Author Archives: Ben Fischer

GROUPLOVE – This is This [Canvasback]

From promoter: “GROUPLOVE surprises the world with the secret release of their new album, This Is This. It is everything that fans of the band could hope for, incorporating all of GROUPLOVE‚Äôs best traits: relentless chaos, powerful rushes of instrumental, and an all-around cheery attitude that makes for an uplifting listen. The excitement is present […]

Alan Braufman – The Fire Still Burns [Valley of Search]

After the alto saxophonist recorded his debut record in 1975, he went into a period of sideman work and eventually reemerged with this 2020 effort including original pianist Cooper-Moore. Out of the world, fiery barn burners are juxtaposed with sweet melodies. Well rounded and a beautiful work!

New Life Trio – Visions of the Third Eye [Early Future]

Reissue of a monumental trio date, recorded in 1978 in Putney, VT. The synergy and soundscapes that these 3 musicians make is absolutely staggering. Recommend the tune “Sculpture” or the beautiful “Empty Streets”. One of my favorite records ever!

Guzy/Hools – Eroica[Dunkleheit]

Fans of dance/electronic music are sure to enjoy this. Real cool Euro Beat vibe to it. Play loud!

Fiddlehead – Million Times[Run for Cover]

Classic fuzzy Indi-pop and exciting to see Fiddlehead release something new! Check it out!

Dezron Douglas & Brandee Younger – Force Majeure[Int’l Anthem]

Killer bass-harp duo that was recorded over a series of livestreams throughout the COVID-19 Lockdown. The empathy both players have is awe inspiring.

Patricia Brennan – Maquishti [Valley of Search]

Gorgeous solo vibraphone with effects brought forth by Nabil Ayers and Alan Braufman’s new label Valley of Search. Indeed there is a searching element here and what that is so dreamy. Not a dull moment.

Micah Graves – Med Nama: Not for the Ordinary [Self-Released]

Philadelphia-based musician and Temple University senior released this album at the beginning of the year. Intense, highly melodic and beautifully lyrical tunes that have a “pop sensibility”. I believe that everyone can find something they enjoy from this record. Recommended.

R.A.P Ferreira – Bob’s Son [Ruby Yacht]

Incredible poetry-emphasized rap music that has such a unique flow to it. Lots of loops created from interviews of poets as well as Ferreira’s own, warbly piano. Highly recommended.

Putamayo Presents – Brazil [Putamayo World Music]

Really fun Brazilian music. Awesome rhythms that are so infectious.

Rachel Angel – Highway Songs [Public Works]

Country folk music that is reminiscent of Esther Rose. Recommended!

Allegra Krieger – The Joys of Forgetting [Northern Spy]

Folk music but with an amplified end that sounds similar to Big Thief. Enjoyable!

numun – voyage au soleil [Musique Impossible]

Minimalist in the style of the Eno/Fripp duos. New agey type spa music that is actually pretty decent (do not think spa music is a knock). Shoegaze fans might enjoy!

Eli Winter – Unbecoming [American Dreams]

3 extended pieces from this guitarist, Eli Winter, in the John Fahey type bag. Dreamy and floats nicely like Michael Hedges. Pretty stuff.

Immaterial Possession – S/T [Clandestine]

Interesting, deep almost Velvet Underground-y vibe to this rock band. Morbid and heady in the best way.

Derrick Hodge – Color of Noize [Blue Note]

Bassy, electronic, groovy music. Straddles the line between an astral funk record and a jazz record. Highly recommended for fans of modern jazz rap.

Ron Miles – Rainbow Signs [Blue Note]

Gorgeous music that is contemplative and whimsical. Bill Frisell’s guitar is wonderful.

Joel Ross – Who Are You? [Blue Note]

Joel Ross’ highly anticipated sophomore effort, Who Are You?, was released on Blue Note Records October 23rd. The mature, narrative songwriting style that combines structure and free stretching is something of masterful proportions. Listen to how Brandee Younger blends her harp so well with Immanuel Wilkins alto.

Nubya Garcia – Source [Concord Jazz]

Really dope soul infused jazz from this titan of the tenor sax. Smoother than Melissa Aldana, kind of aligning with a grittier Walter Smith III. Pretty fun stuff here!

Asher Gamedze – Dialectic Soul [On The Corner]

A powerful show of compositional abilities and musical poetry with the deep, research-oriented ethnomusicology that would make the most booky academic blush. Asher Gamedze recorded Dialectic Soul to be submitted in conjunction with his doctoral thesis in South African music, specifically jazz in the age of apartheid. The juxtaposition between the percussive freedom of African […]

Selene Saint-Aime – Mare Unadrum [Komos]

Foreboding, dark music from Saint-Aime and a chamber jazz-like lineup. Obvious comparisons to Esperanza Spaulding could be made, but the bassist has so much more of her own sound and style. Classically informed, as well as the m-base movement of saxophonists. Incredible and requires a multitude of listens.

Giveton Gelin – True Design [Self Released]

The Nassau-born trumpet player present incredible maturity and compositional prowess on his debut recording. Possessing a tone informed by Freddie Hubbard and Booker Little, he fires off gorgeous melodic statements along with alto saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins. Phenomenal record. PLAY.

JOBS – Endless Birthdays [Clandestine]

Minimal, beautiful music that doesn’t adhere to a set genre. The viola work here is really great.

Pat Keen – Cells Remain [Clandestine]

A mellow ambient record that has some freakier moments. Hauntingly beautiful and surprisingly heady work, though that is expected from Clandestine.

Zoe Polanski – Violent Flowers [Clandestine]

Arpeggiated, lightly synthesized ambient music that is reminiscent of Deer Hunter. Gorgeous vocals.