The Round-up: Because there is always hope


Here is some very good new music.


Owen Broder – Heritage (ArtistShare)

This album is a beam of sunlight.  From the opening notes, it greets you with warm tones, chipper tempos and melodies like a wide smile.  Owen Broder bounces around between various early-American music forms, differentiating a bit here and there, but overall keeping things fluid by focusing on the commonalities that suggest at how everything is connected.  And it’s an interesting point of comparison to Broder’s Cowboys & Frenchmen ensemble, which hits upon works and expressions more akin to the modern scene.  It’s a nice cast joining Broder and his woodwinds: violinist Sara Caswell, pianist Frank Kimbrough, drummer Matt Wilson, trombonist Nick Finzer, vibraphonist James Shipp, trumpeter Scott Wendholt, and bassist Jay Anderson.  Wendy Gilles, Kate McGarry and Vuyo Sotashe add some vocals in a guest role.  Music from NYC.

Artist site | Buy:  Amazon


Janczarski & McCraven Quintet – Liberator (For-Tune)

If you’re out browsing the new release section and looking for something that hits your soul with a classic Hard Bop warmth and easy groove, then this session from the Janczarski & McCraven Quintet will definitely float your boat.  There’s some moments that shift into a modern form of expression, but, hey, the musicians live in today not 1965, so that’s gonna happen from time to time.  But when the Sunday night blues descend upon you, and you’re needing something to cheer things back up, hit the play button on Liberator.  Music from Warsaw, Poland.


Artist site | Listen | Buy:  BandcampAmazon


Meyer/Slavin/Meyer/Black – Other Animal (Traumton)

There’s an appealing melodic flow to Other Animal that is as much indebted to ambient indie-rock music as it is the type of jazz that makes its home in European alpine mountain ranges.  The driving force of this quartet’s melodic focus is through the delicate forces of pressure from an active rhythmic attack… one that’s defined by its flurries and crosscurrents of percussion, but one whose touch is more that of a cool breeze on a summer day than a thunderstorm downpour.  The quartet is comprised of guitarist Peter Meyer, alto saxophonist Wanja Slavin, bassist Bernhard Meyer and drummer Jim Black.  They settle into a particular sound and spend the entire album exploring its nuances.  Music from Berlin, Germany.

Artist site | Listen | Buy:  BandcampAmazon


Gaute Storsve Trio – Attention: This Is Not A Toy, For Adult Collectors Only (Ellingsongs)

This personable album is the amalgamation of post-bop, modern European jazz and Cuban music.  The result is a delightful melody bouncing over the surface of a cheerful groove.  There’s an insistent sense that the trio of guitarist Gaute Storsve, bassist Petter Barg and drummer Henning Carlsen want to incite the listener into dance… or at least get the foot tapping along with the tempo and etch the melody into a memory.  It works, especially when the trio brings in a brass section to expand the textural options.  Music from Oslo, Norway.

Artist site | Listen | Buy:  BandcampAmazon


Trillmann – FŒN (Tangible Music)

There’s a quirky personality to this recording from the quartet Trillmann.  Saxophonist Fabian Willmann, trombonist Janning Trumann, bassist Florian Herzog and drummer Eva Klesse develop tunes with a punchy attitude and a sly sense of humor.  Melodies hint at something addictive, but then get warped and misshapen, and become more of a cerebral exercise than the emotional reaction they initially promised.  There’s an appealing quality to that sleight-of-hand.  Music from NYC.

Artist site | Listen | Buy:  Bandcamp