I've recently had the opportunity to watch pianist and multi-instrumentalist Jon Batiste perform live with his Stay Human band and it was a transformative experience, respectful of all the tropes of jazz's history but cognizant of its rethinking of performance. Batiste is an innovator in the genre and can easily avail himself to many different musical directions. The latest intriguing direction he's taken is alongside the drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chad Smith, and legendary bassist/producer/and record label owner Bill Laswell. Together, they are The Process and their new self-titled album on Laswell's M.O.D. Technologies label is a breath of fresh air.
You need a little more skronk in your life. The mind-boggling free jazz trio The Thing (Mats Gustafsson on saxophones, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten on bass, and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums) have just released a new EP, Viking, that provides just that. The two-song EP is mastered by Bob Weston who remixed "Viking" for this EP. These compositions are just compact enough for the vibe everything to weave together in just enough time before petering out on Weston's "Viking" remix, while "Bruremarsj" is a surprisingly chill song for this group. Check out the EP from The Thing's Bandcamp after the jump.
Young bassist Ayal Tsubery has released a strong straight-ahead jazz album with his debut, Decisions. The album of original compositions are carefully put together and swell as early compositions from young music grads do, giving his band mates -- the core group being Tsubery on bass, Daniel Meron on piano & Rhodes, Eyal Hai on alto saxophone, and Dani Den or on drums -- to play soulfully while staying in service to the pieces. It's a respectable debut album with songs like "Sixth Floor" and "Parts Come Together" being particularly gripping. Jon Nellen's tablas on "Hasin'" are a nice touch, integrating some South Asian influence into Decisions' sound that doesn't exactly flow all throughout the album, but is perfectly in place whenever such touches appear. Ultimately, you should check this album out from the young Berklee grad. It's the kind of DIY album and young musician would make as a debut but with a polish that makes it worth your time. Check out Ayal Tsubery's Decisions from his Bandcamp or check it out after the jump.
This week felt like just another Friday after a few weeks of pretty constant activity. It felt nice to slow down and just make some radio without a major agenda for a change, and then I put together what I felt to be a pretty solid hour.
The Line-Up for 17 October 2014
Around this time last year, pianist Robert Glasper and his experiment of Casey Benjamin on saxophone & vocoder, Derrick Hodge on bass, and Mark Colenburg on percussion released Black Radio 2, the follow-up album to the previous year's Black Radio, this time more pointed in an R&B direction and still evoking the flames Glasper's fans have come to expect from him in his various musical directions. Now a year later, Glasper just released the video for Black Radio 2's first single, "I Stand Alone", featuring verses from Common and a catchy hooking featuring Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump. It's a very well crafted video, with a cool, fuzzy, colorful style to it and filled with special guests like Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Ma Dukes, Dave Chappelle, and many others. Check out the video after the jump.