From Wednesday the 28th of May to Sunday the 2nd of June, Terence Blanchard showcased his newest album, Magnetic to a New York City audience at the Jazz Standard. On Friday night, the venue was packed and buzzing with anticipation—for many, this would be the first listen for a great new release from Blue Note. Blanchard and his band did not disappoint the crowd: just as the album itself exposes Blanchard’s mastery of a style, the performance was fresh and exciting.
It hasn’t been a secret that Nextbop has some appreciation for what the Odd Future group does musically. In 2011, I cited Tyler, the Creator’s Goblin as second best non-jazz album of the year. The most recent top albums of the year list cited an album by the collective as well as Frank Ocean’s most recent album. From a jazz perspective, the Odd Future collective is, in fact, very interesting: let’s see why.
Talented bassist and vocalist Gizmo performed at a CD release party for his new album, Red Balloon (Revive Music), on the 2nd of October at Drom in the East Village in New York City. Making a great jazz album is often about your connections, and Gizmo is successful in showcasing some great talent on this album, including Jamire Williams and Casey Benjamin. The release party began with a performance by Joy Daniels, an exciting new neo-soul act, followed by a performance by the smooth beats of Nick Hakim, good friend of Gizmo’s, also featured on the album.
For decades, record labels have lobbied Congress to legislate on the subject of paying royalties to labels and performers for radio play of music; today, the US is one of the few nations to pay royalties for radio play to songwriters and music publishers only. But in the past week, decisions have been made, namely by Clear Channel, an immense radio broadcasting company, and Big Machine, a titan of country music recording companies, to settle the issue of royalties and radio outside of government. Clear Channel intends to reshape its business model in response to the increase of the digital streaming market, which was legislated for by government, and very expensive for the broadcasting companies. By settling directly with record labels, broadcasting companies might save money by skipping the federal rate.
Malaysian born bass player and composer Linda Oh's second release as a leader is coming out very soon, on the 22nd of May, on Greenleaf Music. The quartet is composed of acclaimed sidemen, including Dayna Stephens on saxophone, extremely versatile drummer Rudy Royston and Fabian Almazan on keys. The group works audibly harmoniously well, in terms of dynamics and feel. Vocalist Jen Shyu contributes a deeply melodic lead to the fifth track, "Thicker than Water".