This month we’re featuring albums with a theme of emancipation and freedom: Hannibal Lokumbe’s spiritatorio Can You Hear God Crying?; Keb’ Mo’s Bluesamericana featuring Freedom Rider “Rip” Patton, Jr.; Eric Bibb’s Jericho Road (2013) and Blues People (2014), both influenced by Martin Luther King, Jr.; jazz bassist Rodney Whitaker’s When We Find Ourselves Alone which includes an arrangement of Max Roach’s “Freedom Day;” and the documentary Slave Trade: How Prince Re-Made the Music Business.
Continuing our annual winter blues theme, we’re featuring blues rock guitarist Gary Clark, Jr.’s Live; two Delta blues releases—Terry Harmonica Bean’s Catfish Blues and Smoky Babe’s Way Back in the Country Blues; the posthumous Louisiana Red compilation The Sky is Crying; and two live Chicago blues albums—John Primer & The Teardrops’s You Can Make It If You Try and an expanded reissue of the Junior Wells’ classic Southside Blues Jam.
Additional jazz releases include Stanley Clarke’s new fusion album Up and the box set All of You: The Last Tour 1960 with the Miles Davis Quintet and John Coltrane. R&B compilations include You Got What it Takes, the Marv Johnson Story and Dee Dee Warwick: The Complete ATCO Recordings.
Wrapping up this issue are two recent rap releases: The Game’s Blood Moon: Year of the Wolf and Run the Jewel’s Run the Jewels 2; rock/soul singer guitarist Danielia Cotton’s The Real Book; gospel artist Eddie James’ double album Shift; and December 2014 Releases of Note.