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.
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.
We recently noted the exciting new album from Kneebody, Anti-Hero, dropping next month. In line with that skronkily awesome sound, their drummer Nate Wood is soon to release a solo project, fOUR, wherein he plays numerous instruments all in one take with no overdubs or pre-recorded backing track. Take for example this video for "Rabbit" below-- its propulsive nature, its unflinching beat, its thrashy essence. Check it out after the jump.