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Kurt Rosenwinkel - 'Caipi'

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

Few things can put a smile on your face this year quite like Kurt Rosenwinkel's latest Brazilian-influenced album, Caipi, out now on Sunnyside. The man has been an inspiration to a whole generation of jazz musicians for his ambitious but amiable approach to the guitar. However Rosenwinkel has went beyond this, playing most of the instruments, singing, and arranging himself and a few other guests to create a work that puts this aesthetic to even more awe-inspiring application.

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Maria Grand - 'TetraWind'

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

Tenor saxophonist/vocalist María Grand is on Steve Coleman's next album (Morphogenesis with Coleman's group, Natal Eclipse, is out June 23rd on Pi Recordings). Based on her four-song EP, TetraWind, based on each of the four directions, it's understandable why. Her style of composition has that same circular feel to it that is propelled by a steady beat. Her sound feels elemental. Clearly, according to song titles, there are themes investigated through music. Looking into her 23 minute album would seem like a good introduction to her on her own terms. It's clear why she fit right in with a distinct voice like this.

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Arthur Hnatek - 'Lualuna Tai - With DKSJ'

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

An album like Lualuna Tai, the four song EP composed by drummer Arthur Hnatek (who has backed the likes of Tigran Hamasyan, Erik Truffaz, and Dhafer Youssef) and performed with the DKSJ All Stars, could easily be described as ethereal. It has a sound that emerges from some fuzziness, finding form and structure and maybe a few tumbles of chaos for even measure. It's an album that reminds one of the amazingness of music, that these objects -- skins on tins, warped metal tubes, wooden cases with strings stretched taut across -- when used as tools can bend the air, and that gifted people with like mind can change time. Each of these songs have a simple energy that lavishes in its growth.

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Phronesis, Julian Arguelles, & the Frankfurt Radio Big Band - 'The Behemoth'

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

The secret of any great piano-bass-drums trio is creating a massive sound from the three elements. These three instruments hold great potential, for soft elegies or bonkers jaunts. Get the right three players together on a piano, bass, and drum set and magic can happen, and more often than most, Ivo Neame, Jasper Høiby, and Anton Eger make magic and have been doing so for years. Yet, in all their bold compositions over the years, some have found room for more. Thus, Julian Argüelles arranged various Phronesis songs for accompaniment by the Frankfurt Radio Big Band. What resulted was The Behemoth, out now on Edition Records.

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Taylor Haskins - 'Gnosis'

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

Gnosis sounds like the future. Of course, this will sound like an odd statement when time passes and fashions change -- when synthesizers phase back out of style, only to cycle back in again as styles tend to do -- but while it's hard to describe a period in a period, it's plain to see that Gnosis, the latest album from trumpeter/multi-instrumentalist Taylor Haskins, is not of this time.