Icons, hermits, geniuses: the best jazz releases of winter 2020
As they say, spring has come into its own. And if we continue with cliches, the incredibly warm winter has melted the hearts, souls, and minds of jazz musicians… and something else.
That’s the truth — the more random, the truer… The review collected almost at random — looking for something congenial in the Pandan to the great John McLaughlin. But there is nothing like this. There is another. Therefore, it turned out such a colorful blanket. Question: is jazz at all or not jazz? In General — jazz. As for the details — read, watch and listen.
John McLauhlin, Shankar Mahadevan, Zakir Hussain “Is that so?”Another” Indian project” by guitarist John McLaughlin. This time, the trio is with his long — time tabla performer Zakir Hussain. And a younger singer, an author of Indian film music named Shankar Mahadevan. Such a strange mix. But the result is even more unexpected.In the noughties, McLaughlin released albums with a frequency of about once every two years, including an album with an unusual style and the name “Industrial Zen” (2006). And the new “Is That So” is the first in five years. The event itself.McLaughlin and two Hindus from opposite musical camps created something: not fusion, not guitar virtuosity (McLaughlin is the “guitar player of guitarists”), and not even world music. Indian flavors are present, but India is also somewhat conventional. This is not Shakti or even Remember Shakti. So what is it? I would say “Buddha-ambient”. There was no such term? There was no such music. Everything happens for the first time. And McLaughlin is a genius for always being original.Apple.Music, Yandex.Music, Deezer
Christian McBride “the Movement Revisited: A Musical Portrait of Four Icons”Here’s what your reviewer never could stand — these are jazz albums with a narrative. That is, the musicians play, and someone there tells something over the top. All sorts of clever things. Allegedly. Especially infuriating are all sorts of banalities like “spread your wings and / fly high to the sky / so high / you’re free / fly with me” … But what “free”? From what, from whom? The text of the words…In fact, the situation regarding” innovative jazz — a literary word ” has changed. Gregory porter, Donnie McCaslin, JD Walter – these jazzmen have long been confused on interesting songs with real verses.Christian McBride is too big to be just an accompanist. Or just do voice acting. But on his new album, the roles are, of course, not so distributed. Although when you first listen to the album, it asks for a conversational genre. Audiobook with music.The album is dedicated to four fighters for public rights in the States of half a century ago: Martin Luther king, Malcolm X, Rosa parks and Muhammad Ali. Not bad, huh? Excerpts from their speeches are examples of high rhetoric — their maxims that have become aphorisms… This is an audio tutorial on history. And music-still swings. And no contradictions for you.Apple.Music, Yandex.Music, Deezer
Lonnie Plaxico”Rhythm and Soul” Ghost Musician. Played in the 90s with many great (Art Blakey) and modern. He has recorded several solo albums of excellent quality and wild variety. The debut on the Blue Note label called “Mélange”, which mixed post-BOP, funk, jazz-rock and much more, caused a slight stir. But there is almost nothing written about it. When I was still young, I wrote an enthusiastic fan article about “Mélange” in Play magazine, but what did I understand then?..According to rumors, Lonnie Plaksico has scored heavily on his solo career and just rolls around the world in the group of a famous singer. Trouble, of course, but it seems to be his choice.Meanwhile, “Rhythm and Soul” — an album of the early 2000s Reissue-appeared on streaming services. And this is a bomb! Now it is the best time for such music-funky, soul, dense rhythm. Musicians as a selection. For example, on tenor-Wayne Escoffery (which will be discussed below), on tenor and soprano — Marcus Strickland, Phono — George Colligan. Young then — not out of date now.The play “The Time” is a showpiece for all musicians: an ornate soprano, then a virtuoso trumpet by Jeremy Pelt (or Alex Sipiagin?), a solo piece of double bass improvisation, and so on.Apple.Music, Yandex.Music, Deezer
Andy Bianco feat. Wayne Escoffery “NYC Stories” Love American tenor / soprano saxophonist Wayne Escoffery. In our region, he is known for his collaboration with the Oleg Butman trio. A fruitful collaboration, I must say — two excellent albums. Well, Oleg Butman himself with a mustache, what to say about him. And Escoffery is like the shadow of his namesake, Wayne Shorter. Especially on the sopranos — he’s a fan of his namesake, you know.The album guitarist Andy Bianco Escoffery does not give a sheet, but still my head is opposed to the romantic guitar laces. And in General-the atmosphere of such a relaxed timeless jazz.Apple.Music, Deezer
Number of PI “A Love…” Moscow supergroup of young jazz musicians. And gaslide.The track names remind you of something. Exactly: it turns out that the entire album is a version of the great album (even the Suite) by John Coltrane, “A Love Supreme”. The name is also clear from where.There are no words! Re-write “Love Supreme” – that’s the scoundrels!!! However, it is necessary. Jazz likes the bold. The album was a success. Train — he’s like the Bach of jazz: whatever you want, add, take away, add, subtract — you still get something amazing.Apple.Music, Yandex.Music, Deezer
Sam Paglia “Live in Italy (Live)” Finally, just a nice and masterful album without any special bells and whistles. The main thing there is the Hammond organ, crisp and warm. Excites downright gastronomically — this is not to use the moronic epithet “delicious”, but the mouth is watering, you can not go anywhere. And the guitar is nice.And the drum knocks are clear and neat. In principle, in the 90s this would have passed for acid jazz.