1. "RE: Jazz-ish et al for 2021" In response to Reply # 0
I've marked a lot of stuff for my own listening since the start of the year but haven't actually listened to much yet. I'll go back in a bit and pick some highlights from what has caught my attention, but here's the Bandcamp jazz roundup for January which might be of interest.
11. "emmet cohen - future stride" In response to Reply # 1
A bit more traditional in feel (for what we tend to share here, anyway) but this is a really great set! Cohen dusted off some older forgotten material here and added a few compositions of his own. I don't know if the album does anything for stride as a technique but Cohen's performance is just killer throughout (not to mention the ensemble as a whole).
Emmet Cohen - piano Russell Hall - bass Kyle Poole - drums
Mostly piano trio w/Melissa Aldana (sax) and Marquis Hill (trumpet) showing up for a few tunes.
Favorite track I think is Dardanella. Simple, immediately memorable melody (kind of reminds me of "Poinciana", the Ahmad Jamal tune) but Cohen just runs it through a host of variations and a range of feeling and style --- from fun to tender/sweet, simple to virtuosic. They let loose for about the last third of the tune, too, and remind you how full a piano trio can sound. It might be a bit kitschy but it's undeniably effective and I keep going back for more.
4. "RE: Archie Shepp & Jason Moran - Let My People Go" In response to Reply # 2 Fri Feb-12-21 12:00 PM by thebigfunk
Really eager to listen to this one!
If you're new to Shepp, there's a lot of brilliant and diverse terrain to cover, especially from about '68 to '72. I'd probably start with the Impulse recordings. Attica Blues and Cry of My People are kind of unique in his catalog but are real standouts and pretty accessible.
Moran has a new album out too but I don't think it's on streaming yet.
edit: now I think I might just listen to old Shepp record's all day, lol
5. "Vijay Iyer/Linda May Han Oh/Tyshawn Sorey - Uneasy" In response to Reply # 0
Literally three of my absolute favorite musicians/composers working right now -- haven't listened to the whole thing yet but really enjoyed the first half. Looking forward to spending more time with it.
Forgot this came out last week. The first of Younge/Muhammad's Jazz is Dead releases this year -- which is actually a little surprising, considering they released five last year and here we're getting the first one in April.
Haven't listened yet but the singles were solid... and it's Gary Bartz, so it should be engaging no matter what. That said, Younge's penchant for turning everything into a movie soundtrack is starting to wear on me a bit, so we'll see...
7. "carlos nino & friends - more energy fields, current" In response to Reply # 0
since this thread has been sorely neglected, going to go on a spree over the next few minutes and just throw out stuff that's been released this year that has interested or is interesting to me. I won't give extensive comments; I'll come back t oadd thoughts later.
Perhaps the most definitive proof that Kamasi Washington's "The Epic" will have an outsized influence on at least a certain soul-jazzish strain of improvisational music for a while. At times, this Australian (!) group almost seems to be straight-up biting. (Compare the head of the opening track, "Hope," to the head of the The Epic's opening track, "Change of the Guard"!)
Besides that, though, this record's worth some listening. There's a lot of good musicianship and it might scratch that souljazz itch for some.
A number of folks from Brazil have released amazing stuff this year. This network is really eclectic in style and can vary quite a bit in sound from track to track. Almost all of these folks appear on each other's stuff in one way or another making for a fun game of connect the dots. There are a few other records but here are a few for starters:
Antonio Neves - A Pegada Agora E Essa - only 35 minutes long but this thing comes out of the gate swinging "Simba," whose complicated rhythms and strange vocals can rightfully be called "Zappa-esque", I think... and seriously, the album just doesn't quit. One of my favorites of the year, easily -- check out the afrobeat-laced title track.
Antonio Neves & Jules Hiero - Nove Miden. Jules Hiero is a producer with a really beautiful approach to mashing up jazz and hip hop, as evidenced here by his collaborating with Neves. This feels like a mixtape in the best way; fans of that Jazz Spastiks album from earlier this year would probably like this a lot.
Jules Hiero - Bento Box (Hiero's not from Brazil but including here bc of the collabs; similar to above)
Jadsa - Olho de Vidro
Sophia Chablau e Uma Enorme Perda de Tempo - s/t (produced by Ana Frango Eletrico -- probably the least "jazz" of the bunch, definitely on the freak rock end of the spectrum but in a really vital and vibrant way)
“Yussef Dayes has released new live album 'Welcome To The Hills'. The jazz percussionist duelled with Tom Misch on a full length studio project earlier this year, a superb album that ranks as one of 2020's best.
Ending the year on a high, Yussef Dayes has shared a full live album, recorded in Copenhagen last year.
Uniting with long-time collaborators Rocco Palladino and Charlie Stacey, 'Welcome To The Hills' documents the final show the three played together before the pandemic. Out now digitally, it's pure fire, and highlights the telepathic interplay between these three musicians.
Yussef Dayes explains... “There was something special about this performance... The raw energy, focus, determination & freedom to take our music to the next level. It feels more right than ever to release this live recording, as there have been no shows this year... So we want to give you, the listener, the chance to participate and enter the Yussef Dayes trio live experience. These songs are the spirituals I swam against the waves with."
20. "RE: Jazz-ish et al for 2021" In response to Reply # 0
Have been listening to a *ton* of stuff in this category lately but haven't had a lot of time to process and write about it. Still, a few quick recs (I'll start with one and add over the next day or two):
* Elusive - NU NU Sort of a beat-tape meets synth-heavy cosmic jazz thing that moves unexpectedly between easy grooves and out-on-the-edge flashes of noise. *Very* bass-forward courtesy of Bubby Lewis, probably what keeps drawing me back to the record, tbh. A number of folks from the LA/west coast scene, too.
Other contributors include: - lots of sax from Ian Roller - Josh Koslow, trumpet - Jimetta Rose pops in once or twice for some vocals (yup!) - Chris Keys is on a track - Aaron Shaw (LA scene, one part of Black Nile - same label, too)
If I could rewrite the blurb on bandcamp a bit, I'd say: 16-piece ensemble! Loads of horns! Loads of percussion! London jazz meets rhythms and traditional instruments of the Mande peoples of West Africa! Polyrhythms on polyrhythms on polyrhythms! What are you waiting for!!!
That's pretty much all you need but a few more words: this isn't some fusion/glitzy world music project. It's got folks from Kokoroko and the Seed Ensemble and they come at the "hybrid" aspects in the most natural way possible.
It's just a great record with a lot of upbeat, driving tunes and top-notch musicianship that is hard not to dance to. Hard to describe why it's so good but it is already a favorite of the year for me.
A favorite: Soninka/Patronba - https://youtu.be/Bmpz9tCOYyE -- this has a two-part title but honestly feels like it goes through at least three or four sections. Layers of percussion groove slow and steady at the start then layer on horns and then some vocals for a while; out of nowhere yet right where it should be, a cool electric guitar solo that doubles as a segue into the second part of the song, where, at least by the end, everything gets even bigger and the groove exchanges its cool for more intensity and drive.