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Al Jarreau (1940 - 2017)

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

A few weeks ago, numerous people on Facebook and I revealed our favorite albums from our high school years. In my corner of the internet, I felt a little alone having Al Jarreau's 1977 Grammy award-winning album, Look to the Rainbow: Live in Europe on my list, but I've often felt alone because of my personality and choices. This just seemed like part of it. Al Jarreau is of a particular taste and of a particular time, but he was one of the greats. Jarreau -- dead this morning, February 12, 2017, shortly after announcing his retirement -- has had a life that stood out on its own as a talent and ability worth marveling. He epitomized the voice as instrument.

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Jeremy Pelt - 'Make Noise!'

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

Every year, trumpeter Jeremy Pelt releases a new album on the High Note label and I look forward to it each year, almost more than I do Christmas. Like any artist, he tweaks the formula each time, finding new ways to make music and express logistically his ideas, seeing what he can make with different tools. Sometimes it'll be through electric instruments; sometimes through two drummers in different audio channels; sometimes it'll be through not using a saxophonist in the group, leaving him to bring the only horn to the group. This time out, he went with the latter, along with the lovely textured addition of Jacquelene Acevedo's percussion to make his 2017 entry, Make Noise!, yet another fine addition to Jeremy Pelt's body of work.

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Dr. MiNT - 'Voices in the Void'

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

Weird happens. It happens all over the place. It happens in nature, it happens in society, it happens most certainly in art. Weirdness definitely happens in jazz, even moreso when the instruments are electric. Dr. MiNT -- the decade-old quintet of trumpeter Daniel Rosenboom, saxophonist Gavin Templeton, guitarist Alexander Noice, bassist Sam Minaie, and drummer Caleb Dolister -- is most certainly in the weird category. Their latest album, Voices in the Void, is proof of this.

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KADAWA - 's/t'

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

KADAWA -- the trio of guitarist Tal Yahalom, bassist Almog Sharvit, and drummer Ben Silashi -- are a very good guitar trio, like jarringly good. They describe themselves as an "experimental-rock-jazz trio", because that may have been the best net to cast over their sound. They're certainly jazz and of this era, they're full of energy and have a multitude of things to say.

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Matt Mayhall - 'Tropes'

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

Tropes is an easy ride of an album. It hums along as shifting mood pieces. Drummer/composer Matt Mayhall in his debut release has made a particularly chill album that isn't attempting to impose but is very free to emote. In doing so, the album feels much like a film score, backing moments one could easily imagine and frame.