Get read for the sophomore release from the jazz not-a-supergroup (because they're modest like that) James Farm of saxophonist Joshua Redman, pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Matt Penman, and drummer Eric Harland. Their 2011 debut release on Nonesuch was a bunch of fun and great first outing for this group. Now they've gotten together for their second release with a new bunch of composition from the quartet. This time around, the band moves less from a conceptual idea of a collective to more of a pronounced idea of what this specific band is. In a music of collaboration, it's good to know these specific ties are binding to make this particular sound. Every one of these dudes in this quartet is a monster on his instrument and a moving composer, so it'll be exciting to hear what's next to come from James Farm. City Folk available for pre-order now at the Nonesuch website, and when you pre-order the album, you can download the first single, "Two Steps" written by Matt Penman. In the meantime, check out a stream of "Two Steps" after the jump.
I was rather distraught at the timing of this week's show. Last week at 9:50pm as my show was winding down, Joe Sample passed away at his home in Houston, Texas. I knew my next show would be all Joe Sample as tribute, but then I remembered Jazz'SAlive was the following weekend, and then Steve Coleman was named a MacArthur fellow, and The Bad Plus are still coming to town. The business of being a journalist has gotten in the way of the weekly schedule. I'll definitely do a Joe Sample tribute show as soon as I'm able, but for this week's show, there's still some business of current events and the usual newness I have to settle.
The Line-Up for 19 September 2014
I had reservations at first. Any album that integrates a string section must do so with care. Are the strings the main attraction? An accent? A layer of a greater sound or something flashy that pulls away from the central musician? Most importantly, when adding strings, is this album going to get Capital S Serious? Yet one run through 26-year-old saxophonist Mario Castro's new album, Estrella de Mar, dispelled all worries. The album features his quintet, a group of string musicians, and a cadre of contributors who fully wring everything out of his compositions to marvelous effect.
We're never ones to shy away from the fringey goodness of producer Steven Ellison, known throughout all the best circles as Flying Lotus. His new album, You're Dead!, drops October 2nd, FlyLo's 31st birthday. Today, he just released another song from the album, the smooth, thumping "Coronus, the Terminator". One can just picture where this track fits in the overall groove that You're Dead! is sure to provide. This work seemingly started as a jazz fusion album, though as is prone with Flying Lotus, grew into something much larger than this one idea. The samples dropped so far indicate as such and it's looking like yet another album from Ellison that certainly won't disappoint. The album which features bassist Thundercat (duh), Herbie Hancock, Kendrick Lamar, Laura Darlington, Kimbra, Snoop Dogg, and others is out October 7 on Warp Records. Check a stream of "Coronus, the Terminator" after the jump.
Congratulations go out to saxophonist Steve Coleman, one of the latest 21 MacArthur "Genius" grant recipient. Coleman follows in line the previous jazz musician fellows Jason Moran, Vijay Iyer, Miguel Zenon, and others, though Coleman was a major influence on them all. The honor seemed most due and it'll be most exciting to see where the $625,000 grant doled out over five years will lead. It'll certainly give the next album with Coleman's Five Elements more hype. Check out Steve Coleman's introductory video from the MacArthur Foundation video after the jump.