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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.

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Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah - 'Centennial Trilogy: Diaspora'

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

Diaspora, the second album of trumpeter Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah's Centennial Trilogy of albums he's releasing this year, is softer than its predecessor, Ruler Rebel. It's warmer, more somber, more spacey a collection of songs, as if these songs and the extra time between notes, a less is more approach here, is meant to depict the actual African Diaspora, a dispersal of sounds as much as a people. Nevertheless, it's a more chill kind of album, if the dynamic Ruler Rebel is a textured shot of mescal, Diaspora is the perfectly made michelada that follows it, and you're going to want to have a couple more micheladas.

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Brandon Seabrook's 'Die Trommel Fatale'

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

If you ever want to get thrown for a loop, make something large and then take something away, some ingredient that adds a little bit of flash and go without it. Use something similar to it, beef up the other flavors. See what the rest of the ingredients can do to make up for the replacement. Test your skills. For his latest album on New Atlantis Records, guitarist Brandon Seabrook spent a year writing complex, propulsive, psychedelic jazz music with two drummers but switched the pepper up from using cymbals to that ever inventive, catchall "percussion".