In 14 years together as a group, rhythms get to be familiar. This thematically was what I was getting at in the preview piece I wrote for the San Antonio Current of The Bad Plus' show last night at San Antonio's Aztec Theater. There's a sense of familiarity in the rhythm, a knowledge of direction. When I asked them how they do what they do, for example, in Reid Anderson's composition, "Physical Cities" off 2007's Prog (a song the trio unfortunately didn't play last night, something just a tad too complicated and a little too far back in their catalog to perform with the level of precision these guys are proud to demonstrate in every show), while I expected some sort of breakdown of specific counting, a lesson of polyrhythms that couldn't possibly have been conveyed to such a tender-minded admirer in the span of time of the tail end of a dinner break, Iverson jokingly answered they did so through telepathy. One might over 14 years of playing together and building such a body of work, most recently with Inevitable Western on the Sony-OKeh label, seriously consider that as a possibility.
One of the albums of this past summer has definitely been Mark de Clive-Lowe's CHURCH. It's a work that masterfully melds jazz and a cadre of other genres. We've definitely taken a shining to it here at Nextbop. Now, just on the arrival of CHURCH's new coppability on limited edition180-gram vinyl for sale at his Bandcamp, de Clive-Lowe has just released video for "Sketch for Miguel" featuring the maestro Miguel Atwood-Ferguson (who has finally released his own solo material on his own namesake and with his Quartetto Fantastico, both of which I should probably have). Check out the video for this most chill (until it reaches to ethereal heights) song after the jump.
Medeski, Martin, & Wood recently teamed up with guitarist John Scofield for their fourth album together as a quartet, Juice. As you might expect, the album features mostly hard-grooving tracks with plenty of Medeski on the organ. This time around there is more acoustic piano in the mix than in previous outings with Scofield, but otherwise these four have found a very comfortable groove and can run with it. They recently released their first video from Juice, for a tune they’re calling "Juicy Lucy" (presumably a play on "Louie Louie", which you can be excused for thinking this sounds like a cover of, even if it’s an old Cuban riff according to the artists). The video features two couples dancing in their home, one of which is Billy Martin’s parents, and intersperses some performance footage. Check it out after the jump.
There is nothing wrong with Jochen Rueckert's new album We Make The Rules. Rueckert is on the drums and is joined by a fantastic group of musicians - Mark Turner on sax, Matt Penman on bass, and Lage Lund on guitar - to round out his quartet. Rueckert has been based in New York City since 1995 and has played with many of the leading voices in jazz during that time (Kurt Rosenwinkel, Sam Yahel, Will Vinson, Mark Copland, and Seamus Blake, among others), but is a relatively low-profile name despite his top-notch chops on display here. This quartet has been together for several years and reconvened to record these songs in the studio after road-testing them and working out the kinks (in fact, Rueckert, Penman, and Turner also played on Rueckert's 2011 album somewhere, meeting nobody, along with guitarist Brad Shepik). All of the songs on We Make The Rules are Rueckert originals, and all of the tunes are very "contemporary jazz", if that is a reasonable term to use, giving the album a unified feel.