The Round-up: Disconnected from a life of motion


Here is some very good new music.


Ivo Neame – Moksha (Edition Records)

As much as I enjoy myself a good (great) Phronesis recording, it’s always nice to hear each of the trio members on their own side projects.  With Moksha, Ivo Neame continues to express his lyrical eccentricities in a way that is thoroughly embraceable.  It’s straight-ahead modern jazz that often jumps a path off the main road without ever cluing the listener in that they’re being guided through uncharted territories.  That’s pretty cool, and not easily done.  The pianist enlists a quartet that includes tenor saxophonist George Crowley, bassist Tom Farmer and drummer James Maddren.  Music from London.

Artist site | Listen | Buy:  BandcampAmazon


Beekman – Vol.03: Live in San Francisco (Ropeadope Records)

What I like most about the Beekman ensemble is how their tendency to break down a tune’s structure leads to an explosion of melodic facets rather than muddying the waters and obscuring its definition.  It’s like a story that tangents huge into a supporting character’s backstory, providing details of information that seem to have nothing to do with the main plot line… until a return of focus to the lead character results in a far more nuanced and rich backdrop.  That’s how the Brooklyn-based quartet of saxophonist Kyle Nasser, pianist Yago Vasguez, bassist Pablo Menares, and drummer Rodrigo Recabarren go about the telling of their sonic tale, and based on the number of times I’ve written about their music, it’s clear this is something they do quite well.  This live performance in San Fran is yet more evidence.

Artist site | Listen | Buy:  Bandcamp


Jan Roth – Kleinod (Sinnbus)

There’s a lovely meditative quality to this session from Jan Roth.  The pianist displays a talent for generating a peaceful atmosphere right from go, and it carries on the strength of its introduction even if a particular piece veers into more tumultuous territory.  The wind instruments of Antonia Hausmann and Fritz Moshammer add some very appealing and necessary depth to the affair, providing harmonic weight to balance out the sunshine melodies from Roth’s piano.  Meanwhile, the bass and drums duo of Alex Binder and Maximilian Stadtfeld add some definition to the melodic arc of each piece, accentuating their motion when appropriate and keeping them corralled before a sense of randomness sets in.  Beautiful stuff.  Music from Leipzig, Germany.

Artist site | Listen | Buy:  BandcampAmazon


The Maguire Twins – Seeking Higher Ground (Three Tree Records)

What I like about this recording is that each melody is bright as a moonbeam and leads along a winding path easy to follow and enjoy.  What I appreciate about this recording is that the Maguire Twins dive into the songbooks of the modern jazz scene, performing renditions of compositions by Gregory Tardy, Geoffrey Keezer, Donald Brown and Aaron Goldberg.  What makes me fond about the recording is that Gregory Tardy, Geoffrey Keezer, Donald Brown and Aaron Goldberg all contribute to the session, joining the duo of bassist Alan Shutaro Maguire and drummer Carl Seitaro Maguire.  Sometimes the form of expression is old school swing and sometimes it’s new school roam.  Music from Memphis, TN.

Artist site | Listen | Buy: Amazon


Mora Collective, Alan Schafer (Self-Produced)

This is jazz with some old school rhythm and blues and new school rock ’n roll all mixed in together.  Heavy on enthusiasm and every note thrown like a knockout punch, the Mora Collective quartet of bassist Chris Issacs, saxophonist Zach Puchkors, drummer Eric Yacula and keyboardist James Bonnette unleash everything they’ve got on these five very fun tracks.  It’s retailing at Name Your Price, so a nice opportunity to check out music that fits your budget.  Music from Dallas, Texas.

Artist site | Listen | Buy:  Bandcamp