The Round-up: I wanted to be invisible


Here is some very good new music.


Wolfgang Muthspiel – Where the River Goes (ECM Records)

Wolfgang Muthspiel is really locked in on his latest.  There is a level of enchantment going on here that pretty much will keep you hitting the play button over and over again each time Where the River Goes comes to an end.  When lullaby melodies settle into a susurrus of rhythm are the album’s strongest moments, but when tracks like “One Day My Prince Was Gone” and “Blueshead” leap into action, it’s only a change in the delivery of the spell and not its stunning effect.  This kind of success is pretty well guaranteed when you enlist the likes of trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, pianist Brad Mehldau, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Eric Harland to set the thing in motion.

Artist site | Available at:  Amazon


La Colectiva – El Chombo, El Blanco y El Mulato Vol. 2 (El Sonido Es Tuyo Records)

This album is so much damn fun.  The trio of keyboardist and trumpeter Aquiles Navarro, bassist Jota Ortiz and drummer Tony Drums go big with the synthesizer drama, where every melodic statement is a shout to the skies and as catchy as a pop tune.  Some modern jazz, some electronica, some tipico of their native Panama, and it all comes together for big statements that flow with a motion for the dance floor.  The moog action is particularly rewarding, like how an infectious laugh pairs nicely with a wide smile.  Worth noting that Navarro is the trumpeter on the excellent 2017 release by Irreversible Entanglements.  Music from Panama City, Panama.

Artist site | Listen | Available at:  BandcampAmazon


Jozef Dumoulin & Orca Noise Unit – A Beginner’s Guide to Diving and Flying (Yolk Records)

It’s an uneasy serenity maintained by Jozef Dumoulin throughout this recording.  Even though most of the album hangs in the air like a murmur, it leaves an unsettling feeling that everything could explode without warning.  Intriguingly, it never really does.  Yes, there are some disruptions of dissonance, but those are the exceptions and only slight reprieves from the simmering tension that marks the recording.  The pianist is joined by flutist Sylvaine Hélary, saxophonist Antonin Tri Hoang, double bassist Bruno Chevillon and percussionist Toma Gouband.  Music from Paris, France.

Artist site | Listen | Available at:  BandcampAmazon


Sean Conly – Hard Knocks (Clean Feed Records)

Okay, let’s start running.  Everything about the latest from Sean Conly gives the impression those were the words he used to begin the recording session for Hard Knocks.  This straight-forward post-bop session is all about the interactions between trio members as they briskly follow parallel lines of communication.  The bassist is joined by long-time collaborators Satoshi Takeishi (on drums) and Michaël Attias (on alto sax), and the benefits of that relationship are best represented by their synchronicity at high speeds.  Music from NYC.

Artist site | Listen | Available at:  BandcampAmazon


Brad Mehldau Trio – Seymour Reads the Constitution! (Nonesuch Records)

Look, you’re never gonna go wrong scooping up a Brad Mehldau release.  There’s a strong argument to be made that Mehldau is the epitome of the modern piano trio.  The pianist’s latest does nothing to counter that premise, displaying the solid craftsmanship and harmonic warmth emblematic of his output.  There’s nothing particularly new about his latest, but that’s not meant as a criticism nor is it a bad thing.  With drummer Jeff Ballard and bassist Larry Grenadier, Mehldau offers up some originals, some takes on modern pop tunes, and a rendition of something from the bop era.

Artist site | Available at:  Amazon