For more information, go to motema.com/releases/cuba-the-conversation-continues/.
For more information, go to www.greenleafmusic.com/brazen-heart/.
features the talents of Stephan Crump (bass), Jose Davila (tuba, trombone), Damion Reid (drums), Steve Lehman (alto saxophone) and Jonathan Finlayson (trumpet). One hears a harder edge in the guitarist's playing than usually displayed on his work with Mr. Threadgill's Zooid and Mr. Crump's Rosetta Trio yet there is such an impressive soulfulness to his playing as well. The rhythm section of Davila, Crump and Reid is brilliant throughout plus the combination of Lehman and Finlayson adds spice to the overall sound.
For more information, go to pirecordings.com/album/pi60.
Composed for and performed by ElSaffar's Two Rivers Ensemble - Nasheet Waits (drums), Carlos DeRosa (bass), Tareq Abboushi (buzuq, a Persian string instrument related to the Greek bouzouki and Turkish saz), Zafer Tawil (oud, violin, qanun - a Persian zither - and Arab percussion), and Ole Mathisen (tenor saxophone), "Crisis" is filled with dazzling rhythms (Mr. Waits at his finest), splendid solos and emotionally rich vocals.
For more information, go to pirecordings.com/album/pi59.
For more information, go to www.jeremysiskind.com/music/housewarming/.
Guitarist Mary Halvorson seems to be as busy as Dave Douglas with her work as a bandleader plus her regular gigs with drummer Tomas Fujiwara, reed master Anthony Braxton, trombonist Jacob Garchik, bassist Michael Formanek and saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock (I'm sure I missed a few). 2015 saw the release of Ms. Halvorson's first solo CD "Meltframe" (Firehouse 12 Records), a fascinating collection of songs and sounds that illuminates the guitarist's myriad influences and just how original her work is. There is intensity as well as gentleness on this program of standards (such as Duke Ellington's "Solitude" and McCoy Tyner's "Aisha") and works by her contemporaries (bassist Chris Lightcap and Noël Akchoté).
For more information, go to firehouse12records.com/album/meltframe.
His ideas and sketches are interpreted by the fine ensemble of Satoshi Takeishi (drums, percussion), Michael Bates (acoustic bass). Hannah Collins (cello), Jason Ennis (guitar), vocalist Becca Stevens and the atmospheric accordion/piano of Vitor Gonçalves. The music is both intimate and expansive, leading the listener down unexpected yet entertaining paths.
For more information, go to thomasbergeron.bandcamp.com/album/sacred-feast.
n plus the musical talents of Brandon McCune (piano), Dave Stryker (guitar), Lonnie Plaxico (bass) and Alvester Garnett (drums), plus guests vibraphonist Stefan Harris, Malcom-Jamal Warner (spoken word), Marcus Miller (bass clarinet) and especially Ms. Lakecia Benjamin (alto saxophone) to create "Offering: The Music of Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson" (Motema Music). This potent combination of musicality and poetry, honesty and lyricism breathes new life into the original versions plus illuminates the power of social commentary. The entire package is pulled together by Ms. Wade's dramatic, emotional and lyrical voice.
For more information, go to chareneewade.bandcamp.com/releases.
For more information, go to davidberkman.com/music/old-friends-and-new-friends/.
ary of 2014 for a farewell concert. The resulting studio album, "Köln" (Alternate Side Records), shows both the talent of Mr. Gilkes and the versatility of the big band. While the music does have, at times, great power and swings with abandon, there are also many delicate passages and intelligent section voicings.
For more information, go to marshallgilkes.bandcamp.com.
Yes, I missed some great releases but these 3 posts include ones that I keep returning to, finding much to enjoy each time the music flows through the speakers or headphones. One can argue that music business is in disarray but musicians seem to find a way to get their voices, instruments, and ideas heard.
Merry Christmas, Happy 2016, and let us continue to work towards peace. Thanks for reading.