And we’re back with five more recommendations with a new This Is Jazz Today. Today’s batch sticks closer to a straight-ahead flight course, though we’ve got a couple that flee to the fringes of jazz where it shares a border with indie-rock. And of the five albums presented today, four have plenty of energy to spare… with the other one presented to you as a tool for decompression when you’re ready to wind back down.
*** Today’s Feature Album ***
Goodman-Bordenave Quintet – Inverted Forest (Double Moon)
More than a few fascinating moments on this quintet set by saxophonist Matthieu Bordenave, guitarist Geoff Goodman, trombonist Gerhard Gschößl, bassist Andreas Kurz and drummer Bastian Jutte. The rhythm section offers up a nice and easy swing, and sometimes the soloists join in and sometimes they go in completely different directions… but always remaining tethered to the rhythm, no matter how sleight the connection may be. This leads to a sensation of the song phasing in and out of a straight-ahead sound, and when the two different sounds are juxtaposed, the result is seriously arresting. Aside from this very cool effect, these are just plain enjoyable tunes, and likely will appeal to both old-school and new-school fans alike.
*** Also Featured ***
C.B.G. – Erasing Borders (Trytone Records)
This modern jazz-rock quartet likes to start with a mess, make it even messier, and just when you think it’s all about chaos and confusion, they slip in a stunning melodic phrase that gives the music an entirely new and different face. Guitarist Guillermo Celano, bassist Clemens van der Feen, drummer Marcos Baggiani and Joachim Badenhorst on tenor sax, clarinet & bass clarinet team up for a set of tunes with plenty of edge and all kinds of heat to spare. Strangely attractive music, first, for its happenstance, wild demeanor, and then with the passing of time, for the unexpected turns of phrase and tone that keeps the music fresh and exciting.
Urs Bollhalder Trio – Eventide (Musiques Suisses)
Pleasant straight-ahead trio set from pianist Bollhalder, who focuses less on generating fireworks than he does on the way notes sparkle off the surface of the songs. That said, when the trio get the heart rate beating strongly, as they do on “Barren Wasteland,” the thick bass arco from Heiri Kanzig and the determined tempo from drummer Kevin Chesham deliver some melodic beauty with a dramatic flourish. This is the kind of album you put in to decompress from a long week of work.
Blume – Blume (Unit Records)
Rough edges, stop-and-go cadences, and melodies that can’t sit still are the winning characteristics of this debut album by the quartet Blume. Trumpeter Magnus Schriefl, saxophonist Wanja Slavin, bassist Bernhard Meyer and drummer Peter Gall initiate all kinds of exciting motion as they launch into one solo after the next. Title-track “Blume” arguably shows them at their best… a melody breathed out like a sigh, a surging intensity bordering on unbounded volatility, and then a sudden calmness not far off from their opening state. Good stuff.
Electric Squeezebox Orchestra – Cheap Rent (Origin)
Plenty of vibrancy to the huge sound generated by Erik Jekabson’s big band, but it’s the way the music flows so effortlessly that makes this a winning album. And considering how most of the ensemble consists of wind instruments, this weightless quality becomes necessarily important. The talent of the Bay Area scene is nicely represented on this session. The brief diversion taken by a rendition of Herbie Hancock’s groove-oriented “People Music” is especially delightful, both in the arrangement and how it provides an alternate facet of the group’s range of expression without shattering the album’s coherency. Fun music.
Have a great time digging through the list!
And remember, it’s simple: You like what you like.