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Aaron Parks - 'Find the Way'

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

Aaron Parks has never left us. It's been a while since he has released a major album as a leader, but he's been around. Upon his return to the for in his 2013 ECM debut, Arborescence, he improvised solo, feeling as passionately through his fingertips as always, but it's his new release with the fantastic trio of bassist Ben Street and the powerful force that is drummer Billy Hart that we can really be glad Aaron Parks is back with his new album, Find the Way.

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Psychic Temple - 'IV'

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

Over the years, I've found myself eagerly devouring each album guitarist/vocalist/bandleader/cult leader Chris Schlarb releases with his group, Psychic Temple. His progressive melding of jazz, folk, and hazy rock has a laid back sensibility that can only come from Long Beach, California. In that regard, it's hard to nail down exactly what kind of music Psychic Temple makes, especially as each successive album embarks on new territory, yet it is also in this regard that Psychic Temple continuously dazzles. The group's fourth official album together maintains this same excellence.

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Rotem Sivan - 'Antidote'

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

It's hard to find new words to describe the brilliance of guitarist Rotem Sivan. His previous albums, 2015's A New Dance and 2014's For Emotional Use Only, highlighted his shining ability, primarily in the trio format, as an adept composer and improviser, though more an elaborator than an improvisor. His little gems of ideas keep getting polished, like his fingertips are a fine sandpaper on his guitar, revealing the secret glistening present in his strings through constant, careful ministrations, all while Haggai Cohen-Milo on bass and Mark McLean and later Colin Stranahan on drums provide the best of support, doing some poking and prodding of their own. In their own regards, these are some of the strongest guitar trio albums jazz has seen of this modern era, and now Sivan is continuing this run with the equally excellent new album, Antidote, out July 11th.

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Ben Allison & Think Free - 'Layers of the City'

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

Bassist Ben Allison knows how to build. Over the course of 12 albums, Allison has made really fun, flowing music while maintaining more and more control over his artistry. His last album, 2013's The Stars Look Very Different Today, began Allison's building of his own record label, Sonic Camera Records. Now Allison is releasing his second album on his own label, changing up his sound a bit but not too much, and delivering as he always does with his new album, Layers of the City.

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Dan Tepfer - 'Eleven Cages'

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

There's a certain kind of irony in making music so undeniably playful while insisting that the thematic element behind the music itself is cages. It's hard to be playful in a cage. Sure, there's playfulness in exploring boundaries, but one doesn't typically find joy in the boundaries themselves. Yet, this pianist Dan Tepfer plays in this irony, bouncing off the walls with his trio members, bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Nate Wood, finding so much room between the bars of Tepfer's Eleven Cages, out now on Sunnyside.