City Slang: Music review roundup

May 6, 2014 at 9:35 am

Send CDs, vinyl, cassettes, demos and 8-tracks to Brett Callwood, Metro Times, 1200 Woodward Heights, Ferndale MI 48220. Email MP3s and streaming links to [email protected].

Planet D Nonet’s Just A-Sittin’ & A-Rockin’ with Tbone Paxton (Eastlawn) is a super-chill, cool-as-you-like jazz record, that sees the Detroit-based swing band teaming up with “expressive vocalist and trombonist” John Tbone Walker. It really is a magnificent piece of work too, Paxton’s smooth voice holding together the superb musicianship that the band has always offered. Whether you’re a jazz aficionado, a casual listener, or an absolute newbie, this is an entirely listenable and accessible mini-album (six tracks). There’s a New Orleans flavor to the opening “Tootie Ma Is A Big Fine Thing” and “Please Send Me Someone to Love,” but the traditional Detroit, street-wise jazz sound is all there too. Much to love.

The Philter’s Villain was handed to us at the Blowout by a modest looking singer. We’re not even sure that he knew he was placing it into the hands of the Metro Times or if he was just handing them out willy-nilly. He just wandered over, placed it in our grateful palms, shrugged and wandered away again. Either way, we’re glad it found its way to us. The moody electro-surf sound that the Philer has been cultivating since it’s inception a few years ago is getting stronger – the album is all Joy Division vocals, minimalist beats and lush keys.