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16 the Olympus - s/t EP

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

16 the Olympus is a friendly outfit. There's a sense of epicness grasped for in the arch of their songs, but the effusiveness of the group seems to break through whatever gargantuan notions they may have. This seems to make sense for a group coming from San Antonio, Texas, the city with the tortilla chip on her shoulder. Yet this quintet is one of those local rare birds that can't be overlooked when checking out the landscape. Fortunately, they just released a five song EP shat shows them off well.

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Glenn Zaleski - 'Solo Vol. 1'

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

Pianist Glenn Zaleski has a new solo piano album out now. It's a simple affair, not too flashy or ostentatious. He's playing standards with a gentle deftness. He's not making some monumental effort like he's trying to be Keith Jarrett. However, this isn't a wholly throwaway endeavor. Yes, it's a free album available for download at his website with all the seriousness such a freely given creation seems to evoke, but he's really sharing with us all the beauty he's able to make when he, with some degree of carefully-considered craft, sits down at the piano and plays.

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Nutria - 'Call to the Air'

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

Nutria is the New Orleans-based trio of tenor saxophonist/overall reedist Bryon Asher, bassist Trey Bourdreax, and drummer Shawn Myers. The three got together in 2014 at the graduate program at the University of New Orleans and have found that kind of matching sensibility that just shows in their playful, easygoing, but not in the least drolly pleasant music. Together, they have a rich, round sound with an immense charm worth checking out with their second album together, Call to the Air, out now on Breakfast 4 Dinner Records.

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Kris Davis & Craig Taborn - 'Octopus'

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

Solo piano albums are tough listens. They're exercises in spacing, balance, dynamism, and are generally more intellectual exercises than most jazz albums. Duo piano albums are even tougher. One -- or a pair, really -- must really know what one is trying to pull off creating with such limitations, and have an even clearer idea when releasing that creation into the greater public. Kris Davis has always been an inventive, bold piano player. This is certainly true in her previous album, 2016's Duopoly, wherein she dueted with a coterie of exceptional musicians, but especially so the rapport she made with pianist Craig Taborn, so much so that the two have released a new duo album in that same spirit, Octopus, out now on Pyroclastic Records.

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Immortal Onion - 'Ocelot of Salvation'

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

Polish piano-bass-drum trio Immortal Onion are a young group, early twenties. They've got mastery of their instruments and they have a sound that's of their time. That's how youth invents-- as a desire to express present influences, driven by the winds of their taste. In their debut album, Ocelot of Salvation, one can hear an aural collage of what made them and what they have made in return.