The Arctic Monkeys' second EP is anchored by "The View from the Afternoon," the only song here to show up on their 2006 debut Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, but the remaining four songs are strong, barbed, guitar rock that would've felt at home on the finished album. First up is the gnarled, nasty "Cigarette Smoker Fiona," which gives way to an effective showcase of Alex Turner's lyrical side on "Despair in the Departure Lounge," whose sparseness and distortion suggests a demo. "No Buses" trumps "Despair" due to its litheness -- this is the band at their swinging '60s best, only all the allusions are casual -- while the five-minute workout of the title shows the group's facility with syncopated rhythms and multi-tiered structures. It's not as heavy as the Humbug that would come later, but it points in that general direction.
ONE is saxophonist Stacy Dillard’s debut disc for the New York-based Smalls Records, wherein he leads a combo of electric guitar, electric piano, bass, and drums. ONE manages to cover a few distinct stylistic bases--hard bop, post bop, the early days of fusion (circa 1968/’69)--and yet is a solid, consistently good listen. Dillard plays soprano and tenor saxophones, but plays mostly tenor throughout.
His sound is big, brawny, and surging in the manner of tenor masters Sonny Rollins and Joe Lovano. Each track (six minutes per piece, on average) gives everyone a chance to shine without any extraneous noodling.
This 2011 holiday-themed iTunes Sessions EP from sprawling alt-pop outfit My Morning Jacket features lovely renditions of holiday standards like "Have a Merry Little Christmas" and "I'll Be Home for Christmas," as well as a brand-new track called "Welcome Home" and a reworking of "Wonderful (The Way I Feel)" from Circuital.