Jazz New Arrivals: Week Ending Dec 06, 2011 (Pt. 2 of 2)

Tiny Review recs of new Jazz releases, featuring:  Kora Jazz Band, Ferit Odman, Roby Hall & Chick Lyall, Daniel Ogren, and Lama.


The recs below were built off the skeleton of the recommendations I make as part of my weekly contribution to the Emusic New Arrivals article.  I do the jazz recs for it.  Emusic lets me copy it onto my blog 30 after it’s posted on their site.  When I post on Bird is the Worm, I add album art, audio (when available), additional links, and if I’ve had the opportunity to give the album additional listens, modify my opinion a bit and tighten up the original language.  So here it goes…

Let’s begin…


Kora Jazz Band – Kora Jazz Band:

The Kora Jazz Band began as a trio of kora, piano, and percussion (Djeli Moussa Diawara, Abdoulaye Diabate, and Moussa Sissokhe respectively).  They mesh jazz swing with West African percussion and kora, yielding a cheerful set of tunes. A must for world jazz enthusiasts.  It’s pretty hard not to tap the foot from first note to last. Guests who sit in with the trio play timbales, marimba, and steel pan, adding texture to an already deep sound. Must-listen.

The more I listen to this album, the more I enjoy it.  My initial reactions were primarily on an emotional level, drinking in the joyfulness of the group’s exuberance, the brightness of their sound.  But repeat listens have allowed me receive it in cerebral terms, and I find it just as engaging to my head and my heart.  Highly recommend this.

Released on the Celluloid label.

Available on Emusic.


Ferit Odman – Autumn in New York:

Ferit Odman brings together an all-star lineup of seasoned pros (Terell Stafford, Peter Washington, Anthony Wonsey, and Vincent Herring) for a nice set of straight-ahead jazz.  Ferit seems to have deftly found a way to develop his own signature sound on drums without drowning out his ensemble in the process; not an easy task to perform.  His last album, the excellent Nommo, which featured Bryan Lynch on trumpet, seems to have slipped under the radar. Autumn in New York should rectify that oversight. Recommended.

Released on the Equinox Music & Entertainment label

Jazz from the Istanbul and NYC scenes.

Download a free album track at AllAboutJazz, courtesy of the artist.

Available on Emusic.


Okay, I’m gonna mention two albums here that might have some date issues on the site (actual release date vs. new to emusic), but I really like them both and don’t want to go without passing on the recs. They’re both by the duo of Rob Hall & Chick Lyall.

The album Blithe Spirit is an actual new release whereas Rhyme or Reason dates back a couple years but just hit the site today. Rob Hall on sopranino, soprano, tenor saxophones and clarinet reveals power through delicacy, and Chick Lyall’s piano is the grounding force preventing the reeds from fluttering away. A pair of beautiful albums from a duo who play as if an extension of one another. Gorgeous and recommended.

Released on the FMR Records label.  Jazz from the Scotland scene.

Available on Emusic.


Daniel Ogren – Laponia:

Released on the Hoob label, a small Swedish company that releases some very cool music that, in terms of jazz, is out on the fringes. On Daniel Ogren’s Laponia, the guitarist brings together a quintet of bass clarinet, piano, percussion, and bass for an enchanting indie-folk album couched in jazz compositions. Best comparison I can make is to label mates Klabbes Bank, who put out one of 2009’s best with Je Suis la Mer. Bass clarinet absolutely soars on some tracks. Some nice whimsical moments with plenty of bounce. I probably struggle more trying to describe albums on the Hoob Records label than any other. I’m at the point where I buy them on sight. You Cinematic Orchestra fans should probably scoop this one up; it’s right up your alley. I can already tell this is going to be in constant rotation on my stereo.

My above earlier comments regarding this release were correct… I am positively addicted to this beautiful album.  This album should appeal to jazz, folk, and indie fans alike.

Jazz from the Stockholm scene.

A free album track is available at AllAboutJazz, courtesy of the artist and label.

Available on Emusic.


Lama – Oneiros:

Let’s just call this avant-garde. A trio consisting of jazzers Susana Santos Silva on trumpet, Gonçalo Almeida on bass, and Greg Smith on drums, with heavy infusions of electronics, Lama has constructed an alluring set of dissonance and drive. Her excellent 2011 release Devil’s Dress already on her resume, Santos continues to develop her voice, and the interplay between all three despite challenging compositions speaks to their history together.

Lots of changes in tempo and power, never looking through the same facet of the composition for very long before switching to the next facet.

On the Clean Feed Records label, who smartly scooped this trio up.  Jazz from the Porto, Portugal scene.

NOTE:  This album continues to grow on me, and I’m listening to it even more than when I first bought it a month ago.  Just a wonderfully engaging album.

NOTE:  I’ve published a longer review of Oneiros on the Music Is Good site, found here…  musicisgood.org.

Available on Emusic.


That’s it for today.  Cheers.


Here’s some language to protect emusic’s rights as the one to hire me originally to scour through the jazz new arrivals and write about the ones I like:

New Arrivals Jazz Picks“, courtesy of eMusic.com, Inc.
© 2011  eMusic.com, Inc.

My thanks to emusic for the freelance writing gig, the opportunity to use it in this blog, and the editorial freedom to help spread the word about cool new jazz being recorded today.