Author Archives: Ben Fischer

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.

Butcher Brown – #Kingbutch [Concord Jazz]

Funky, borderline lofi vibes that shade in tight beats with loose jazz harmonies. Definitely something to play.

Christopher Parker & Kelley Hurt – No Tears Suite [Oxford American]

Beautiful on the nose music about the Black experience in America. Contributions from Brian Blade are strong.

Eivor – SEGL [Self-Released]

Comparisons to Bjork, another prominent Scandanavian artist, could be made when speaking of Eivor and her new album Segl. Eivor presents lilting, semi-electric beats with lilting voices and a myriad of textural playing.

Emma Kupa – It Will Come Easier [Palo Alto]

Kupa presents an album with material very much in line with much of the newer indie wave today. Strong influences of Phoebe Bridgers can be heard in her arrangements, though her voice is unique though acknowledges a host of other from the early 2010’s emerging art folk genre.

Gregory Porter – All Rise [Blue Note]

Singer Gregory Porter releases another soulful and striking record of originals. His low, controlled voice and nuanced phrasing is truly something to behold.

Sharada Shashidhar – Rahu [Leaving Records]

Vocalist Sharada Shashidhar brings this vague and spacey collection of songs courtesy of Leaving Records. Simple harmonic structures give way to advanced arrangements.

Jamael Dean – Oblivion [Stones Throw]

Deep, spacey music put out on cassette from the ever expansive Stones Throw records. Lush ensemble work is really something else.

Joel Ross – Gato’s Gift [Blue Note]

Another single to come from Joel Ross’ forthcoming sophomore release, this written by Gabrielle Garo. It is a beautiful introspective piece that highlights cyclic chord motion and the pretty harp strums of Brandee Younger. Who Are You?, comes out in late October.

Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra (PAPA) – Little Africa [The Village]

Jamael Dean’s piano and Sharada Shashidar’s vocals open this beautiful burner that introduces the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra’s new label, The Village, to audiences for the first time. PAPA has been a breeding ground for the West Coast’s most daring and creative Black American Musicians. Infectious melodies and incredible collective improvisation.

Joel Ross – More? [Blue Note Records]

The first single off of Ross’ sophomore effort Who Are You seems like a natural continuation of King Maker with Immanuel Wilkins’ pungent sax and Ross’ shimmering vibes leading a tense charge through a churning eddy. Harmonically things are more mysterious and darker than they were on King Maker. Who Are You comes out in […]

Blu & Exile – Miles [Dirty Science Records]

Really beautiful, almost carnival-like beats are juxtaposed against serious and dense lyrics. A vivid imagery that’s come to saturate a truly poetic genre seems to be reinvented here with, of course, themes of colors.

Trivium – What the Dead Men Say [Roadrunner]

Highly melodic, dark and syncopated. Definitely within the Zeitgesit of metal today that one should check out just for the rhythms.

Georgia Anne Muldrow – Mama, You Can Bet! [eOne Music]

Music filled with loping grooves, drastic mood shifts, hip samples, and dissonant choirs. Muldrow has been called the modern day Nina Simone and, certainly in the field of artistic weight, this is an apt comparison.

John Fedchock NY Sextet – Into The Shadows [Summit Records]

From promoter: It’s the trombonist’s tenth album as leader, this time with an all-star group featuring trumpeter Scott Wendholt, tenor saxophonist Walt Weiskopf, pianist Allen Farnham, bassist David Finck, and drummer Eric Halvorson.

Matt Wilson – Hug [Palmetto]

From promoter: “Featuring Wilson’s long-running quartet with saxophonist Jeff Lederer, cornetist Kirk Knuffke and bassist Chris Lightcap, Hug documents one of jazz’s most potent and expressive working bands exploring a typically far-flung Wilsonian program.”

May Erlewine – Anyway [Sapsucker]

A mellow, groovy album co-led by Woody Goss of Vulfpeck fame. Everything about this album is silky smooth though and cohesive. Recommended track is ‘Palm of My Hand’.

Immanuel Wilkins – Omega [Blue Note]

Highly anticipated debut album from alto saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins. Very much of the zeitgeist with titles alluding to recent Civil Rights struggles (such as Ferguson, MO). The quartet presented here is energetic and powerful.

Moses Sumney – grae [Jagjaguwar]

Brilliant textures, beautiful lyrics, and a striking delivery. Sumney even samples some Esbjorn Svensson!