Release Day Picks: April 5th New Album Highlights

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Each week Release Day Picks profiles new LPs and EPs Team JamBase will be checking out on release day Friday. This week we highlight new albums by The Infamous Stringdusters, Molly Tuttle, Bryce Dessner, GRiZ and Natalie Cressman & Ian Faquini and Club d’Elf. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.


The Infamous Stringdusters – Rise Sun

The Scoop: For the follow-up to their 2018 Grammy Award-winning Bluegrass Album Of The Year Laws Of Gravity, The Infamous Stringdusters took a roundabout approach. The jamgrass act actually came up with the LP’s tracklist before recording a single song for Rise Sun. The 13-track effort was produced by Billy Hume and features co-writing credits from Sarah Siskind and Kim Richey. “Rise Sun was sparked by the feeling of wanting something better for the world—more love, more awareness, and more compassion,” said dobro player Andy Hall.


Molly Tuttle – When You’re Ready

The Scoop: After taking home the 2018 Americana Music Award-winner for Instrumentalist of the Year, Molly Tuttle is ready to show off what she can do as a vocalist with her debut album. The singer-songwriter teamed up with Ryan Hewitt (The Avett Brothers, The Lumineers) to produce the 11-track LP. “I wanted to keep the focus on the songs,” shared Tuttle, “but also make an interesting guitar record.” Recorded in Nashville, the album features guest appearances from Jason Isbell on backing vocals as well as a mandolinist Sierra Hull.


Bryce Dessner – El Chan

The Scoop: The National‘s Bryce Dessner teamed with pianist siblings Katia and Marielle Labèque, whom he met several years ago during rehearsals with the Los Angeles Phiharmonic, on his new album, El Chan. Constructed of three new original works composed by Desnner, El Chan begins with the Labèque sisters, Orchestre de Paris and Matthias Pintscher performing Concerto For Two Pianos, which is made up of three movements. The album then presents Haven for two pianos and two guitars recorded by the Labèque sisters, the MDH Quartet, guitarist David Chalmin and Dessner. The album closes with the seven-part El Chan for two pianos, which Dessner dedicated to film director Alejandro Iñárritu and his wife Maria Eladia Hagerman. El Chan was “inspired by the mythical guardian spirit ‘El Chan’ of a pool of water nestled in the canyons close to Iñarritu and Hagerman’s hometown of San Miguel de Allende, in the stunning Mexican landscape, and which has been the source of popular legends for many centuries.”


Natalie Cressman & Ian Faquini – Setting Rays Of Summer

The Scoop: Trombonist/vocalist Natalie Cressman and guitarist/vocalist Ian Faquini assembled at Natalie’s dad’s studio in San Francisco and came away with a 10-track record. Setting Rays Of Summer, out today via Cressman Music, finds the pair performing original music written in Portuguese, English and French. Cressman and Faquini recorded the album almost entirely live in one room. Just a few overdubs were added. “With the release, we hope people will respond to the honesty and intimacy of this music,” Natalie and Ian said of Setting Rays Of Summer. “We hope that the songs resonate with people on an emotional level as they experience new stories and new styles of Brazilian music and that they will find the simplicity of two instruments and two voices making music together to be a welcome change from the majority of music made today.”


GRiZ – Ride Waves

The Scoop: Snoop Dogg & Prob Cause, Bootsy Collins, Wiz Khalifa, DRAM, BXRBER, Muzzy Bearr, Yoshi Flower, Valentina and Leo Napier are among the guests recruited by GRiZ (producer Grant Kwiecinski) for is new album Ride Waves. The 14-track LP follows the Michigan native’s 2016 release Good Will Prevail. Reggae performer Matisyahu contributed to the single “A New Day.” The poingnant video for the track addressed effots to end gun violence.


Club d’Elf – Night Sparkles

The Scoop: Boston-based dub-jazz collective Club d’Elf has held down a bi-monthly residency at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, Massachusetts for 21 years. The band’s latest live album, Night Sparkles, contains a recording of a December 2011 show at the Lizard Lounge featuring bassist/composer Mike Rivard and drummer Dean Johnston joined by slide guitarist David Tronzo as well as Paul Schultheis, Vicente Lebron and Moussa Traore. “A friend brought him down to the show, and on the recording you can hear me drop out for a bit as I set up a mic for him after I saw him arrive mid-way through the set,” Rivard said of Traore’s Club d’Elf debut featured on Night Sparkles. “It was immediately apparent that this was going to be serious, and he and our conga player Vicente Lebron had an amazing simpatico. It seemed like a good idea to let the percussion drive the music, and it was one of the more open and organic sets we’ve played.”


Compiled by Jeffrey Greenblatt, Andy Kahn and Scott Bernstein.