New Jazz Releases: Week Ending October 25, 2011

Featuring Tiny Review recs for 1982, Kapla Trio, Russ Lossing, Chelo Segui, The Four Bags, Vicky Tilson, European Union Quartet, Empirical, David Ware, and Marcel Saegesser.


The following is kinda copied from the weekly article I write for, giving a mini-review rundown of interesting jazz new releases.  Once I get caught up on posting past recs, I’ll post them once a week, adding some artwork and extra links and modifying the text a little bit.  When I write the mini-reviews initially, I’m under a serious time constraint, but now I’ve had time to listen more closely to the music and think about it, so some of the reviews will change, but some may not.  They were initially called “Jonah’s Jazz Picks”; the reason why is not a complicated story or a long one, but sufficiently banal to just overlook.

This was the first installment of my recs.

Let’s begin.


1982 – Pintura

1982 - "Pintura"

ECM musicians put out an oddly melodic album of avant-garde tunes.  The trio, composed of harmonium (Sigbjorn Apeland), drums (Oyvind Skarbo), and Hardinger fiddle (Nils Oklund) conveys a surprisingly whimsical take on Very Serious Music.  Sort of a chamber jazz trio interpreting old folk tunes.  I expect some people to say this isn’t jazz.  I also expect some people to place this album on their top ten of the year.  Released on the Hubro label, newly formed to focus on the Norwegian jazz and improvised music scene.

Here’s a link to the Hubro label site, where you can listen to a song from the album.

Here’s a link to emusic, where you can purchase the album.


Kapla Trio – Crossing

Kapla Trio - "Crossing"

Well, this piano trio album might be a hidden gem.  Piano with a subtle flair for the dramatic, drums that don’t confuse frantic with loud, and a bass player that throws in some bowing just to remind us that it’s okay to be melancholic from time to time.  Would you like to know more about them?  Hey, so would I, but nothing is coming up on a couple quick google searches, so I got nothing more for ya.  Self-produced.

Here’s a link to emusic, where you can purchase the album.


Russ Lossing Trio – Oracle

Russ Lossing Trio - "Oracle"

A rare release of a hatOLOGY label album on emusic.  For those who don’t know, Hat Hut / hatOLOGY is an avant-garde lovers paradise.  On this trio outing, Russ Lossing (piano) employs minimalism and bursts of dissonance as the primary expression of experimentalism.  Masa Kamaguchi (bass) and Billy Mintz (drums) expertly fill out the trio.  Not a bad place to go if you’re looking to explore the avant-garde territory of jazz.

Here’s a link to the Russ Lossing site, where there’s some decent material to listen to.

Here’s a link to emusic, where you can purchase the album.


Chelo Segui – From Now On

Chelo Segui - "From Now On"

Wanting to develop a jazz album in the spirit of new tango, Chelo Segui has given us an album that sounds unlike most anything that has come through emusic lately.  Much how Guillermo Klein provides his own personal voice to Latin jazz, Chelo builds on the rhythms and harmonies of his Argentinean roots and delivers an intriguing album deserving of attention.  I love when I’m browsing through jazz new releases and get rooted in place by an unexpected stroke of music talent.  Quartet of Segui on alto & soprano sax, accompanied by piano, bass, and drums. Outstanding.  Self-produced.

Here’s a link to Chelo’s soundcloud page, where you can listen to the album.

Here’s a link to emusic, where you can purchase the album.


The Four Bags – Forth

The Four Bags - "Forth"

This quartet tackles a bunch of schizophrenic compositions and, somehow, create an album of strange pretty tunes.  The first track on this album is titled “Wayne Shorter’s Tune With All Different Notes,” which, to my ears, accurately reflects the sound and intent of this album.  The Four Bags ensemble instruments include bass clarinet, trombone, accordian, and guitar  This is either the kind of album I fall in love with or rue the day I took it home with me from the bar.  Fans of John Lurie’s Lounge Lizards should find something to like here, as would fans of Tom Waits looking to experiment with some jazz and jazz fans who have been having the time of their life picking through the Clean Feed label’s excellent output these past couple years.  Self-produced.

Here’s a link to Four Bags’ bandcamp page, where you can stream the entire album.

Here’s a link to emusic, where you can purchase the album.


The Vicky Tilson Quartet – Tales From a Forgotten City

Vicky Tilson - "Tales From A Forgotten City"

Just a four song EP, but I thought I’d briefly put the spotlight on it.  Vicky Tilson is a classically trained oboist and pianist who became afflicted with a jazz addiction and turned to a career as a bassist leading her own ensemble.  Straight-ahead modern jazz, but with plenty of personal nuance to keep it from becoming “just another jazz album.”  Builds on the promise of last year’s debut release of Picture from Jitske.  According to Vicky’s notes, the title refers, in part to her on-and-off love affair with London, of how one can concurrently wish to leave a place and still grow nostalgic for a home that once was.  Or something like that.  It’s a good album; give it a listen.

Here’s a link to Vicky’s soundcloud page, where you can stream the entire EP.

Here’s a link to emusic, where you can purchase the album.


European Union Quartet – The Dark Peak

European Union Quartet - "The Dark Peak"

Much like having a planned day off to lounge around but too much energy to do anything other but go out and play in the rain, the European Union Quartet’s The Dark Peak gives the impression of an album full of purposefully introspective tunes foiled by the ensemble’s abounding happiness on recording day.  Sax, guitar, double bass, and drums.  Worth mentioning that for listeners who have difficulty accepting guitar in a jazz environment, definitely give this album a listen; guitar meets the ear half-way on this one.

Released on the O.A.P. Records label.

Here’s a link to emusic, where you can purchase the album.


Empirical – Elements of Truth

Empirical - "Elements of Truth"

I absolutely love when an ensemble builds intricate compositions around seemingly simple melodies.  To have that melody to grasp onto while exploring the varied elements that comprise the rest of the song isn’t something to be undervalued.  This ensemble of alto sax, vibes (and glockenspiel), drums, and double bass presents some strong improvisational skill, displaying complexity without laying it on too thick, and making for a very enjoyable album.  Empirical won Best Jazz Act in the 2010 MOBO Awards; Elements of Truth proves that they didn’t let if affect their musical drive.  On the Naim Jazz label.

Here’s a link to Empirical’s site, where you can stream all or most of the album.

Here’s a link to emusic, where you can purchase the album.


David S. Ware – Organica (Solo Saxophones Vol. 2)

David Ware - "Organica"

Recorded live at Chicago’s Umbrella Music Festival, David Ware gives a performance of solo tenor and sopranino saxophones.  I recognize that an album that consisting of solo sax compositions isn’t going to appeal to a wide cross-section of jazz listeners, but David Ware is pretty much a jazz legend, and anytime he puts out a new album, it deserves mention.  If you’d like to hear David on a studio album with his working quartet, hop on over and give Planetary Unknown a listen, released in June of this year.  Organica is released on the AUM Fidelity label.

Here’s a link to David’s site, which has some pretty decent material.

Here’s a link to emusic, where you can purchase the album.


Marcel Saegesser - "The Last Place Left"

And briefly, a quick shout-out for the Marcel Saegesser album The Last Place (Left).  It really shouldn’t be categorized under jazz, but this electronica-drone featuring bass violin and accordion was just too cool not to mention.

Here’s a link to emusic, where you can purchase the album.



Those were the highlights of the jazz albums that hit emusic for the week ending 10/25/11.



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, Inc.
© 2011, Inc.”

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