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Strange Currency Celebrates Jazz Appreciation Month With Jan Hammer, Brand X And More

Wednesday, April 1

Formed in 1975 Brand X combined elements of progressive rock with jazz fusion across a series of under-appreciated albums. The group featured Phil Collins on drums playing in a manner that was distinctly different from his work in Genesis or on his solo recordings, demonstrating that he was one of the best percussionists of his generation. We’ll hear from the debut Brand X recording, Unorthodox Behaviour as well as from Billy Cobham’s 1974 release Crosswinds

  Thursday, April 2

Czech-born keyboardist Jan Hammer had his greatest commercial success in the 1980s after composing the theme to the popular television show Miami Vice but his recorded output as a solo artist in the 1970s featured several superlative albums including 1976’s Oh Yeah. Listen for selections from that album as well as from Teaser, the 1975 release by guitarist Tommy Bolin. Bolin, who played with rock acts such as The James Gang and Deep Purple was comfortable in a variety of styles as displayed on this wide-reaching album—featuring turns at reggae, jazz, and Latin music. 

Friday, April 3

It’s our New Month, New Music special. We’ll hear selections from Strangers To Ourselves the first recording in eight years by Modest Mouse as well as Stop Time, the latest release by acclaimed songwriter and keyboardist Jon Regen. 

Saturday, April 4

Hi Honey is the third album from Low Cut Connie. Founded in Philadelphia in 2010 the group’s brand of raw rock ‘n’ roll has brought the band a great deal of critical acclaim to date and can be heard on this new recording which features guest appearances from members of Sharon Jones’ Dap-Kings and Dean Ween of the band Ween. We’ll hear selections from that as well as Red Metal, the 2014 full-length recording from Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas-based trio Oil Boom. 

Monday, April 6

Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit is the new release from Melbourne, Australia-based singer-songwriter Mandy Barnett. Known for her humorous and insightful lyrics. We’ll hear from that recording as well as from Agitator, the new release from Kansas band Kill Vargas.

Tuesday, April 7

Released in 1979, Tightrope was guitarist Steve Khan’s 1979 follow-up to the commercially disappointing The Blue Man. Joined by legendary drummer Steve Gadd and bassist Will Lee (CBS Orchestra/World’s Most Dangerous Band). We’ll hear selections from that recording as well as from Heavy Metal Be-Bop the 1978 album by the Brecker Brothers. 

Wednesday, April 8

The Man! is the 1974 album from Leroy Hutson, former member of The Impressions. A fixture of the Chicago soul scene, Hutson had great success as a writer, producer and performer. We’ll also hear from soul artist Charles Bradley’s 2011 LP No Time For Dreaming.