This Is Jazz Today: Chris Lightcap’s Bigmouth, Kenosha Kid, Till Martin Quintet & more!


BitW square avatarWell all right, the This Is Jazz Today column is back!  After a desperately needed week away from music and writing, I’ve got a fresh new batch of recommendations for you today.  Now, this list reflects only the past week of new releases.  I will almost certainly be posting some sort of make-up column for those new releases that dropped during my hiatus the week prior.

But for now, start digging through the newest gems to surface in the Jazz section of the internet.

Let’s begin…

*** Pick of the Week ***


Chris Lightcap’s Bigmouth – Epicenter

Chris Lightcap - "Epicenter"There’s an anthemic nature to much of Chris Lightcap‘s style of modern jazz.  This is true whether he adopts a straight-ahead sound that bops right along or goes with something that toes the line separating jazz from other genres.  That continues on his newest, where the all-star bassist deftly combines oddball meters, conventional song structures and stunning melodic washes.  Epicenter is one of the best things to come out, thus far, in 2015.  At year end, I expect to be saying much the same.  Pretty soon, I’ll be writing more about this album and his previous recording, Deluxe.  In the meantime, just start listening.

Released on Clean Feed Records.  Visit the artist site.

More listening | Buy: eMusic Direct from Clean Feed Records


*** This week’s featured albums ***


Kenosha Kid – Inside Voices (Self-Produced)

Kenosha Kid - "Inside Voices"Basic building blocks of a strong melody, thick harmonies and a well-lit rhythmic path lead to a texturally rich offering.  Development of album as intriguing as individual songs.  Excellent example of modern jazz-indie rock mix.

Artist site | Listen | Buy: BandcampeMusicCDBabyAmazon

Read more about this album on Bird is the Worm (LINK).


Albert “Tootie” Heath – Philadelphia Beat (Sunnyside)

Albert Heath - "Philadelphia Beat"Excellent set from jazz legend Heath in a trio with modern heroes Ethan Iverson & Ben Street.  Nifty generational balance between old-school and new-school straight-ahead styles.  Cheerful music with a sharp wit… oh hell yes.

No artist site | Listen | Buy:  BandcampeMusicAmazon


Till Martin Quintet – The Gardener (Unit Records)

Till Martin - "The Gardener"Saxophonist Martin’s quintet weaves an album of supreme gorgeousness.  Addition of cello and viola allows transition between an icy elegance and soft warmth.  Perfect amount of edge to complement the comforting, serene beauty.

Artist site | Buy:  eMusicAmazon


James Falzone’s Renga Ensemble – The Room Is (Allos Documents)

James Falzone - "The Room Is"Falzone’s sextet of clarinets and saxophones possesses a lexicon equally adept at enchantment and debate.  Modulations between sweet harmonies and acerbic dissonance performed with an appealing care and patience.  A friggin’ all-star line-up of reedists on this one.

Artist site | Listen | Buy: BandcampeMusicCDBaby


Skydive Trio – Sun Moee (Hubro)

Skydive Trio - "Sun Moee"Nice easy-going guitar trio from bassist Mats Eilertsen, drummer Olavi Louhivuori and guitarist Thomas T. Dahl.  Hazy melodies delivered with strong intent.  A tuneful approach throughout.

Artist site | Buy: eMusicAmazon


Jeremy Danneman – Lady Boom Boom (Ropeadope)

Jeremy Danneman - "Lady Boom Boom"An album that sets equal importance to kicking back in the shade as it does getting out on the dance floor.  Saxophonist Danneman’s debut bleeds all kinds of personality and more than a little bit of fun.  Charming and exuberant.

Artist site | Listen | Buy: Bandcamp – Amazon


Syberen van Munster – Plunge for Distance (Self-Produced)

Syberen van Munster - "Plunge for Distance"When this quintet moves at a brisk pace, the music has an appealing pop-music catchiness.  And when sax & accordion combine to influence the proceedings, the result is a haunting beauty.  Guitarist van Munster strikes a nice balance on this solid debut recording.

Artist site | Listen | Buy: CDBabyeMusicAmazon

Download a free album track at the artist’s Soundcloud page.


Spin Marvel – Infolding (Rare Noise)

Spin Marvel - "Infolding"Space-age jazz electronica fusion.  Heavy atmospherics from the live electronic effects and Nils Petter Molvaer’s trumpet create an intoxicating ambiance.  Rhythm section provides the necessary thump and drive to balance things out.

Artist site | Buy:  Amazon


Mike Ievtushenko Trio – Prayer (Barnette Records)

Mike Ievtushenko - "Prayer"Solid saxophone trio set from tenor man Ievtushenko.  They hit the sweet spot from when hard bop was transitioning into spiritual jazz.  One that should appeal to old-school and new-school fans alike.

No artist site | Buy: eMusic


Ifa y Xango – Twice Left Handed\\Shavings (El Negocito)

Ifa y Xango - "Twice Left Handed, Shavings"Interesting mix of dissonance and drone from this ensemble of wind instruments, guitars, keyboards and electronic effects.  Even when it growls, there’s a comforting nature to the music.  Something different.

Artist site | Listen | Buy: Bandcamp


Yvonnick Prene & Pasquale Grasso – Merci Toots (Self-Produced)

Yvonnick Prene, Pasquale Grasso - "Merci Toots"Guitar-harmonica duo run through a set of standards and classics.  They develop a nice chatter, moving at a brisk pace without sounding hurried.  A sort of quaint blowing session.

Artist site | Listen | Buy: CDBaby – Amazon


Free Nelson Mandoomjazz – Awakening of a Capital (Rare Noise)

Free Nelson Mandoomjazz - "Awakening of a Capital"Seriously compelling saxophone trio session.  Switches from a theme for the end of the world to an infectious groove to striking melodic passages.  All kinds of personality to this one.

Artist site | Listen | Buy: Amazon


Muriel Grossmann – Earth Tones (Self-Produced)

Muriel Grossmann - "Earth Tones"Some nifty old-school spiritual jazz from saxophonist Grossmann.  Excellent mix of barely restrained heat and nearly attained serenity.  Alice Coltrane fans check in here.

Artist site | Buy: eMusicCDBabyAmazon


Don Aliquo/Clay Jenkins Quintet – New Ties & Binds (Self-Produced)

Don Aliquo, Clay Jenkins - "New Ties and Binds"Nifty straight-ahead session that reflects a friendly demeanor.  There’s a looseness to the sound that’s plenty appealing.  Incisive interplay between engaging solos keeps things bopping right along.

Artist site | Buy:  No known retail options


Jason Seizer – Cinema Paradiso (Pirouet)

Jason Seizer - "Cinema Paradiso"Nice take on classic movie themes from Seizer’s quartet.  His saxophone stays to the quiet end, but makes each note resonate with remarkable strength.  Moody, evocative, quite beautiful at times.

Artist site | Buy: eMusicAmazon


Chantale Gagne – The Left Side of the Moon (Self-Produced)

Chantale Gagne - "The Left Side of the Moon"Enjoyable set from pianist Gagne, backed by a quartet of pro’s pros (Lewis Nash, Steve Wilson & Peter Washington).  Nothing fancy, just solid straight-ahead jazz.  A little swing, a little bop, plenty of soul.

Artist site | Buy: CDBabyAmazon



Have a great time digging through the list!

And remember, it’s simple:  You like what you like.