John Abercrombie Quartet – 39 Steps CD (ECM)
John Abercrombie was one of the key jazz guitarists to emerge in the mid-’70s, along with John Scofield and Pat Metheny, and an Abercrombie ECM album has been a steady occurrence since his signature fusion classic Timeless from 1975. Lately, he’s been in a acoustic quartet mood on his ECM records, but the “John Abercrombie Quartet” means something quite different this time because there isn’t, say, a saxophone (Joe Lovano) or violin (Mark Feldman) to go along with bass and drums. This time, a piano is sharing the front line with Abercrombie, something that hadn’t been in an Abercrombie-led recording for the label for a very long time.
Advance Base – The World Is In A Bad Fix Everywhere CDEP (Caldo Verde)
A tribute to early 20th century Texas street preacher, singer, songwriter and musical innovator Washington Phillips.
All Time Low – Don’t Panic: It’s Longer Now!  CD (Hopeless)
Reissue of the band’s fifth full-length studio release, expanded with four brand new songs plus four acoustic tracks.
Atlantian Kodex – The White Goddess (A Grammar Of Poetic Myth)
Drawing from traditional heavy metal, doom and Norse metal, The White Goddess showcases their strongest songwriting, lyrical, vocal performance and production yet. Self-described as falling somewhere between Twilight of the Gods-era Bathory, early Manowar (Ross the Boss-era) and other classic US bands like Fates Warning, Cirith Ungol and Warlord, Atlantean Kodex retains a singular modernity and heaviness via their incredible production and recording techniques, and through singer Markus Becker, who has the naturally blessed pipes to rival the best heavy metal vocalists past or present. Vinyl edition December 10.
Richard Barone – Cool Blue Halo [Reissue/1987] CD (Jem)
Hailed by NPR as “a plaintive masterpiece,” Cool Blue Halo by NYC singer/songwriter Richard Barone is an album consistently cited as one of the best records you’ve never heard. The unique sound of “chamber rock” replaced bass and drums with cello and percussion, and presaged the Unplugged era that shortly followed. This version is completely remastered and includes nine bonus tracks not on the original record.
Richard Barone – Cool Blue Halo Concert 2xCD+DVD (Jem)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the cult classic, Richard reassembled the band for a one-night-only concert at New York’s City Winery on May 4, 2012. Features a set list of his best originals, unique covers, and special guests including Garth Hudson and Tony Visconti. Includes the complete concert on DVD, and a “making-of” documentary.
Tim Berne’s Snakeoil – Shadow Man CD (ECM)
Over four years together, Berne and his band of New York standouts (pianist Matt Mitchell, clarinettist Oscar Noriega and drummer/percussionist Ches Smith) have developed a rapport that sounds like communal telepathy. The studio outcome is a marvel of kinetic action — the six pieces of Shadow Man make for music as visceral as it is cerebral; there is rollercoaster dynamism and aching lyricism, roiling counterpoint and intriguing harmony, glinting detail and ensemble impact.
Blind Boys Of Alabama – I’ll Find A Way CD/LP (Sony Masterworks)
Produced by Justin Vernon (Bon Iver, Kathleen Edwards), I’ll Find A Way features some of the Blind Boys’ most fervent vocals as well as contributions by a new generation of Blind Boys fans – Sam Amidon, Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond, Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, Casey Dienel of White Hinterland, Patty Griffin, and Vernon himself.
Blitzen Trapper – VII CD/LP (Vagrant)
Seventh album from the Portland, Oregon-based experimental country/folk act. VII is full of the vivid folk-rock-campfire-tales frontman Eric Earley is so well known for. The album moves effortlessly from track to track allowing Earley to paint the colorful pictures that play in our head while singing along.
The Blow – The Blow CD/LP (Kanine)
Original member Khaela Maricich has partnered with Melissa Dyne to create a record that reflects their united love of pop music, bass, frequency, hooks and intimate lyrics. This is the long-awaited first new release since 2007’s Paper Television.
Blue Sky Black Death – Glaciers CD (Fake Four, Inc.)
“Blue Sky Black Death is an excellently-named Seattle production duo; they’ve put in serious time assembling spacey, twinkling, weirdly pretty beats for rappers like Nacho Picasso and Deniro Farrar. This fall, they’ll release their new album Glaciers. The album is only five songs long, but each of them is a sprawling, expansive, softly epic piece of work.” — Stereogum
Basia Bulat – Tall Tall Shadow CD/LP (Secret City)
Tall Tall Shadow,is the third album singer/songwriter Basia Bulat, who has garnered critical acclaim from Pitchfork praising her “rare, extraordinary voice,” and Filter, who declares “Bulat can pine with the best of them.” Basia co-produced Tall Tall Shadow with Mark Lawson (The Suburbs) and Tim Kingsbury (Arcade Fire).
Brendan Canning – You Gots 2 Chill CD/LP (SQE)
Sophomore solo LP from Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning.