New releases, early summer 2021, A-B

    A list of new releases notified to JJ early summer 2021. The descriptive texts are as supplied by promoters or musicians, except where edited for length. Search JJ, top right, for possible review of any title


    Aarset, Eivind: Phantasmagoria (Jazzland Recordings) The Eivind Aarset 4-Tet are augmented by Jan Bang, Derek Bishop and Arve Henriksen. By turns straightforward, rhapsodic, quasi-ambient, expressionistic and improvisisational.

    AIKA: Tila (AMP Music & Records, AT089) AIKA takes the listener on a musical journey from cosmic ambient landscapes to little molecules, overlapping, confronting, and encountering at times. Intimate and bare vocals and lyrical yet expressive bass playing are the core of AIKA – a musical journey through time. The project was started 14 years ago when Copenhagen-based Finns Tapani Toivanen (bass & composition) and Johanna Sulkunen (voc & composition) and) first worked together. Since then the duo has been growing together in their musical languages both separately and together, always eager to push themselves musically to territories unknown. They are now ready for a united expression.

    Allison, Mose: The Complete Atlantic / Elektra Albums 1962-1983 (Cherry Red) Strawberry Records are proud to present the 12 albums that Mose Allison issued on Atlantic Records and Elektra Musician between 1962 and 1982 on 6CDs.

    Altamore, Jim: Jim Altamore Celebrates Sinatra With The Cote Ouest Orchestra Live In France (Spank Music 1017) New York singer, Jim Altamore, fronts France’s Cote Ouest Orchestra to celebrate Sinatra’s music for an 8 city concert tour of France. The charts are spot-on, the orchestra swings and the vocals are in the pocket

    Altschul, Barry: Long Tall Sunshine (Not Two Records) The album is the thrilling new live performance by The 3Dom Factor, the astounding trio led for the last decade by legendary drummer/improviser Barry Altschul. All three voices are vitally important in the band: Altschul’s powerful, ever-inquisitive drumming, the tirelessly venturesome saxophone playing of Jon Irabagon and the acrobatic muscularity of bass great Joe Fonda.

    Amenta, Francesco: Midtown Walk (Amenta Music International, 001) Italian transplant to NYC, saxophonist Francesco Amenta teams with Cyrus Chestnus for a set of mostly originals, all excellently penned, and one Ellington cover for a gorgeous straightahead set.

    Anti Rubber Brain Factory: Marokait (LFDS RECORDS LFDS002) Free Jazz & Trad; Music from Morocco. Throughout the centuries each region, each town and sometimes even each village in Morocco have developed their own particular individual musical identities. Inspired by everyday life they give expression to major events of society recording and marking the identity of tribes and regions. They constitute an absolute traditional treasure, telling the tales of the different customs of people but also giving voice to their rebellious spirits and their magical and mystical visions of the world. Our inspiration comes from this wide multicolored repertoire and we have endeavored to respect, to the best of our ability, the shapes, structures, rhythms and intentions that we can feel in this music and to reproduce them with what makes us musical beings.

    Anti Rubber Brain Factory: Serious Stuff & Lots of Lightness (LFDS RECORDS LFDS001) Recorded in 2014 with 19 musiciens part from France, part from Morocco, mixing Free Jazz and Moroccan traditional Music. Yoram Rosilio (contrebasse, pianet, flute, t’bal, direction, arrangements) // Abdelkader “Ben Brik” Ed-Dibi (gheïta, karkabou, taarija), Abdelmalek Benhamou (gheita, ganga, karkabou, herrez), Jean-Michel Couchet (sax alto, soprano), Florent Dupuit (sax tenor, flute, piccolo), Benoit Guenoun (sax tenor, flutes), Maki Nakano (sax alto, ney), Jean-Brice Godet (clarinettes), Jérôme Fouquet (trompette), Nicolas Souchal (trompette), François Mellan (tuba), Jean-Philippe Saulou (effets), Simo Akharraz (chant lead, karkabou), Najem Belkedim (t’bal, karkabou, tara, chœur), Hassan Nadhamou (taarija, chœur), Rachid El Ayoubi (ganga, karkabou, derbouka, chœur), Abderrahmane Nemini (t’bal, karkabou, chœur), Salah Saya (tamtama, ganga, tara, chœur).

    Anti Rubber Brain Factory: Ensueños Burlescos, Peligrosos Y Misticos De Tierras Mexicanas (LFDS RECORDS LFDS008) “Ensueños Burlescos, Peligrosos and Misticos by Tierras Mexicanas” was recorded in June 2018 at Anis Gras (France) and performs compositions by Yoram Rosilio made during several trips across Mexico between December 2016 and March 2018. These are 3 recording sessions that gave birth to this disc. 3 consecutive sessions during which the musicians have recorded directly – live and without repetition – the proposed pieces. Between 2 and 5 versions of each piece have been engraved. I later chose those that seemed to me to best match the initial spirit of the composition but also the one where the “magic” and the unexpected were invited. The Musicians: Jérôme FOUQUET (tp) // Nicolas SOUCHAL (tp) // Jean-Michel COUCHET (sax) Florent DUPUIT (sax, fl, picc) // Benoit GUENOUN (sax, fl) // Benoit CRAUSTE (bar sax) // Morgane CARNET (bar sax, clar) // Christiane BOPP (tb) // François MELLAN (soub) // Niels MESTRE (guit) // Stéphane MAURIN (guit) // Karsten HOCHAPFEL (cel) // Gaelle GUENVER (vln) // Yoram ROSILIO (bs, perc, dir, arr) // Florent ALLIROT (bs) // Eric DAMBRIN (dm) // Ananda CHERER (perc) // Makoto SATO (dm) // Rafael KOERNER (dm).

    Antoine, Marc: Something About Her (Shanachie Entertainment) Guitarist Marc Antoine’s new recording is a musical love letter to his wife featuring original material. All-star line up with David Benoit, Brian Simpson, Philippe Saisse and Marion Meadows.

    Arbenz, Florian, Mehari, Hermon, Veras, Nelson: Conversation #1 (Florian Arbenz) The 1st album from an ambitious series of 12 albums, recorded by the Swiss drummer with diverse ensembles. This time, contemporary original jazz performed by the trio with American trumpeter and Brazilian guitarist.

    Archer, Martin / Keeffe, Charlotte / Pyne, Martin: Hi Res Heart (Discus 108CD) 12 compositions for reeds / brass / percussion in a blues drenched AACM music continuum.

    Archipelago: Echoes To The Sky (New Jazz and Improvised Music Recordings (NEWJAiM7) The award-winning UK trio return with an expanded take on their genre-fusing sound, augmenting their core sax-drums-bass palette with voice, electronics and synth. Imagining new worlds where raw realities exist alongside surreal possibilities, ‘Echoes to the Sky’ is an album inspired by transformation, loss and a sense of hopeful mystery.

    Argüelles, Steve; Palotaï, Csaba: Cabane Perchée (BMC Records / BMCCD303) Bartók meets desert blues and Moondog on an acoustic trip in a treehouse. The Paris-based acoustic jazz duo consists of the Hungarian guitarist, Csaba Palotai, who has long been living and working in France, and his good British friend Steve Argüelles, a drummer and percussionist.

    Australian Art Orchestra: Closed Beginnings (AAO Recordings, AAO007) Ground-breaking music featuring Zimbabwean/Australian poet that lands like a gut punch. An inspired sonic journey that draws the listener close to the beauty of the moment in these fast changing times. Debut release of Tariro Mavondo (spoken word), Reuben Lewis (trumpet, electronics) and Peter Knight (trumpet, revox B77).

    Baan, Wilma: So Nice (WB001) Produced by Claire Martin OBE and trombonist/producer Chris Traves (Diana Ross, the musical Chicago and the BBC), and with arrangements by pianist Graham Harvey (Dave O’Higgins, Stacey Kent, Incognito), the record offers a sparkling assortment of much-loved jazz standards, the ideal setting for Dutch vocalist Wilma Baan’s flawless delivery.

    Bae, Seijin: Direction (Da Vinci Jazz) ‘Direction’ is Korean jazz pianist Sejin Bae’s debut album and features some of the finest Jazz musicians in Beijing, China including Nathaniel Gao on sax, Chenhuai Wang on bass and Antonio Fusco on drums.

    Baevsky, Dmitry: Soundtrack (Fresh Sound New Talent FSNT 618) New York saxophonist Dmitry Baevsky presents his 9th album. Along with Jeb Patton, David Wong and Pete Van Nostrand, he leads a high-flying quartet of unshakable cohesion. Soundtrack is an album imbued with great energy, remarkable lyricism and a luminous humanity throughout.

    Baker, Chet & Bill Evans: Alone Together (Groove Replica 77031) No details given.

    Baker, Chet: Chet Baker Sings (Waxtime 59200) No details given.

    Baker, Chet: Chet: The Lyrical Trumpet of Chet Baker (20th Century Masterworks 350221) No details given.

    Baker, Jalen: This Is Me, This Is Us (Outside In Music) This Is Me, This Is Us is the electrifying debut album from vibraphonist Jalen Baker. On this gripping release, the Houston-based talent introduces nine original compositions, and one reimagined Stevie Wonder classic. Baker’s passionate lyrical improvisation presents a deeply substantive, original album centered around themes of spirituality, trauma, and healing.

    Barton Think: My Last Album (Time Is The Enemy) Takes in elements of soul, hip hop, jazz, electronic, broken beat and trip hop. Think of Everything is Recorded, Madlib, Children of Zeus, D’Angelo, Ezra Collective and you’re on the right track. As for who it’s by, nobody really knows. The mysterious name of Barton Think is attached, but it was picked up by new Italian label Time Is The Enemy without much information at all.

    Bartz, Gary NTU Troop: Live In Bremen 1975 (Moosicus Records / M1315-2) Legendary saxophonist Gary Bartz (Art Blakey, Miles Davis etc.). On this live recording Bartz was joined by drummer Howard King, bassist Curtis Robertson and pianist Charles Mims, an extraordinary, musically brilliant quartet that was well-rehearsed and coordinated. Unfortunately, it was short-lived, because quite soon after this performance, the members of the NTU Troop went their own ways again.

    Basie, Count  : The Collection 1937-39 (Acrobat ACTRCD9105) Basie’s music transcends the worlds of small group jazz, big band music, swing and R&B, with many future stars of the genre coming to prominence playing with his orchestra. This collection features many of his well-known compositions like One O’Clock Jump, Blue And Sentimental and Blues In The Dark.

    Bass, Dave: The Trio, Vol. 1 (Dave Bass Music) No details given.

    Beccaro, Francesco: Upward (Auand AU5019) After a decade of on-stage and recording activity in New York, while also teaching at the Collective School of Music, and having just set up home in Berlin, Italian bass player Francesco Beccaro has recently finalized “Upward” – his debut album as a leader, out in stores and also on BandCamp on Friday, May 21st – in his hometown Biella, Italy. He joins forces with Omri Abramov (sax), Tal Arditi (guitar) – both Israeli-born, Berlin-based musicians, and his brother Andrea Beccaro (drums). Another relative also pops up: their father Bruno Beccaro is the painter behind the CD cover art.

    Bello, Alí: Inheritance (Tiger Turn) Inheritance is the rich new recording from the violinist and composer Alí Bello. Bello’s unique amalgam of modern jazz and musical traditions from Venezuela and the Caribbean is showcased on an entirely original set of nine compositions. Inheritance documents the dazzling compositional output of the acclaimed leader and showcases the spirited rapport of his renowned Sweet Wire Band.

    Billy Bros. Swing Orchestra: Savoy Heyday (1936 – 1950) (Da Vinci Jazz) Savoy Heyday is a philological document focused on the major black orchestras who performed in the Mecca of dance – or the Home of Happy Feet – as the Savoy Ballroom of Harlem, N.Y., was called.

    Biscodini Organ Trio: Lockdown (Hudson City Records 2101) Ten grooving jazz, RnB, soul and rock tracks from Los Angeles supergroup Biscodini Organ Trio. ‘The Hammond B3-guitar-drums format is among the most durable combo configurations in the music. But its elasticity was perhaps never tested as greatly as on the Biscodini Organ Trio’s remarkable new release Lockdown, which was recorded and co-produced remotely during the nationwide pandemic quarantine of 2020 by three gifted, versatile Los Angeles-based musicians. –Chris Morris

    Bjarni, Ingi: Lessons ( // IBS002) It’s an album of solo piano pieces written in 2020. Some of the pieces are thoroughly composed and written for both hands, while others are more open to improvisation. I don’t want to describe this music in terms of style; it is just music for piano! More info on:

    Blake, Dan S: Da Fé (Sunnyside SSC 1616) Released 12 March 2021, for New York saxophonist, composer and Buddhist Dan Blake (Esperanza Spalding, Anthony Braxton, Julian Lage) Da Fé is an outgrowth of Blake’s own activism. Recorded with a quartet featuring pianist/keyboardist Carmen Staaf, bassist Dmitry Ishenko, and veteran drummer Jeff Williams.

    Blakey, Art & Clifford Brown: A Night At Birdland (Jazz Images 37184) No details given.

    Blakey, Art & Clifford Brown: A Night At Birdland (Jazz Images 38119) No details given.

    Blakey, Art & The Jazz Messengers: At The Café Bohemia (Jazz Images 37186) No details given.

    Blakey, Art & The Jazz Messengers: At The Cafe Bohemia (Jazz Images 38122) No details given.

    Branch, Jaimie : FLY or DIE LIVE (International Anthem / IARC0041) Recorded at Moods in Zurich (01/23/2020), this incredible live album documents branch with her primary touring unit and the captures the bands peak performance, after several years of consistent touring in support of branch’s albums Fly or Die (2017) and Fly or Die II (2019).

    Bromberg, Brian: A Little Driving Music (Artistry Music ART7077) Virtuoso bassist Brian Bromberg finds inspiration during the pandemic with a funk driven new album conjuring the spirit of the open road. Featuring a dozen new compositions, it includes an elite roster of long time collaborators including saxophonists Dave Koz and Everett Harp and, perhaps more unusually, one symphonic piece featuring a string orchestra.

    Brown, Keith: African Ripples (Space Time Records) Keith Brown fulfills a long-held artistic vision on his third release as a leader, African Ripples. The album’s compositions are designed to convey his personal experiences through Black music and how it has rippled out in so many different directions. African Ripples features innovative original compositions by Brown as well as several arrangements of tunes by such luminaries as Fats Waller and Stevie Wonder.

    Brunetaud, Julien: Feels Like Home (Swing Alley Records (SA 043) Julien Brunetaud (p), Sam Favreau (b), Cédrick Bec (d). A modern view on Blues and Boogie patterns.