Tagged: new music

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Ryan Truesdell’s “Synthesis: The String Quartet Sessions”

During the pandemic lockdown, the celebrated producer-composer Ryan Truesdell (Gil Evans Project) commissioned fifteen leading composers, many from the jazz world, to produce new music for the venerable string quartet, giving the stellar artists few parameters, unleashing them to make brilliant contemporary music. The results are simultaneously “classical” and modern, familiar and experimental, comforting and...

Gabriela Martina’s “States”

For more than a decade the Swiss vocalist and composer Gabriela Martina has made the United States of America her home. Now relocating to her native Europe, Martina has created States, a valedictory recording that’s simultaneously a farewell and a hello, a retrospective of where we’ve been — global pandemic; democracy on the brink of...

Mark Dresser’s “Tines of Change”

Used traditionally, in most Western music the bass keeps time churning out fat quarter-notes based on the root of a chord. Ba-dum-dum-dum-dum. On his addictive new recording Tines of Change, the visionary master bassist and composer explores his instrument’s under-utilized sonic possibilities. The concatenation of squeaks, grumbles, twitters, growls, whistles, knocks, cries, howls, and, yes, nice...

Claire Dickson’s “Starland”

The music on Claire Dickson’s new recording, “Starland,” was conceived on a tall ship anchored in the Arctic Circle, where the dialectic between desolation and endless possibilities is truly otherwordly. Using sequencers, multi-tracking and plenty of air space, and moving gracefully from ambient to melodic, wordless to poetic, her songs evoke a sense of place...

Craig Taborn’s “60 x Sixty”

The prolific pianist-keyboardist-musician Craig Taborn has bequeathed to the world a fascinating (and addictive) conceptual recording called “60 x Sixty.” (It’s technically a Pyroclastic Records release, but free to experience and enjoy.) Comprised of sixty compositions, each one minute in duration, the suite of sounds rotates and shuffles with each play, updating periodically with new...

Dan Blake’s “Da Fe”

Does righteousness have a sound? Can good intentions be heard in the language of music? Saxophonist/composer Dan Blake’s new recording, Da Fe, attempts an aural answer to those questions, and the results are convincing. A Buddhist, social justice warrior, and former member of the Esperanza Spalding band, Blake’s values are deeply humanist and compassionate; on the...

Two Approaches to Jazz Drumming

For two consecutive weeks, we’ve been treated to compulsively listenable new albums by two excellent jazz drummers, Raphael Pannier (“Faune”) and Matt Wilson (“Hug!”). In many ways, the recordings couldn’t be more different. Pannier is a next generation virtuoso surrounded by other jazz killers — Miguel Zenon, Francois Moutin, Aaron Goldberg — whose spectacular modernist...

Vocal Jazz, Old and New

The ethereal jazz singer Jeanne Lee would have been 80 this year. A re-release of her duet album with New England Conservatory titan Ran Blake, “The Newest Sound You Never Heard,” more than 40 years after its 1966-7 recording, reveals a thoroughly modern singer unafraid to sound like no one but herself. This vocal individuality...

Colyn Cameron’s “Sad and Easy”

We’ve had “Sad and Easy,” the latest recording from Wake Owl frontman Colyn Cameron, on auto-play. Airy, soft, trippy, light, elegant, real — the music is simultaneously catchy, in the best tradition of pop songs, and ethereal, in the best tradition of anti-pop. Cameron has a singular voice, androgynous leaning toward feminine, that goes down,...

Vocal Music Delights

Two new vocal recordings — one from a likely source, the other not — remind us that genuine vocal artistry brings delight not quite like anything else. The human voice, malleable and expressive and colorful, vibrates with genuine (and profound) feeling on “Close Up,” by Sara Serpa, the celebrated singer, known for her angelic tone,...