AJE’S BEST JAZZ RELEASES, 2021

AJE’S BEST JAZZ RELEASES, 2021 in alphabetical order…

Aakash Mittal, NOCTURNE

Adam O’Farrill, VISIONS OF YOUR OTHER

Adi Meyerson, I WANT TO SING MY HEART OUT IN PRAISE OF LIFE

Amaro Freita, BAQUAQUA

Amir ElSaffar, RIVERS OF SOUND

Andrew Cyrille Quartet, THE NEWS

Archie Shepp, Jason Moran, LEY MY PEOPLE GO

Arnan Raz, 7 DAYS

Artifacts, PLEASURE PALACE

Arturo O’Farrill, …DREAMING IN LIONS…

Belmondo Quintet, BROTHERHOOD

Ben Tiberio, RARE PEACE

Benoît Delbecq, ANAMORPHOSES

Brandee Younger, SOMEWHERE DIFFERENT

Brian Lynch, SONGBOOK VOL. 1 BUS STOP SERENADE

Cassie Kinoshi SEED Ensemble, BALLETBOYZ: BRADLEY 4:18

Charles Lloyd, TONE POEM BLUE NOTE POET SERIES

Chelsea Carmichael, THE RIVER DOESN’T LIKE STRANGERS

Damon Locks Black Monument Ensemble, NOW

Dave Holland, ANOTHER LAND

Dave Meder, UNAMUNO SONGS AND STORIES

David Tixier Trio, BECAUSE I CARE

DeAndre Lettsome, IMPETUS

Dr. Lonnie Smith, BREATHE

Edward Simon, SOLO LIVE

Elephant9, ARRIVAL OF THE NEW ELDERS

Enrico Rava, ROMA

Florian Arbenz, CONVERSATION #1

Gabriel Gosse, CHILDHOOD MEMORIES

Gregory Porter, STILL RISING – THE COLLECTION

Gretchen Parlato, FLOR

Hiromi, SILVER LINING SUITE

Irreversible Entanglements, OPEN THE GATES

Jaimie Branch, FLY OR DIE LIVE

Jalen Baker, THIS IS ME, THIS IS US

James Francies, PUREST FORM

James Brandon Lewis, CODE OF BEING

Jazztronik, UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE

Jeremy Pelt, GRIOT: THIS IS IMPORTANT

Jihye Lee, DARING MIND

Joe Lovano & Dave Douglas Sound Prints, OTHER WORLDS

Joe Lovano, GARDEN OF EXPRESSION

John Pope Quintet, THE RIGHT-HAND PATH

Jonas Sorgenfrei, ELEPHANTS MARCHING ON

Kazemde George, I INSIST

Keith Brown Trio, African RIPPLES

Kenny Garrett, SOUND FROM THE ANCESTORS

Kurt Elling w/guitarist Charlie Hunter, SUPERBLUE

Lewis Wright, THE COLOUR OF INTENTION

Lionel Loueke, CLOSE YOUR EYES

Magnus Lindgren, BIRD LIVES

Makaya McCraven, DECIPHERING THE MESSAGE

Malcolm Jiyane Tree-O, UMDALI

Marc Cary, LIFE LESSONS

Mareike Wiening, FUTURE MEMORIES

Marques Carroll, THE ANCESTOR’S CALL

Matt Ridley, THE ANTIDOTE

Matthew Shipp, CODEBREAKER

Menagerie, MANY WORLDS

Michael Mayo, BONES

Milho Hazama, IMAGINARY VISIONS

Nate Smith, KINFOLK 2: SEE THE BIRDS

Nick Mazzarella Trio, WHAT YOU SEEK IS SEEKING YOU

Obed Calvaire, WHOLE LOTTA LOVE: THE MUSIC OF LED ZEPPELIN

Orrin Evans, THE MAGIC OF NOW

Pat Metheny, SIDE-EYE NYC (V1. IV)

Prism Quartet, HERITAGE/REVOLUTION, VOL. 2

Remy Le Boeuf’s Assembly of Shadows, ARCHITECTURE OF STORMS

Roberto Olzer Trio, NOTTURNO

Sebastian Noelle, SYSTEM ONE

Shai Maestro, HUMAN

Simone Blasioli, CONVERSATION

Sons of Kemet, BLACK TO THE FUTURE

Tamill Rogeon, SON OF NYX

Terence Blanchard, ABSENCE

The Baylor Project, GENERATIONS

Theo Croker, BLK2LIFE || A FUTURE PAST

Thommy Andersson, WOOD CIRCLES

Timothee Robert, QUARKS

Victor Gould, In Our Time

Vijay Iyer, UNEASY

Will Glaser, CLIMBING IN CIRCLES

William Parker, TABASCO

*Playlist coming soon to Spotify

[NOTEWORTHY] …influential tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker’s Pilgrimage is a portrait of his transcending musical journey

Next to John Coltrane, Michael Brecker was unquestionably the most influential tenor player in the history of jazz. As a result of his stylistic and harmonic innovations, he is the most studied contemporary jazz musician in music schools throughout the world today. He is also a 13-time Grammy winner. Following a two-and-a-half-year battle with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and leukemia, Brecker passed away on January 13, 2007. While in the midst of his debilitating illness, however, Brecker persevered. His work in the studio at the time of his death includes some of the finest music he has ever recorded.

Pilgrimage chronicles Brecker’s final journey one in which the music itself served as a sustaining force. Those present in the studio recall moments when the rigors of recording were so physically taxing nearly to the point of collapse for the leader whose health was compromised. In the end, it was Brecker’s sheer will, and a dedication to completing the recording, that pushed him, his colleagues, and the project as a whole across the finish line. As is often the case, the adversity working against the creator only makes the creation that much stronger and richer and all the more sublime. Every one of the nine tracks composed by Brecker on Pilgrimage is a portrait of an artist at the peak of his creative powers. The album is the first in Brecker’s stellar discography which consists solely of his original compositions.

Each tune is compelling in this 75-minute set, and there are moments within each that are absolutely transcendent. Pilgrimage is a singular phenomenon in the annals of recorded music. It’s a consummate creative statement with a vision that speaks to us from a place we cant comprehend. It ¡s an invitation to take the spiritual journey of an artist whose legacy will outlast us all. ~Editorial Review | Amazon

Original Release Date: March 27, 2007

At your leisure, check out “PILGRIMAGE” by Michael Brecker

[What are you listening to?] …Tokyo Day Trip: Live EP featuring collaborators Pat Metheny, Christian McBride, & Antonio Sanchez

Tokyo Day Trip: Live EP is a collection of 5 tracks recorded live in Tokyo with Metheny’s trio, featuring bassist Christian McBride and drummer Antonio Sanchez. The tracks were recorded at the end of 2004 before the trio went into the studio to record the recently released and highly praised Day Trip.

The tracks were produced, mixed, and mastered by Metheny and long-time collaborator Steve Rodby. Several tracks were previously available as digital-only downloads; this will be the first time all 5 are available together on CD. The tunes range from intense and animated (Traveling Fast), to acoustic ballads (The Night Becomes You) to electric fusion (Back Arm and Blackcharge).

More than just an extension of the studio record, this EP represents the trio at the height of their mastery, live and in the moment. The artwork for the EP, a re-creation of the original Day Trip street scene but a view of Tokyo instead of New York was created by painter Josh George, who hails from Metheny’s hometown, Lees Summit, Missouri. ~Editoral Reviews | Amazon

Original Release Date: March 1, 2008

At your leisure, check out “TOKYO DAY TRIP” by Pat Metheny 

 

Pat Metheny’s searingly electric, powerfully intense or deeply contemplative Side-Eye

Pat explains, “I wanted to create an ongoing platform to host a rotating cast of the newer generations of musicians who have particularly caught my interest along the way. From my earliest days in Kansas City onward, I was the beneficiary of so many older musicians hiring me, which gave me a chance to develop through the prism of their experiences and the particular demands of what their music implied.” Metheny has given this band concept the name Side-Eye and hopes that it might become a rotating group of musicians who could come and go in different combinations.

So far, there have been four iterations, hence the V.1-IV sub-heading on the record. Whether searingly electric, powerfully intense or deeply contemplative, highly composed or totally improvised, or even with some new-fangled contraption of his own design, there is always that unmistakable Metheny sensibility at work that has stood at the forefront of jazz for what is now approaching five decades. The Side-Eye series is the latest chapter in his continually unfolding story. ~Editorial Review | Amazon

Listen to “IT STARTS WHEN WE DISAPPEAR” from the forthcoming recording by Pat Metheny with his new concept band Side-Eye

 

REFLECTION: Saxophonist Kenny Garrett lends his voice and fresh interpretations to the music of John Coltrane with “PURSUREANCE”…

Kenny Garrett, PURSUREANCE: THE MUSIC OF JOHN COLTRANE (Original Release: June 25, 1996)

With his new album (SOUNDS OF THE ANCESTORS) just around the bend, I decided to revisit the music of saxophonist Kenny Garrett to refamiliarize myself with his voice. As jazz enthusiasts, we can be a bit finicky, and frankly Flatout judgemental about whose playing what style in this beloved genre. It shouldn’t have been no surprise that Kenny at this time in 1996 decided to pay tribute to the music of jazz legend John Coltrane’s vast catalog with his own virtuosity and fresh interpretations of these classics titled “PURSUANCE: THE MUSIC OF JOHN COLTRANE.”

With “PURSUANCE,” considering he’s been mentored by Miles Davis Garrett has honed his own anointed style, agency, and will to render with respect to these 11 bewildering masterpieces through a purpose-driven vision is thoughtful, unyielding, appointed grace, power, and soulfulness I imagined this Qwest would be. It’s apparent, to accomplish his goal, he called upon this seasoned ensemble of players drummer Brian Blade, guitarist Pat Metheny, and bassist Rodney Whitaker to the session as partners and journeymen to engrave their unique signatures with engaging and unmatched interplay soar effortlessly without reinventing the wheel as only accomplished musicians can do.

No doubt about it, my favorite selections on this project are like earworms these electrifying gems propelled with expected gravity required to keep one’s attention “EQUINOX, DEAR LORD, LONNIE’S LAMENT, LIKE SUNNY, PURSUANCE, ALABAMA, GIANT STEPS and concludes with LATIFAH” will assure that Kenny Garrett, if you didn’t know, affirms his place as a supreme player, a pillar and living giant among jazz musicians of yesterday, today, and beyond. ~Reviewed by Rob Young

At your leisure, be sure a listen to “PURSUANCE: THE MUSIC OF JOHN COLTRANE” by Kenny Garrett.

“REFLECTIONS” …each day contains cherished memories to embrace. Today it’s the illuminating beauty of an album titled “LIKE MINDS” featuring 5 remarkable musicians …

Being a self-proclaimed musical futurist isn’t an easy way of life, sometimes a brother must pause and take a break to enjoy the simplicities of the obvious treasures that are just a touch away. On this gorgeous Wednesday afternoon, I decided to return to the source to rediscover familiar voices, rhythms, and melodies that pushed my hunger for music forward in the past to revisit once again these intriguing artists who speak fluently as if it were the first time I heard them with an abrupt reverence to stimulate minds and revive souls of those who listen throughout the body of this wonderful music.

Burton, Corea, Metheny, Haynes & Holland, LIKE MINDS

LIKE MINDS is one of those records that is shelved in the data bank of my mind knowing at any given moment, time, or day this masterpiece can speak with unmatched synergy with inventiveness and artistry known to mankind. Recorded and released in the latter 90s, this brilliant album features 5 of the best in the business featuring Gary Burton (vibes), Chick Corea (piano), Pat Metheny (guitar), Roy Haynes (drums), and Dave Holland on (bass) all are undoubtedly stellar musicians and soloist. Need I say more? With the anointed gifts to play music given to them, through hard work, and tenacity to play music live or in a studio is unsurpassed. There’s no doubt about it, if you don’t have “LIKE MINDS” in your collection, or your playlist and cease being a voyeur and get this gem now you won’t regret it!