Category Creative Music

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.”

Jaimie Branch – FLY or DIE II: bird dogs of paradise [International Anthem Recording Co.]

Trumpeter Jaimie Branch released this powerful collection of politically charged songs in October of 2019. The tone of this album is moody and percussive; Branch is the only non-rhythm section player on the date. Fans of Bill Dixon and the Art Ensemble of Chicago will find a friend in these tunes.

Zach Fischer Quintet – Due North [Self Released]

The second recording and first official release by Montreal guitarist Zach Fischer showcases the writing talents of the leader and melodic inventiveness of a sympathetic group. The music is narrative of life and the feeling of being in a foreign environment at home; in its movements and contours, one’s listening conjures up these feelings and […]

Harish Raghavan – Calls For Action [Whirlwind Recordings]

Veteran bassist Harish Raghavan makes his debut as a leader for the UK’s Whirlwind Recordings label. Raghavan is joined by up and coming stars Joel Ross and Immanuel Wilkins more a melodically stunning and rhythmically dense set of 15 tunes. One wishes there were more.

Junius Paul – Ism [Internation Anthem Recording Co.]

International Anthem Recording Co., a Chicago-based label, has been releasing the new wave of, what this writer thinks to be, seminal jazz recordings. Of these recordings, bassist Junius Paul’s “Ism” is among the top creating a tapestry of ever changing sound courtesy of such luminaries as Tomeka Reid, Makaya McCraven, and Marquis Hill. Highly recommended […]