and over again. Patrician Upbringing is a punch to the jaw that puts a big stupid smile on your face. It’s a fun kind of pain. Matt Ulery’s Loom / Wake an Echo (Greenleaf) image source Ever-reliable jazz bassist and band leader Matt Ulery followed 2012’s expansive, cinematic By a Little Light with a more intimate but no less masterful outing in this year’s Wake an Echo. Ulery’s take on contemporary jazz draws on classical traditions, Eastern European folk, and film scores, among other influences, resulting in music that not only pushes the genre in exciting new directions but should manage to appeal to the jazz-averse as well.
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