The Round-up: I nodded off and waited for the sun to rise


Here is some very good new music.


Human Feel – Gold (Intakt Records)

Some of this music still feels like I only discovered it yesterday.  This comment is particularly useful in explaining my disbelief that Human Feel has been together for thirty years.  Alto saxophonist Andrew D’Angelo, tenor saxophonist Chris Speed, guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel and drummer Jim Black, as a quartet and on their own separate projects, have been responsible for some of the more forward-thinking and adventurous music to rain down upon jazz territory in this century.  This has been true for a while.  And, yet, it still feels strange to be speaking of them as veterans of the scene.  Some of this disconnect has much to do with how fresh and vital and forward-thinking their newest music is, sharing those same qualities that made past recordings so special on their own merits.  Gold continues the musicians’ habit of eschewing genre conventions and standard expectations of the current day, and instead letting a melody go where it chooses and capturing a sound in the moment to coalesce around it and create something beautiful, something edgy, something that will always sound young and new and exciting.  Music from NYC.

Artist site | Listen | Buy:  BandcampAmazon


Peter Hess – Falling (Diskonife)

There’s everything to like about this trio session from tenor saxophonist Peter Hess, vibraphonist Matt Moran and drummer Jeff Davis.  The music dances with a light step, yet doesn’t refrain from touching down with a stomp.  That contrast between motion and impact yields all kinds of riveting moments.  So, too, does the limitless supply of endearing melodies that make it so easy to connect with everything that follows.  This music hops, it smoulders, and it sometimes takes flight.  This album really needs to be registering on people’s radars.  Music from Brooklyn, NY.

Artist site | Listen | Buy:  Bandcamp


Blessing in Disguise – Live Exchange (Lava Thief)

There’s all kinds of intriguing moments on this live improvisation session from Get the Blessing ensemble members.  Trumpeter Pete Judge, bass guitarist Jim Barr, and saxophonist Jake McMurchie play both sides of the thunderstorm… there’s moments of intensity that swell up like lightning and rain crashing down upon the world, and then there’s those interludes when the electricity settles into a serene state of existence, and a certain peacefulness expands outward from that volatile core.  Music from London.

No artist site | Listen | Buy:  Bandcamp


Træ – Træ (Self-Produced)

There’s an appealing dreamy presence to this trio set from guitarist Johannes Maikranz, saxophonist Simon Spiess and drummer Samuel Dühsler.  They settle into a melody and then launch it skyward like a kite riding the wind on a calm, summer day.  The album is retailing at Name Your Price, so it’s a nice opportunity to buy some good music that’ll fit your budget.  Music from Basel, Switzerland.

Artist site | Listen | Buy:  Bandcamp


Marco Moura Quartet – The Quadrant (Self-Produced)

This four track EP splits its time between old-school and new-school forms of expression, and while there’s plenty to like about the way Marco Moura‘s quartet expresses each jazz era, it’s when things shade to the modern day that the music really shines strongest.  Music from both London, UK and Porto, Portugal.

No artist site | Listen | Buy:  Bandcamp