Led Bib – “Sensible Shoes” (Genre: Jazz)
“Fun” may not be a word you expect to hear in relation to jazz, but it’s the addition of this playfulness that has over years seen Led Bib throw out any preconceptions and play for audiences who don’t consider themselves jazz fans or would not even necessarily know that they like jazz in the least. With a very loud blast of anarchic rock, a surge of euphoric jazz and an irrepressible burst of band laughter, the UK quintet Led Bib release their fourth album. A tremendously popular act at home in the UK, where they regularly play large-scale festivals and concert halls (as well as playing the typical club gigs.) Sensible Shoes is their first recording to be released outside of the UK.
Miriodor – “Avanti!” (Genre: Avant-garde Progressive Rock)
The Montreal-based quartet, Miriodor create instrumental music that is complex, playful, visually evocative, and exquisitely performed. The band describes its sound as “like a soundtrack for a movie, a movie with weird and strange stories,” and indeed, each CD is like a book of short video stories, each differing in subject and mood. Their compositions are each as intricate as an Escher drawing and entertaining as fun-house mirrors. Miriodor’s distinctive compositions and its rigorous musicianship have identified it as the main Canadian exponent of the R.I.O. (Rock In Opposition) sound with an unpresumptuous, light-hearted, and sincerely entertaining twist.
Positive Catastrophe - “Garabatos Vol. 1” (Genre: Jazz / Latin Jazz)
Positive Catastrophe is the brainchild of Taylor Ho Bynum and Abraham Gomez-Delgado . Bynum has been described as “animated as a vintage Loony Tune...one of the most exciting figures in jazz's new power generation” (Steve Dollar, Time Out Chicago). Gomez-Delgado has been called “the new century's mad scientist, creating a musical hybrid so seemingly wrong it can be nothing but right” ( Global Rhythm Magazine ). Together they have come up with Positive Catastrophe: a trans-idiomatic ten-piece little big band that successfully connects the dots between Sun Ra and Eddie Palmieri.
Ed Palermo Big Band – “Eddy Loves Frank” (Genre: Jazz / Big Band Jazz)
As a jazz arranger, composer, bandleader and saxophonist, Ed Palermo works magic with Frank Zappa ’s music. These big-band jazz arrangements are no mere transcriptions; they are “revelations”, as one critic best said. Palermo belongs to a tradition of visionary composers and arrangers who have recognized hidden beauty and genius in an avant garde composer’s radical work, and created genius arrangements that help reveal that beauty to the public eye. Palermo’s arrangements have helped bring Zappa’s rock music wider recognition outside of the rock world, elevating rock music’s status as ‘serious’ composition while proving that serious and satirical can indeed coexist.
Upsilon Acrux (USA) – “Radian Futura” (Genre: Rock / Post-Punk / Progressive Metal)
Upsilon Acrux is among the best of the bands transforming the post-punk landscape, reinvigorating modern music's physically powerful, aggressive and speed-driven sound by infusing it with a compositional intensity and technical prowess long associated with various forms of metal and progressive rock. In Upsilon Acrux’s hands, this sonic fusion results in an explosive new music that is both exhilarating and abstract. Radian Futura is an album of explosive, intense and surprisingly beautiful, intricate, instrumental rock: simultaneously physical and cerebral, challenging and melodic.