Queensryche Announces New Album Details; Debuts Video For Album’s Lead Single; Announces Live Dates With Judas Priest

Courtesy: Century Media

Things are picking up for Queensryche.

The band recently announced it will release its latest album, Digital Noise Alliance Oct. 7 through Century Media. In anticipation of the album’s release, the band premiered the video for the album’s lead single, ‘In Extremis’ Thursday.

The video is a familiar style presentation. It features the band performing its new single on a soundstage. The presentation is meant to give audiences a taste of what they can expect from the band live on stage. The song plays over the visualization.

The song’s musical arrangement is everything that audiences have come to expect from Queensryche throughout the band’s life. The trademark soaring vocals and semi-power metal riffs that take audiences back to the band’s early days are just as present as ever here.

The band talked about the song’s lyrical theme in a prepared statement.

“This song is about being on your deathbed surrounded by your loved ones,” the statement reads. “Clinging to the last sense available, letting them know you will still be hearing them after correspondence or perceived consciousness is visible. Other conceptual metaphors flash in and out, taking note of a world that will not bend to accommodate such suffering, a universe of mockery, and a universe void of such abilities.”

Queensryche is set to join Judas Priest on the road this fall in support of Digital Noise Alliance. Judas Priest’s upcoming tour is a new North American leg of its 50 Heavy Metal Years. The tour’s schedule is noted below.

QUEENSRYCHE Tour Dates:

Opening for Judas Priest

Oct. 13 Wallingford, CT – Toyota Oakdale

Oct. 15 Albany, NY – MVP Arena

Oct. 16 Boston, MA – MGM Music Hall Fenway

Oct. 18 Uniondale, NY at Nassau Veterans

Oct. 19 Wilkes-Barre, PA – Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

Oct. 21 Kalamazoo, MI at Wings Event Center

Oct. 22 Detroit, MI at Masonic Temple Theatre

Oct. 24 Cincinnati, OH – The Andrew J Brady Music Center

Oct. 25 Waukegan, IL – Genesee Theatre

Oct. 27 Green Bay, WI – Resch Center Theater

Oct. 29 Moline, IL – TaxSlayer Center Moline

Oct. 30 Mankato, MN – Mayo Clinic Event Center

Nov. 01 Sioux City, IA – Tyson Events Center

Nov. 02 Rapid City, SD – The Monument

Nov. 07 Ontario, CA – Toyota Center

Nov. 08 Tucson, AZ – TCC Arena

Nov. 10 Loveland, CO – Budweiser Events Center

Nov. 12 Park City (Wichita),KS -Hartman Arena

Nov. 13 St. Charles, MO – The Family Arena

Nov. 15 Corbin, KY – The Corbin Arena

Nov. 17 Southaven, MS – Landers Center

Nov. 18 Baton Rouge, LA – Raising Canes River Center

Nov. 20 Oklahoma City, OK – Paycom Center

Nov. 22 San Antonio, TX – Tech Port Center & Arena

Nov. 23 San Antonio, TX – Tech Port Center & Arena

Nov. 25 Dallas, TX – The Factory – Deep Ellum

Nov. 26 Corpus Christi, TX – Concrete Street

Nov. 28 Edinburg, TX – Burt Ogden Arena

Nov. 29 Houston, TX – 713 Music Hall

More information on Queensryche’s new album, single, video, and tour is available online along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.queensrycheofficial.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/QueensrycheOfficial

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/queensryche

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Chief State Premieres New LP’s Fourth Single

Courtesy: Mutant League Records

Punk rock band Chief State premiered its latest single and video this week.

The band debuted its new single, ‘22 Reasons‘ and its video Wednesday. The song is the fourth single from the band’s forthcoming album, Waiting For Your Colours, which is scheduled for release July 1 through Mutant League Records. Pre-orders and pre-saves are open.

The album has also produced the singles, ‘Out For Me,‘ ‘Burning Out‘ and ‘Team Wiped‘ along with their respective videos.

The musical arrangement featured in Chief State’s new single blends elements of pop punk and pop rock for a song that will appeal to a wide yet targeted audience group. It is easily comparable in its sound and style to works from the likes of so many pop punk bands out there.

Front man Fraser Simpson talked about the song’s lyrical theme in a prepared statement.

“The lyrics are an honest introspection into a breakup I went through, how my perspective had changed from being with someone so closely to then being on the outside looking in,” Simpson said. “That was the hardest at first, knowing someone for so long to then only being able to see their light from a distance. Looking back I can see it was an essential part of my own growth, the hardship of that time led me to question what I was doing with my life. I had been just waiting for my colours to come through.”

In other news, Chief State is in the midst of a tour in support of its new, coming record. The tour’s remaining dates are noted below.

Tour Dates:

Sat, Jun 25, 2022 Covington, KY – Madison Live

Sun, Jun 26, 2022 Indianapolis, IN – Hoosier Dome

Tue, Jun 28, 2022 Louisville, KY – Mag Bar

Thu, Jun 30, 2022 St. Louis, MO – Duck Room

Fri, Jul 1, 2022 Des Moines, IA – Lefty’s

Sat, Jul 2, 2022 Chicago, IL – Subterranean

W/ Brooklane

Sun, Jul 3, 2022 Madison, WI – TBA

Tue, Jul 5, 2022 Fargo, ND – The Hall at Fargo Brewing Company

Wed, Jul 6, 2022 Minneapolis, MN – Midway Saloon

Thu, Jul 7, 2022 Lincoln, NE – 1867 Bar

Fri, Jul 8, 2022 Denver, CO – Moe’s Original

Sat, Jul 9, 2022 Salt Lake City, UT – The Loading Dock

More information on Chief State’s new single, video, album, and tour is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.chiefstate.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/chiefstate

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/chief_state

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Twenty2 Debuts New Single, ‘Underneath’

Courtesy: Thousand Islands Records

Punk rock outfit Twenty2 debuted its new single and video this week.

The band premiered its new single, ‘Underneath‘ Tuesday. The song is the second single from the band’s forthcoming album, Dismissed, which is scheduled for release July 22 through Thousand Islands Records. The band premiered the album’s lead single, ‘Grudge‘ and its companion lyric video late last month.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Underneath’ is a tense, upbeat composition whose energy and urgency will keep listeners engaged and entertained.

No information was provided about the song’s lyrical theme. No lyrics were provided with the song, either. In listening to the song, audiences are left to infer that the lyrical content deals with the familiar topic of mental health. That is just this critic’s interpretation of the lyrics.

The track listing for Dismissed is noted below.

Tracklist:

1. PRE-CONDITIONED

2. CONDITIONED

3. UNDERNEATH

4. SETUP FROM THE START

5. GRUDGE

6. ERASE YOUR FEAR

7. FUCK YOUR RULES

8. BEFORE YOU SAVE US

9. I’M (NOT) DONE

10. ADULTEEN

11. I KNOW IT’S YOU

12. WHAT SHE DID

13. OUT OF MY HEAD

More information on Twenty2’s new single and album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at https://www.facebook.com/Twenty2PunkRock.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Immerser Debuts Tribute To 90s Rock With New Single, Video

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

Independent rock act Immerser debuted its new single and video this month.

The act, the brainchild of John Logan Parsons III, debuted its new single, ‘Blame’ and its video June 6. The single is available to stream and download through Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon.

The musical arrangement features a sound that will take listeners right back to the grunge and garage rock sounds of the 1990s, which is what Parsons’ intent was, according to a statement that he released about the song.

“‘Blame’ is the product of channeling all the angst and grunge of the 90s,” he said. “It’s a reminder of a time when we could say what we wanted, do what we wanted, think what we wanted. An era when authentic art and music were at the forefront. Be whatever you are as long as it’s real. With this song I’m calling for a resurgence of authenticity!”

The video for the song features the song’s lyrics over various random images as the song plays over the visualization.

More information on Immerser’s new single and video is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://immerser-official.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Immerserband

Twitter: https://twitter.com/IMMERSER2

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Old Crow Medicine Show Raises Awareness About Climate Change With New Single, Video

Courtesy: ATO Records

Old Crow Medicine Show premiered the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the video for its new single, ‘Used To Be A Mountain’ Tuesday. Th song is featured in the band’s latest album, Paint This Town. It is the record’s fourth single behind ‘Honey Chile,’ ‘Bombs Away‘ and the album’s lead single/title track.

The video for the new single features vintage footage of work taking place on a mountain collecting coal from the structure. Workers are seen walking from the mine along with footage of mine cars traveling tracks inside the mine.

Ketch Secor talked about the environmentally-minded theme in the song’s lyrics.

“‘Used To Be a Mountain’ is a song that wrestles with the issues facing Appalachia today,” Secor said. “I think that the Intrepid spirit of the mountaineers of the coal fields of the Southern Highlands and Appalachia are some of the hardest and most important for bearers of the American dream. I think that when you take away the natural beauty and destroy the ecology of places, you don’t have a whole lot left to rebuild with.”

Secor added, “I know there’s a lot of folks that are hurting right now in the communities of the coal fields. This song is there to both reflect that hurt and to ask the question, can we do something better for these folks? Can we do something better for these mountains, these hills, the flora and fauna, for anybody who wants to breathe clean air and drink clean water in Appalachia?”

The musical arrangement featured in the band’s new single has all of its trademark bluegrass leanings. The mood in the arrangement however is not the light, upbeat approach taken in the album’s other singles. It is more firm and serious in its sound. The mood that such sound and stylistic approach sets helps to further illustrate the message in the song’s lyrical content.

OCMS’ environmental activism reaches beyond its new single. The band has also partnered with Cumberland River Compact, a nonprofit aimed at providing clean water and enhancing water resources to its community. The partnership is aimed at helping both sides raise awareness about the impact of climate change.

In other news, Old Crow Medicine Show is in the midst of a tour in support of its new album. The tour’s remaining dates are noted below.

Old Crow Medicine Show Tour Dates:

July 8 – Marshfield, MA @ Levitate Music and Arts Festival 

July 15 – Grass Valley, CA @ California WorldFest 2022 

July 30 – Floyd, VA @ Floydfest 

More information on Old Crow Medicine Show’s new single, video, album and remaining tour dates is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.crowmedicine.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/OldCrowMedicineShow

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/crowmedicine

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Machine Head Unveils New Single, ‘Unhallowed,’ Companion Video

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Machine Head offered audiences another preview of its new album this week with a new single and its companion video.

The band premiered its new single, ‘Unhallowed‘ and the song’s companion video Tuesday. The song is technically the sixth single from the band’s forthcoming album, Of Kingdom and Crown, which is scheduled for release Aug. 26 through Nuclear Blast Records. The premiere of the song and its video follows that of the album’s other singles, ‘Choke On The Ashes Of Your Hate,‘  ‘Arrows In Words From The Sky,’ Rotten,’  ‘Become The Firestorm,’ and ‘My Hands Are Empty’.

Pre-orders and pre-saves for Of Kingdom and Crown are open.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Unhallowed’ is a fully engaging and entertaining composition. Its mostly brooding nature and thrash style breakdown immediately conjures thoughts of the band’s hit single, ‘Imperium.’ At the same time, there is a certain sense of the band’s works from its landmark debut album, Burn My Eyes throughout the arrangement, too. The whole makes the song so enjoyable.

The song’s lyrical theme continues the story set in ‘Choke On The Ashes Of Your Hate’ according to front man Robb Flynn.

“Drowning in the deepest depression of his life, Eros is at a breaking point,” Flynn said. “Collecting heartaches, loss, and near psychotic isolation, ‘Unhallowed’ is the beginning of a powerful shift of our story. An introspective narrative starts the song lyrically, which is a collaborative effort written by myself, Guitarist Wacław “Vogg” Kiełtyka, and Bassist/Backing Vocalist Jared MacEachern and encapsulates the collective strength of this writing team.  

“Anchored by an absolutely monstrous groove, the vocals melodically mirror the state of mind of Eros as he reels from the loss of his mother to a drug overdose and begins a slow downward spiral into madness. However, the culmination of the track infuses some much-needed light, but will it be enough?”

As a refresher for those maybe new to the concept behind the band’s new album, Flynn talked early this spring about the topic.

“Thanks to my 2 teenage boys my family has become obsessed with this awesome Japanese anime series called “Attack On Titan,” he said. “The album’s concept was loosely inspired by the series in the sense that in the storyline, there is no “good” or “bad” guy, both characters believe they’re doing the right thing as it applies to their being, but make no mistake, both are committing acts of pure atrocity and evil. The opening track “SLAUGHTER THE MARTYR” is basically our character #1’s origin story.”

Flynn’s statement also outlined the lyrical theme in the album’s then new single. He said of the two men:

Character #1 Ares: (pronounced Aries), our main, who loses the love of his life (Amethyst) and goes on a murderous rampage against the vile sect responsible for her murder.

Character #2 Eros: (pronounced Arrows) the perpetrator, who loses his mother to a drug overdose and becomes radicalized in the aftermath. Eros goes off the deep end manifesting his own killing spree. 

The video for ‘Unhallowed’ features Flynn performing the new single alongside bassist Jared MacEachern. The space is also where Flynn and MacEachern have held so many live performances over the past couple of years online.

Of Kingdom and Crown will release on 16 separate vinyl pressings, deluxe vinyl box set, CD, cassette, and digital formats. The album’s track listing is noted below.

ØF KINGDØM AND CRØWN

MACHINE HEAD

Track Listing:

1. SLAUGHTER THE MARTYR

2. CHØKE ØN THE ASHES ØF YØUR HATE

3. BECØME THE FIRESTØRM

4. ØVERDØSE

5. MY HANDS ARE EMPTY

6. UNHALLØWED

7. ASSIMILATE

8. KILL THY ENEMIES

9. NØ GØDS, NØ MASTERS

10. BLØØDSHØT

11. RØTTEN

12. TERMINUS

13. ARRØWS IN WØRDS FRØM THE SKY

The now six singles released for Machine Head’s new album are just some of the songs that the band has released. The band also released the standalone singles, ‘Bulletproof,’ Stop The Bleeding (ft. Jesse Leach), ‘Circling The Drain‘ and its acoustic take in 2020.

More information on Machine Head’s new music is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.machinehead1.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/MachineHead

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/MfnH

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Another Day Dawns Signs With Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media

Another Day Dawns has signed a new record deal with Century Media Records.

The label made the announcement Tuesday. The signing puts the band alongside the likes of Gemini Syndrome, At The Gates, and Dark Tranquility on the label’s roster.

Philipp Schulte, Century Media Records Director, talked about praised the band as he talked about the group’s addition to the label.

“We’re pleased to announce our cooperation with Another Day Dawns,” he said. “Their combination of young energy, songwriting chops and passionate delivery – in addition with the work they’ve put in on the road and the success they’ve already had at radio, points towards an exciting and bright future together.”

Sean Dakota, Another Day Dawns front man shared Schulte’s enthusiasm.

“We’ve been working towards this goal ever since we were kids practicing covers in the basement,” Dakota said. “The fact that Century Media believes in us enough to sign us and stand behind us, is such an amazing feeling. To have their full support as well as all of our fan’s support, who have been with us since day one, is inspiring and is part of what keeps us going.”

Another Day Dawns most recently released its single, ‘Look At You‘ in August 2021. The song was at the time, the band’s first new music since the release of its single, ‘Never Okay.’ The song was featured on the band’s then latest record, its EP, Stranger. The EP also produced the singles, ‘Forget Me Not,’ ‘Beautiful Suicide,’ and ‘Taste of Heaven.’

Another Day Dawns is working on its debut record for Century Media Records. More information on the record is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://anotherdaydawns.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/AnotherDayDawns

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/an0therdaydawns

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

BlackLip Debuts ‘What Have I Become’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: INgrooves

Independent music act BlackLip debuted the lyric video for its latest single this week.

The brainchild of Alex Shimp, the act debuted the lyric video for its new single, ‘What Have I Become‘ Tuesday through INgrooves. The song is the lead single from BlackLip’s new EP, Hear My Pain. The record’s release date is under consideration.

The musical arrangement featured in BlackLip’s new single is a brooding composition. The song starts out with an almost hip-hop style approach and sound. As it progresses however, the song takes a decidedly melodic hard rock approach a la Linkin Park and The Veer Union.

The lyrical theme featured in the new single take on the familiar topic of abusive individuals, Shimp said.

“This song is about people who intentionally abuse you repeatedly whether mentally or physically, resulting in a personality change that is completely against your will,” he said. “The emotion behind the song comes from a dark place.”

The lyric video for the new single is a simple presentation. It places the song’s lyrics over a blue background as the song plays over the visualization.

More information on BlackLip’s new single, lyric video, and EP is available along with all of its latest news at:

Website: https://blacklipmusic.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlackLipMusic

Twitter: https://twitter.com/blacklipmusic

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Awake At Last Takes On Social Media, Technology In New Single, Lyric Video

Courtesy: Wake Up! Music Rocks

Rock band Awake At Last premiered its latest single and video this month.

The band premiered its new single, ‘Living Fiction‘ and its companion lyric video June 17. The premieres come more than a month after the band debuted its then latest single,  ‘Bloodline‘ and its companion video.

The musical arrangement featured in the band’s new single presents a distinct aggro rock vibe at certain points in the song. At others though, there is something about the combination of the instrumentation and vocals that makes the sound and style comparable to works from the likes of 12 Stones.

The lyrical theme featured in the band’s new single is a commentary about the role of technology in our lives, according to a statement from front man Vincent Torres. That would account for the also occasional semi-industrial vibe of the song’s arrangement.

“Technology plays a significant role in all of our lives,” Torres said. “‘Living Fiction’ asks the question of whether or not it plays too much of a starring role in our lives. It’s about the data we share, and how as a whole we’ve become more and more addicted to it. When we were writing I noticed how much I had come to rely on technology and social media to have a window to everything when the world had kinda shut down. Technology boomed and I just started noticing patterns and how much they’d become a rhythmic part of my life,” says the band’s vocalist, Vincent Torres.

He added, “I think we captured that energy in the song and it was an absolute pleasure to work with Tim Skold, who went in and added to that rhythm his signature more industrial elements that have made him Iconic. With that blend of energies I think it came out feeling like we are sort of absorbed in the technology rhythm. It’s been amazing getting back to things and seeing how our amazing fan base continues to support and rock with us. I’m Optimistic about the future and it is so good to get back into shows and releases.”

In other news, Awake At Last is in the midst of a tour with Icon For Hire and Sumo Cyco. The remaining dates for the tour, which launched June 16, are noted below.

AWAKE AT LAST Tour Dates:
6/24 Pontiac, MI – Pike Room
6/25 Columbus, OH – Rumba
6/26 Grand Rapids, MI – The Stache
6/28 Joliet, IL – The Forge
6/30 St. Paul, MN – Turf Club
7/1 Bloomington, IL – Castle Theater
7/2 Iowa City, IA – Wildwoods
7/3 Des Moines, IA – Leftys Live Music
7/5 Kansas City, MO – BLVD
7/7 Denver, CO – HQ
7/8 Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex
7/11 Seattle, WA – El Corazon
7/13 Roseville, CA (Sacramento) – Goldfield Trading Post
7/15 Phoenix, AZ – Rebel Lounge
7/17 Albuquerque, NM – Launch Pad
7/19 San Antonio, TX – Paper Tiger
7/21 Houston, TX – Scout Bar
7/22 Dallas, TX – Amplified Live

9/10 Alton, VA – Blue Ridge Rock Festival 2022

More information on Awake at Last’s new single and video is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://www.awakeatlastrock.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/AwakeAtLast

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/awakeatlastrock

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Pasquale Grasso’s New Covers Compilation Will Find Enjoyment Among Most Jazz Fans

Courtesy: Sony Music Entertainment

Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Thelonious Monk are three of the most well-known and respected figures in the history of jazz.  That goes without saying.  Their music has been covered countless times by just as many acts throughout the decades, and now jazz guitarist Pasquale Grasso has added his name to that list with his new compilation record, Be-Bop!  Released Friday through Sony Music Entertainment, the 10-song set is an interesting new take on the trio’s works what with the re-imagined, guitar-based takes on the songs.  One of the most notable of the covers is that of Charlie Parker’s timeless classic ‘Ornithology.’  Coming late in the album’s 43-minute run time, the song will be examined shortly. Thelonious Monk’s ‘Ruby, My Dear,’ which comes early in the collection, is another of the notable additions to the record.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘Groovin’ High,’ which closes the compilation, is one more notable addition to the set.  It was originally recorded by Parker and Gillespie together.  It will also be examined later.  When it is considered along with the other songs examined here and with the rest of the set’s featured works, the whole makes the compilation a presentation that most jazz fans will find worth hearing at least once.

Be-Bop!, the new covers compilation from jazz guitarist Pasquale Grasso, is a presentation that most jazz fans will find worth hearing at least once.  Each of the covers featured throughout the record does its own share to support the noted statement.  Among the most notable of the covers is that of Parker’s ‘Ornithology.’  Grasso takes on Parker’s lead through his performance on the guitar.  The piano line that compliments the saxophone and horns in the original is absent here, but the arrangement still works relatively well as Grasso works his way through the song.  Drummer Keith Balla’s steady time keeping on the hi-hat and snare is a welcome less-is-more approach here.  Meanwhile bassist Ari Roland’s low-end does well to take the place of the piano line and compliment Grasso’s performance at the same time.  The whole is a unique update on a song that originally is quite lively.  Grasso and company’s rendition is lively in its own right, but yet so much more relaxed at the same time.  It is well worth hearing and just one of the songs that makes this compilation overall worth hearing.  The trio’s take of Monk’s ‘Ruby, My Dear’ is another notable cover.

Just as Grasso and company really pull things back in their take of ‘Ruby, My Dear.’  The original song, both as performed solo by Monk and with the Thelonious Monk Quartet – which featured John Coltrane on saxophone, Wilbur Ware on bass, and Shadow Wilson on drums – was reserved in its own right.  Monk’s solo performance features just him on the piano gliding along in an almost bluesy approach and sound.  The quartet’s rendition of the song is more romantic in its sound and approach but still reserved in its own right.  Grasso and company lean their rendition more in the vein of Monk’s solo performance with Grasso leading the way gently through his guitar performance.  Balla’s subtle, gentle performance on the snare and hi-hat pairs with Grasso’s performance to enrich the performance even more.  The subtlety of Roland’s performance on the bass, both as he provides the backing and as he starts to shine late in the song in his semi-solo, adds its own nice touch to the arrangement.  The overall approach taken here by the trio gives the song so much depth and warmth even in its simplicity and shows even more why this compilation is worth hearing.  It is not the last of the songs that serve that purpose either. 

‘Groovin’ High,’ which closes the record, is one more example of what makes the set worth hearing.  The original composition was performed by Gillespie and Parker and is quite energetic.  Grasso, Balla and Roland bring the song their own energy to the song while still staying true to the source material.  There is no denying that at times, Grasso’s performance gives the song something of an easy listening bend at times, but he manages thankfully to keep that to a minimum, instead managing to bring out more of the swing approach of the original in the long run.  The result here is a song that despite being led by a guitar line, is still an engaging and entertaining presentation in its own right.  When it is considered alongside the other covers examined here and with the rest of the record’s covers, the whole makes this set a presentation that most jazz fans will find successful.

Be-Bop!, the new covers set from jazz guitarist Pasquale Grasso, is an interesting collection of covers of songs from Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Thelonious Monk.  The songs each take a unique jazz guitar-led approach to the famed musicians’ works.  Each stays as true as possible to the source material while also giving the works slightly new identities.  The songs examined here do well to support that statement.  When they are considered alongside the rest of the record’s entries, the whole makes Be-Bop! A presentation that most jazz fans will find worth hearing at least once.

Be-Bop! is available now.  More information on the album is available along with all of Pasquale Grasso’s latest news at:

Website: https://pasqualegrasso.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/grassopasquale

Twitter: https://twitter.com/paskbud88

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.