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My Life Starts Now ★★★

Beat Mu­sic

To say that Mark Guil­iana is a drum­mer’s drum­mer is not nec­es­sar­ily to rec­om­mend his mu­sic to gen­eral lis­ten­ers. The 34-year-old New Jersey na­tive has be­come the pa­tron saint of a new gen­er­a­tion who move freely be­tween the acous­tic, hu­man­cen­tred in­stru­men­tal­ism of jazz and the pro­cessed world of elec­tron­ica and dance. Guil­iana seems in­tent on break­ing down the bar­ri­ers be­tween those two mages­te­ria and has set up his own la­bel to aid him. Beat Mu­sic’s de­but re­leases, My Life Starts Now and its com­pan­ion, The Los

An­ge­les Im­pro­vi­sa­tions, point the way to a brave new mu­si­cal world that some will find a lit­tle chilly and oth­ers will find ut­terly be­guil­ing. markguil­iana.com


GRE­GORY PORTER Is­sues of Life: Fea­tures & Remixes ★★★★


The world, it seems, can’t get enough of Gre­gory Porter. In a few short years, the Amer­i­can foot­baller-turned-singer has gone from un­known bloke in funny hat to great black hope of the jazz vo­cal tra­di­tion. And here’s another al­bum to prove that all the praise is richly de­served. Porter’s win­ning com­bi­na­tion of soul and sin­cer­ity is rare, and his songs deal with themes that make the reg­u­lar pap of pop sound puerile. So this mis­cel­la­neous col­lec­tion of remixes and record­ings made with other groups, in­clud­ing soul-jazz funksters Zbon­ics and sax­o­phon­ist David Mur­ray’s In­fin­ity Quar­tet, is not so much a cyn­i­cal ex­er­cise in repack­ag­ing as mana from heaven to sat­isfy the clam­our for more from the big lad in the hat. gre­go­ry­porter. com CORMAC LARKIN

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