Shout the Rafters Down!
Adam Gnade has been called the Jack Kerouac of his generation. He is a writer, a poet and a musician. His music puts him in the ranks of friends like Ray Raposa (Castanets) and Red Hunter (Peter and the Wolf), the new faces of a new era of folk music. Gnade creates what he deems "talking songs" -- glimpses of his life and of the lives that surround him. The songs he has written since the release of his last LP -- Run, Hide, Retreat, Surrender -- show a new understanding of his potential audience: Shout is more accessible. What Gnade gets so amazingly right is his honesty. His music and his words are his legacy, and in that he is modest and restrained, yet open and profound. Don't expect Shout to rock you -- expect it to change your mind and change your life. This is the kind of music that gets inside your head. It's mind-blowing. Given the opportunity, it will blow yours.
-- ASHLEY GRAHAM
DOWNLOAD: "We Live Nowhere and Know No One"
Dave Holland Quintet
The Dave Holland Quintet has gone through a change of drummers and labels, but on their fifth album since 1998, every track is tight. Bassist and composer Holland lets his bandmates shine, and none more than Robin Eubanks (brother of Leno's Kevin) on trombone. If you think trombone is better suited to big bands, give a listen to Eubanks' strutting solo and his interplay with Chris Potter's tenor sax on "Easy Did It" -- or to the incredible, mournful sounds Eubanks achieves on "Full Circle" -- and you'll be completely 'boned. Potter, meanwhile, takes the first solos on "The Eyes Have It" and "Vicissitudes" and wails inventively. Steve Nelson's marimba brightens the dark-corners intrigue of "The Leak." Holland's own best solo arrives late in "Secret Garden" when he deconstructs the main theme's Middle Eastern meditativeness.
The DHQ will play five nights in Eugene and Seattle next March, and Eubanks performs at Whitworth on Nov. 4. For well-written chamber jazz featuring great teamwork -- not to mention Eubanks' amazing 'bone mastery -- go hear them.
-- MICHAEL BOWEN