Friday, June 1, 2018

Jazz: Heaven & Earth, and other upcoming Jazz Album Releases

-Blue Note

Kamasi Washington

Chano Dominguez and Javier Colina - Chano & Colina (Sunnyside Records)
Release date: June 1
Spanish-born jazz and flamenco artists Chano Dominguez (piano) and Javier Colina (bass) have known each other since the 1980s, but had not played together in 15 years when they decided to perform live with a trio in Madrid in 2015. That performance led to more concert dates in the following years, including the one documented on Chano & Colina, recorded live at the Sala de Camara del Auditorio Nacional de Musica in Madrid on January 19, 2017. The recording includes fresh takes on original compositions and covers, including tunes by Paco de Lucia and Miles Davis.
Eddie Daniels - Heart of Brazil (Resonance Records)
Release date: June 1
Jazz clarinet icon Eddie Daniels’ new album, Heart of Brazil, pays tribute to Brazilian composer and multi-instrumentalist Egberto Gismonti. It features Daniels playing alongside pianist Josh Nelson, bassist Kevin Axt and drummer Mauricio Zottarelli plus the Harlem Quartet on strings. The album collects new arrangements by Nelson, Ted Nash, and Kuno Schmid of songs from Gismonti’s classic 1970s albums on Odeon/EMI Records

Marcus Miller - Laid Black (Blue Note Records)
Release date: June 1
Bass great Marcus Miller brings the influence of modern urban music to his trademark sound on his genre-defying new album Laid Black. This is Miller’s first album since Afrodeezia from 2015 and features the bassist playing alongside his band and with guest artists such as Trombone Shorty and Jonathan Butler, among others.

Kiefer - Happysad (Stones Throw)
Release date: June 8
Happysad is the first album by L.A. pianist and producer Kiefer Shackelford, better known as Kiefer, on the Stones Throw label. Kiefer likes to explore the synergy between jazz piano and electronic beats. His latest album is inspired by Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans and label mates Karriem Riggins and Knxwledge, and is focused, as Kiefer explains in a press release, “on both joy and sadness and how they are always intertwined.”

Thumbscrew - Ours/Theirs (Cuneiform Records)
Release date: June 8
Thumbscrew - comprised of longtime collaborators bassist Michael Formanek, drummer Tomas Fujiwara and guitarist Mary Halvorson - is releasing two new CDs, Ours and Theirs, on the newly revamped Cuneiform Records. The two new albums showcase the band in two different contexts, performing all originals on Ours and all covers on Theirs.All three members contribute at an equal rate, both in terms of composition and improvisation.

Onyx Collective - Lower East Side Suite Part Three (Big Dada Records)
Release date: June 15
Lower East Side Suite Part Three is the Onyx Collective's studio debut and their first album composed entirely of written music. Whereas their previous projects capture New York City’s more romantic side, this album has a more ominous sound, reflective of the dissonance that accompanies life in the city, partly inspired by their forced relocation out of their original practice space to a gritty pocket of Chinatown by the East River due to rising rent. “This is us doing it on our own,” explains the group's leader, saxophonist Isaiah Barr, in a press release, “with our own engineer, with a very low budget. That survival is really what I think jazz is: creating with your surroundings, and making something that’s a picture of that.”
R+R=NOW - Collagically Speaking (Blue Note Records)
Release date: June 15
Collagically Speaking is the debut album of dream team band R+R=NOW, featuring Robert Glasper, Terrace Martin, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Derrick Hodge, Taylor McFerrin, and Justin Tyson. The band is inspired by Nina Simone’s famous statement that an artist’s duty is to reflect the times, and in that spirit, it presents single-take songs written live in the room that go wherever the crew’s mood goes. The album explores such themes as quiet power, the women’s movement, systemic bigotry and universal love.

Sidsel Endresen & Jan Bang - Hum (Confront Recordings)
Release date: June 15
Electronic musician and studio producer Jan Bang and jazz vocalist Sidsel Endresen team up on Hum. The album was recorded live in Oslo, Norway, in 2016 and focuses on atomized gestures quarried from mutant combinations of voice and corrupted circuitry. Bang also mixed and produced Hum at his own Punkt Studio in Kristiansand, Norway

Kamasi Washington - Heaven and Earth (Young Turks)
Release date: June 22
Heaven and Earth is saxophonist Kamasi Washington’s first full-length follow-up to 2015’s The Epic. Washington stated in a Tweet, “The Earth side represents the world as I see it outwardly, the world that I am a part of. The Heaven side represents the world as I see it inwardly, the world that is a part of me.” Joining him on this journey are such artists as Thundercat, Terrace Martin, Cameron Graves and Tony Austin.

Charles Lloyd & The Marvels + Lucinda Williams - Vanished Gardens (Blue Note Records)
Release date: June 29
Saxophonist Charles Lloyd’s new album with his guitar-driven band The Marvels, Vanished Gardens, features vocalist Lucinda Williams on five of its tracks. Lloyd, who celebrated his 80th birthday earlier this year, says in a press release, “Having Lucinda on five of the tracks adds a new dimension to the overall experience for my listeners and for hers. I think on the new recording we were able to let go and plunge deeply into the sound.”

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