In dark alleys: five new jazz albums
April is full of the intoxicating spirit of renewal. And it happens every year. And, thank God, for more than a hundred years, new jazz albums have been released at this time. April 19 of the XXI century is the return from oblivion of legendary figures, a bold experiment in a difficult duet format and something almost impossible-a solo album on a non-isolating instrument. As well as a lot of interesting author’s compositions. A hundred years ago, probably none of this collection would have been labeled “jazz” (or “jass” as the word was then spelled), but so what?
Larry Grenadier “the Gleaners” double bass Solo albums are not released every day. Here is in direct sense — solo, without other instruments at all! Even solo double bass pieces are rare, let alone entire programs. Risked to make such an album by a musician who is, in General, entitled to the status. Specifically, Larry Grenadier, best known as brad Meldau’s eternal collaborator.”The Gleaners” is expected to show Grenadier in all the brilliance of technology with tricks of polyphony, pleases with the absence of monotony, and the author’s material is grown on different soils-from Bach to BOP (the groove “Pettiford” is a tribute to it is clear to whom). Music of subtle echoes and bright ghosts.You can talk about this album for a long time, but the main thing, I think, is this. Whatever the intentions of Larry Grenadier, but the Gleaners feels like a polemic with the hero of “double Bass” Patrick Suskind, who reasoned that a person is not born for the double bass, on the contrary, the double bass is an evil fate, and so on.And his main claim: in classical music, the double bass has very, very few solo parts — the hero hates jazz — so he, such a good musician, can not Shine in any way. Not fate! This album is just about the fact that a person in any context will Shine. There would be a personality.
Apple Music, Yandex.Music, DeezerBranford Marsalis Quartet “the Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul”To 58-year-old saxophonist Brenford Marsalis questions in the style of “jass” it’s either “jazz” or not jazz at all — would not be. He is a well-known “traditionalist”, coming from an old new Orleans musical (read — jazz) family. At the same time, the eldest of the Marsalis brothers, mostly plays author’s music, and quite tricky. And in terms of sound-phrasing, it doesn’t copy anyone. That is, it is retrograde only at a superficial glance.Here is the new album of his Quartet — of course, you can just put the label “acoustic post-BOP”, and there he goes. And you can be amazed by the original melodies, sharp and fresh phrases, flowing improvisations and the necessary “swing”. Drive, that is. Despite the fact that the music, I repeat, is author’s (from each musician of the Quartet), not easy, without indulging the listener with cold ears.Two interesting covers: Andrew hill’s rock and roll “Snake Hip Waltz “and Keith Jarrett’s” the Windup ” (he played it with his European Quartet). Both are from the “electric” seventies. On the latter, the Quartet’s permanent pianist, Joey Calderazzo, plays Jarrett, but in a different way.
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Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah “Ancestral Recall” We are already used to the fact that jazz musicians of the middle generation, virtuosos with the widest musical and cultural horizons, do who’s what — jazz, not jazz, Frank unformat.And trumpeter Christian Scott (who, by the way, performed in Moscow with Marcus Miller) is one of these “greyhounds”. His new album is an unusually bright thing. Polityczna, but focused. Here the leitmotif is ethnic, quasi-African chants. Hard broken rhythms-also something like an African adjusted for the modern metropolis. For” pure jazz ” here is responsible, perhaps, only the trumpet of Scott. And in principle, the question of style and even genre is useless to put: this is such a creative post-BOP in the broadest interpretation.Here, for example, the song “Forever girl” — some sick R’n’b with an unformatted sound; and” Song She Never Heard ” with saxophonist Logan Richardson-wrong smooth, rough, mixed with ethnic and noise. Well, everything in this way — you will go mad to unravel the meanings, and there is no need for it.Apple Music, Yandex.Music, Deezer
Joey DeFrancesco “In the Key of the Universe” Joey Defrancesco is one of the main Hammond organists in modern jazz. Even cooler: a modern classic. “Hammond” is practically equal to Defrancesco. Ready to bet?This album presents an unexpected and rather brazen idea. Even two. First, the style. It can be described as instrumental psychedelic soul, but-does this even happen?Although Yes, there were times in jazz in the 70s, but then there were many things that didn’t happen — both great and forgotten — so even now it doesn’t hurt to look into the marginal alleys. “Spiritual jazz in the key of the Universe”, as Defrancesco himself says about his work. In the end, this is about it: structured instrumental songs with a touch of soul and psychedelia.The recording featured drummer Billy HART and saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, who you probably thought “is he alive?”. So it was defrancesco who brought Him back from retirement to jazz. And not just for some veteran benefit, but for such a cool album. Isn’t it wonderful?Apple Music, Yandex.Music, Deezer
Vijay Iyer & Craig Taborn “the Transitory Poems” is a Rarity these days: a Duo of two more than notable pianists. Vijay Iyer and Craig Teborn-all those who are interested in modern jazz, these names will say a lot. A duet of these two luminaries is associated with, say, Chick Corea / Herbie Hancock or something like that.The basis for this recording was laid back in 2002, when Ayer and Teborn played with Roscoe Mitchell of the legendary Art Ensemble of Chicago. Then they were both beginners-interesting, but now, of course, they are already in a different status. This album is live. Uncompromising. No concessions.Author’s music, which, like much in this collection, is difficult to attribute to any jazz — even clean, even dirty. Original compositional thinking (with echoes of Ligeti and other avant-gardists) plus complete freedom of instrument ownership and improvisation (like Cecil Taylor, but here without hard fries).They are so different, do not agree with each other, rather the opposite — a proper conflict is created. Otherwise, why would the Duo be confused? In General, complex in musical terms and dark in mood album moderate avant-garde with groove. Dedicated to the late pianist Geri Allen.