Our New Music For January!

Posted by: yetheart, January 6, 2016 6:11 pm
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Liz Longley

Looking for new music? Look no further than your local Queens Library! Every month, our expert staff will bring you the best of what's new in our physical and digital collections.

Check out our music recommendations for January 2016!

Liz Longley, Liz Longley
Liz Longley is a singer/songwriter from Nashville by way of New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. That’s one way of saying that she isn’t really country, but she isn’t exactly rock-n-roll either. Whatever label you use, the songs are personal and heartfelt and her performance is intimate and real. She has been compared to Shawn Colvin and Nanci Griffith, but the similarities can be deceiving. Listen to her track "Outta My Head."

Malik B and Mr. Green, Unpredictable
Malik B was an original member of The Roots. He didn’t stay long with that Philly crew but went on to do some solo work and production. Mr. Green is a web-based hip hop talent scout and DJ. Put them together and the result is Unpredictable. The album is a mixed bag of old rhymes, new sounds, and a bit of chaos. It was released awhile back, but it is new to Queens Library, so if you missed it then you can check it out now on Freegal.

A Thousand Horses, Southernality
A Thousand Horses is a country-rock band that could be described as Lynyrd Skynyrd meets the Black Crowes. They’ve been touring and working on their sound for a few years and Southernality, their 2nd album, proves that hard work pays. The songs are gritty but catchy and the band doesn’t need to wear cowboy hats to prove their roots. Please note that there is a Zach Brown in the band, but he isn’t the more famous Zac Brown. Watch a video for the song "Smoke."

Eric Alexander, The Real Thing
Jazz saxophonist Eric Alexander keeps the hard bop alive with his new album. Heavily influenced by John Coltrane and Sonny Stitt (among others), Eric performs jazz around the world with his quartet and the sextet One For All. He is based in New York, and if you want to see him play live he is a regular at the Smoke Jazz & Supper Club on the Upper West Side. Until then, you can listen to him on CD or check out this performance and interview on the Pace Report.

Johnny Winter, Gangster of LoveJohnny Winter, Gangster of Love
We lost Johnny Winter in 2014, but his hard-rocking blues guitar recordings will live on. In this compilation of his earliest recordings, from 1959 to 1966, we hear the journeyman guitarist finding his style as he explores folk, blues, country, and dance tunes. It is a fascinating time capsule, not only of his musical background but of what was bubbling under the national rock landscape at the time. Listen to a track from 1964, "You’ll Be the Death of Me."

Jordin Sparks, Right Here, Right Now
In 2007, Jordin Sparks became the youngest contestant to win American Idol. Since then, she has become one of the most successful singers to graduate from that show. She went on to act on TV, Broadway, and the silver screen. After a five-year break from the music industry, she is back for more with her third album, Right Here, Right Now. While it didn’t exactly burn up the charts, it was favorably received by critics and her fans. Listen to the whole album on Freegal.

Tyrese, Black Rose
If you prefer Tyrese the R&B singer to Tyrese the actor and writer, you’ll be sorry to hear that Black Rose is his final album before going full-time to his other pursuits. If so, he is going out on top as it is his first Billboard number one release. Artistically, it is also his best, showcasing his vocal talents in a way that shows tremendous growth and maturity from 17 years of recording. He is able to take old-school soul and update it to modern R&B in a way that satisfies fans of both. Watch the video for the single "Shame."

Various Artists, Gospel Worship
There are plenty of gospel compilations available at Queens Library, but this is one of the few that isn’t part of the WOW series or doesn't have the name Winans attached to it. Instead, this is a collection of fresh soulful talent testifying with uplifting tunes. If you’ve never heard of Tasha Cobbs, VaShawn Mitchell, Heather Headley, or any of the other artists, this is a good way to get acquainted. For example, listen to Smokie Norful performing "Um Good."

Kurt Elling, Passion World
Kurt Elling is a jazz vocalist and lyricist from Chicago who has been performing vocalese and touring the world for the past 20 years. He has been nominated for a Grammy 11 times and is always on top of the DownBeat critics’ polls. His latest album is his most ambitious to date. Featuring a bevy of international guest stars and singing in many languages, Kurt uses the songs on the record to convey the concept of romance as it is expressed around the world. He explains it better in this promotional video.

David Sanborn, Time and the River
David Sanborn is probably the world’s best-known currently performing and recording alto saxophonist. His work covers many styles from improv and pop to R&B and rock, but he is best known for his smooth jazz. In his 35-year career, he has released 24 albums and won numerous awards. His latest release continues his tradition of collaborating with other artists from many genres. It is sure to win him a few more prizes. You can stream the entire album from Freegal.