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Guitarist, singer and songwriter Marc Ribot has been a tear of late – his last pair of albums, Ceramic Dog’s YRU Still Here? and his own Songs of Resistance 1942-2018 were both overt broadsides against the bow of the then-presidential administration. Recorded with the Dog (AKA drummer Ches Smith and bassist/jack-of-all-trades Shahzad Ismaily), Hope continues the trend, reflecting the struggles of living through the pandemic.
The sonic chanteuse Róisín Murphy returns with the same energetic class as 2020 with Crooked Machine
NYC quartet Nortonk takes its inspiration from classic chord-free quartets like Ornette Coleman’s classic foursome of the fifties and sixties, or more recent practitioners like Broken Shadows.
There’s a real joy to these performances – you can easily imagine the musicians grinning the whole time the tapes rolled.
Fifth LP Eternal Life finds leader Guts Guttercat and his merry crew eschewing irony, flash and trendiness for sincerity, style and classicism.
Everything Happens to Be. just happens to be a perfect example of adventurous jazz in the twenty-first century.
The songs serve up memorable hard bop melodies over infectious rhythms, while the group’s interest in Latin and African music gives every cut buoyant grooves that make the songs danceable without being anything so crass as crossover.
Worlds and generations collide, with breathtaking results.
What makes the record stand out isn’t just the confident swing of the band or the easy melodicism of the leader. It’s also the thought put into the programming.
Though Kansas City foursome Knife Crime has been together a decade, Lovely is only their first LP. But founding brothers Byron and Brad Huhmann, Jeremiah James Gonzales, and Jake Cardwell have honed their skills in 16 bands between them.
On album #2, Lawrence, KS trio Chess Club sharpens their songwriting and attack – and ditches the sporadic lapses into screamo – over 2018’s haphazard Hit the Ball.
Westward Bound! is a prime showcase for Land’s talents as a bandleader and improviser.
Madness on Repeat which fantastically showcases the tight, telepathic communication between the members and their impressive musicianship.
Moullier’s focus here is on the song, rather than virtuoso displays – not that there aren’t a few of those.
A 2000 psychedelic gem from Argentina resurfaces in the material world.
When Australia’s Scientists reunited for wildly received tours and performances in support of their massive 2016 boxed retrospective A Place Called Bad, a new record seemed inevitable.
This is no blowing session, where he shows off every style he can play. Instead Lage uses just the right bits of his experiences to serve each song.
The seventh album from Lanterna, Hidden Drives finds Frayne in top-notch form, spinning dreamy, tuneful webs of six-string sorcery that recall wide vistas, sunny mountainsides, and rivers running alongside green shores.
Bay area pianist Dahveed Behroozi has long split his time between jazz and classical music, and it shows on his second album Echos.
The producer with the midas touch John Owen Williams releases his debut album Out Of Darkness, and all expectations are fulfilled
The record may have been intended to celebrate its legendary timekeeper’s birthday, but it sounds instead like the inauguration of jazz’s latest great new band.
His third LP, Looking For Trouble keeps the faith with the vision he established long ago – raw, melodic ditties with touches of glam and Americana for extra flavor.
Perched somewhere between dark pop and the avant- garde, Endgame is a tricky work of art to unravel, but there are plenty of rewards for those who try.
Armed only with three varieties of kantele (a Finnish table harp that’s like an autoharp, but with a much wider range) and her rich voice, Langeland essays a program of traditional and original tunes, plus poetry set to her own music.
The debut album from Montreal garage pop quartet Pale Lips is a perfectly sweet ‘n ‘ sour gumball of tight melodies and trashy energy.
Jay Som + Palehound = a gentle, idiosyncratic gem.
Like the “old cedar box” described in “Polaroid Parade,” Songs from the Briarpatch plays like a collection of memories—some good, some bad, some in between—and the resulting feelings that emerge are not easy to pick apart.
Knoxville, TN singer, guitarist, bassist, and keyboardist Jared Colinger began The Enigmatic Foe with 2005’s self-recorded The Titular Project; having since expanded to a full band, this 14-song double LP is their fifth album.
For Sharvit, all facets of this diamond called jazz have something to offer, and he’s happy to indulge in all of it…all at once.
Every song on Open Sesame is like some song you heard on the radio in the 70s once and blew your mind even if you never found out the name of the artist. And I think that’s the point.
Multi-instrumentalist Aidan Baker and bassist Leah Buckareff eagerly but gracefully take bits of shoegaze, noise rock, ambient electronics, doom metal and early nineties post-punk and mix them into a thick, plangent hellbrew that somehow manages to be both luscious and noxious.
Race Against Time acknowledges that such a race as its title suggests is ultimately impossible to win, and thereby the album ends up one of the genre’s most thoughtful and intelligent entries in a long time.
With only three solo LPs since 2001, this June 12, 2021 Record Store Day EP from Winston-Salem, NC singer/guitarist Foster (ex-Right Profile/Carneys/Pinetops) is welcome.
Take three guys with loads of experience in jazz, rock, funk and anything that jams, put ‘em in a recording studio (or onstage), and you might well get something like WRD’s The Hit.
Though the music was collectively improvised (with the exception of the title track, which is based on a Norwegian folk tune), the trio avoids discord – everyone plays with like minds, seeking out spontaneous melodies and arrangements and sticking to them.
Released June 4th on deep red vinyl and digital, Strawberry Birthmarks is a collection of unreleased recordings from post punk artist Jowe Head
Watts’ combo of Midwestern fire, L.A. flash and Northeast sneer means it pretty much has no choice but to write tunes with titles like “Shocking Pink,” “Heavy Metal Kids” and All Done With Rock & Roll.”
I dug Portland, OR noise-pop foursome The Honus Huffhines’ 2014 second LP Feel Safe, Be Safe; named for a put-down line from The Office UK, The Swindon Lot is their singer/multi-instrumentalist Andy Giegerich’s solo project.
On June 18th, Kimberley Rew and Lee Cave-Berry return with a new long-player titled ‘Purple Kittens’, a tour-de-force of styles and perfectionism.
The LP-plus-bonus-7-inch continues the good work of past albums, blending motorik beats, brooding kosmiche electronics and sun-blasted desert landscapes – think Tangerine Dream if they’d come from the American Southwest.
Originally released only on limited edition vinyl as part of a box set subscription service, Strata – the debut album from Icelandic bassist/composer Skúli Sverrisson and maverick American jazz guitarist Bill Frisell – finally sees release for the less-well heeled music fan, if only in digital form.
Infused equally with improvisational acumen and rock & roll power, Numbers Maker reintroduces Desertion Trio in a shower of sparks.
Saxophonist Joe Lovano and trumpeter Dave Douglas are both two of modern jazz’ most acclaimed and creative bandleaders, throwing their long arms around a wide variety of stylistic permutations and bending them to their wills. Thus Other Worlds, the duo’s third record together with their Sound Prints project, finds them in typically eclectic form.
Throughout Zombification, Nashville-based, Minneapolis-raised singer/songwriter Oliver flails and massages his contorted, misshapen acoustic, while his distressed, rasping vocals sound like he’s having a hallucinogenic acid trip.
Apparently not wanting to waste any time, Pittsburgh’s premiere electronic rock band Zombi follows up on last year’s 2020 with the five-track EP Liquid Crystal.
Not an actual person, Philip Goth is the moniker for the new project of Josh Rawson, former bassist of folk-rockers The Felice Brothers; this debut was recorded by him in Philmont, NY over three years.
Despite the long distance nature of this collaboration, the band manages a high degree of spontaneity.
Born in Venezuela and based in New York City, jazz pianist Benito Gonzalez has amassed quite a resumé in his years on the scene. The 44-year-old has stints with heavyweights like Jackie McLean, Kenny Garrett and Azar Lawrence under his belt, and today acts as pianist and musical director for spiritual jazz pioneer Pharoah Sanders. He also has half a dozen albums as a leader, of which Sing to the World is the latest.