By: Anand Harsh
7. Jamie Shields
The triumphant return of The New Deal brings tears of joy to my eye. It was fun seeing Jamie Shields sit in with American Babies and The Join, but let's be real, the man belongs in his old band with his best bud Dan Kurtz on bass. The interplay between the two is telepathic at this point, and just as fun as ever to watch. Does the vaunted piano man need a setlist? Nah, he's gonna wing it. Nobody touches his improv chops. No one.
6. Billy and Sam Brouse
Papadosio began its meteoric ascent through the ranks of live electronic acts with the addition of Sam Brouse, morphing the quartet into a powerful five-piece, and opening up a whole new world of sound. Brother Billy Brouse and his encyclopedic knowledge of all things Steely Dan gives the fast-growing outfit a twin-headed attack of melodic, multi-instrumental mastery that continues to propel the band into deeper composition, and soaring improvisation. A killer combo on stage.
Joe Torre has always been a source of inspiration to us. Young MitiS is the Mozart of the modern age, using his years of classical piano background to generate these lush soundscapes with evolving melodies and counterpoints. You could analyze one of his tracks for hours, picking apart each little intricacy trying to get to the bottom of what makes it so damn good. But it's more fun to just catch his live piano sets at festivals and watch him throw down with the best of them.
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