The Bebop Shop : Current Events: New Jazz and Beyond : New York State Of Mind: Modern Jazz In America
Part of the Chesky Binaural + Series, all recorded with a single microphone, the band appears right before you with this spacious, lush and multi-dimensional recording. (Chesky Records) Price: £13.99
This recording embraces many elements of the jazz world: the perpetual idea of using technology to improve the world around you that Miles Davis made so clear; the continuation of the generational passing of knowledge through actual living situations; the spontaneous nature of improvised music; and, above all, the desire to discover new things, to improve, develop and add a new dimension to the listening experience for all lovers of music.
Part of the Chesky Binaural + Series, all recorded with a single microphone, the duo appears right before you with this spacious, lush and multi-dimensional recording. (Chesky Records) Price: £13.99
The album finds Alexander playing everything from Coltrane to Rodgers and Hammerstein with a deft touch, adventurous spirit and improvisatory verve. Accompanying Joey on the album are bassist Larry Grenadier (Stan Getz, Brad Mehldau, Pat Metheny) and two-time Grammy-winning drummer Ulysses Owens Jr. (Kurt Elling, Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride) as well as three talented young players from the New York scene: Russell Hall (bass), Sammy Miller (drums) and trumpeter Alphonso Horne (LCJO, Marcus Roberts). (Proper Music) Price: £13.99
For his third ECM release as a leader, Chris Potter presents a new acoustic quartet that naturally blends melodic rhapsody with rhythmic muscle. The group includes superlative musicians well known to followers of ECMs many recordings from New York over the past decade: keyboardist David Virelles, bassist Joe Martin and drummer Marcus Gilmore, who each shine in addition to the leader on multiple horns. The Dreamer Is the Dream features Potter on tenor saxophone the instrument that has made him one of the most admired players of his generation in the striking opener Heart in Hand and such album highlights as Yasodhara, as well as on soprano sax (Memory and Desire) and bass clarinet (the title track). Potter is an artist who employs his considerable technique in service of music rather than spectacle, says The New Yorker, and his composing develops in texture and atmosphere with every album. Along with his previous ECM releases, Imaginary Cities and The Sirens, he has appeared on some of the labels most acclaimed discs, including Paul Motians classic Lost in a Dream and Dave Hollands Grammy Award-winning What Goes Around. (ECM Records) Price: £14.99
The 39-year-old maestro places himself in the forefront on a duet apiece with "13 of my closest musical friends and cohorts" - singers Angélique Kidjo, Sting and Dee Dee Bridgewater; pianists George Duke, Eddie Palmieri and Chick Corea, as well as Dr. Billy Taylor and Hank Jones (who both passed away in 2010); violinist Regina Carter; trumpeter Roy Hargrove; guitarist Russell Malone; tenor saxophonist Ron Blake; and actress Gina Gershon. In the process, McBride unleashes the full measure of his already legendary skills, crafting as complete a portrait of his diverse interests - different variations of the blues and African-American church experience, bebop, the American Songbook, Latin music, free jazz, even comedy - as he has ever presented. (Proper Music) Price: £13.99
After a remarkably productive decade which saw him writing stellar orchestral arrangements for recordings by Bjork, Melody Gardot, Sting and Joni Mitchell (he won Grammy Awards for his contributions to her Both Sides Now in 2000 and Travelogue in 2003), Vince Mendoza has shifted focus back to his own compositions for the first time in 13 years. On this eagerly-awaited followup to Epiphany, Mendoza recruited an all-star cast of long time collaborators like guitarists John Abercrombie, John Scofield and Nguyen Le, drummer Peter Erskine, percussionist Luis Conte, organist Larry Goldings, steel drummer Andy Narell, pianists Kenny Werner and Alan Pasqua, plus saxophonists Bob Mintzer and Joe Lovano.
He is also joined by such new friends as Brazilian vocalist Luciana Souza, Malian kora player and singer Tom Diakite, young American jazz stars in bassist Christian McBride, drummer Greg Hutchinson and trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire. Along with members of the Metropole Orkest, the Dutch ensemble that Mendoza has presided over as chief conductor for the past six years, they bring to life these evocative pieces that flow directly from the composers heart to his pen. His most personal and compelling project to date, Nights on Earth is yet another crowning achievement in the career of the acclaimed composer-arranger-conductor. (Proper Note) Price: £13.99
He returns for his third Criss Cross release and moves beyond the trio format to feature tenor saxophonist Seamus Blake, trombonist Steve Davis and newcomer Ambrose Akinmusire on trumpet. Grissett puts his stamp on all the material including updates on Herbie Hancock's King Cobra, and Monk's Ugly Beauty. His originals are also cut from a regal cloth of originality, with bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Kendrick Scott responsive to the pianist's every move. (Criss Cross Jazz) Price: £13.99
What puts the POW in The Power Quintet is the fact that here we have like-minded, virtuoso musicians who have decided to collaborate and perform new and stimulating music. 'High Art' is a perfect example of what happens when artists with shared histories, a dedication towards performing creative music, and the willingness to be team players join forces.
The band cooks up a swinging brew of mostly original tunes with a decidedly post-hard-bop influence. Throughout the session the band delivered high energy, immaculate, yet often daring variations on the contemporary but 'feel good' compositions of Messrs Pelt, Grissett and Stewart. (Proper Music) Price: £13.99
The album features nine moving new works by Blade and Cowherd, and offers a compelling distillation of the compositional eloquence and collective chemistry that have made Blade and his longtime bandmates one of contemporary jazz's most respected ensembles.
True to its title, Season of Changes (produced by Blade and Cowherd) finds the players pursuing their collective muse into emotionally evocative new territory. The album opens with the gently striking "Rubylou's Lullaby," one of the album's six Blade compositions, followed by Cowherd's driving, multi-movement "Return of the Prodigal Son," which showcases Rosenwinkel's stellar guitar work and Butler's emotive tenor. The title track is a modern epic that reveals Cowherd's depth and growth as a composer, as well as his ability to write for the band's collective expression. Another highlight is "Most Precious One" and its companion piece "Most Precious One (Prodigy)." The former starts off with Thomas' steady bass mantra, and then transitions into a more layered, beat-driven performance of the composition. The album closes with the Blade composition "Omni," which features Walden's soaring alto. (Verve Music Group) Price: £13.99
For Garrett, Seeds from the Underground is a special recording. It consists solely of original compositions, and is truly a homage to those who have inspired and influenced him, both personally and musically. "All of these songs are dedicated to someone," says Garrett. "And the 'seeds' have been planted, directly or indirectly, by people who have been instrumental in my development." Among them are Jackie McLean, Roy Haynes, Marcus Belgrave, Keith Jarrett and Christian Laviso. (Proper Note) Price: £13.99
Mentored himself by Art Blakey and Miles Davis Garrett feels it his duty to carry on that tradition by encouraging young talent. So he drew on a wide pool of musicians on this session, newcomers as well as older hands. In addition to regular quintet member Donald Brown the other two pianists he used, Vernell Brown and Benito Gonzalez, are both graduates of the informal Kenny Garrett School of Music. The drummers include McClenty Hunter, Marcus Baylor and Mark Whitfield Jr. and the featured percussionist Rudy Bird has now been added to Garrett's working group. (ProperNote) Price: £13.99
Metropolitain was recorded live in the back streets of Paris at Studio Feber, a tiny, wood-panelled studio suggested to Kyle by guest pianist on the album Eric Legnini. Kyle splits his time between Paris and LA but Paris seemed an appropriate spiritual home for this project. Perhaps because it gave Kyle access to such an incredible batch of top quality musicians. As well as Legnini the album sees collaborations with cutting edge French pop vocalist Camille, German trumpet superstar Till Brönner and French drummer and current trailblazer Manu Katché. (Proper Music) Price: £12.99
Eastwood went on to produce a wonderful series of albums for the Candid label, whilst also composing music for several of his dad's films including Letters from Iwo Jima and Gran Torino. Now that he has joined Jazz Village, he has affirmed his love for all things French by bringing his loyal band of eager young Brits to record at La Buissonne, one of France's best modern studios. Dynamic, bursting with powerful grooves and innovative melodies, The View From Here reveals the eclectic music of a musician of his time, a band leader, a virtuoso and an exceptional composer: Kyle Eastwood. (Harmonia Mundi) Price: £14.99