This Is Jazz Today: Marike van Dijk, Sebastian Sternal, Anouar Brahem & more!

 

BitW square avatarSo, as many of you noticed, I took the last week of February off from writing… thus, no This Is Jazz Today for week-ending 2/24/15 new jazz releases.  However, that’s not to say I wasn’t listening to this music… I just took a break from keyboard and pen.  This column, posting today, it gets you caught up with what you missed then.

And it’s a good thing that I’m getting you caught up, too, because there were some fantastic albums to see the light of day the week-ending February 24th.  And several of them, as you’ll notice from the additional links, have received stand-alone recommendations on this site quite recently.  So there’s even more reading & listening material out there if you want it… just follow the link.

Now, with all that said, let’s begin…

 

*** Pick of the Week ***

 

Marike van Dijk – The Stereography Project

Marike van Dijk - "The Stereography Project"Excellent chamber jazz session that lets both the jazz and classical elements rise to the top as often as they blend seamlessly together.  Beautiful music, compelling music.  Nice option for early mornings when the world has had its first cup of coffee, but peace still reigns supreme.  It’s really quite enchanting, regardless of whether it’s embracing or challenging the listener.  Read more about this album on Bird is the Worm (LINK).

Pick of the Week

Released on BJU Records.  Visit the artist site.

More listening | Buy:  Bandcamp | eMusic | Amazon

*****

*** This week’s featured albums ***

 

Sebastian Sternal – Sternal Symphonic Society Vol.2 (Traumton)

Sebastien Sternal - "Sternal Symphonic Society Vol 2"A sharp intelligence and compelling beauty from Sternal’s follow-up to the Symphonic Society.  His large ensemble is grounded in contemporary classical and lets the jazz personality surge up at will.  Expect to read more about this album on Bird is the Worm down the road.

Artist site | Buy: eMusicAmazon

*****

Anouar Brahem – Souvenance (ECM Records)

Anouar Brahem - "Souvenance"Charming folk tunes that cast a heavy, captivating spell.  The addition of the Orchestra delia Svizzera Italiana adds a contemplative drone and uplifting harmony.  Brahem’s oud dances lively along its surface.

Artist site | Listen | Buy: Amazon

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

*****

ADHD – ADHD5 (Contemplate Music)

ADHD - "ADHD 5"Sleepy tunes that twitter with life like active dreams.  The melodies possess the fuzzy motions of a shadow in action, while the manipulation of tempo provides the album both substance and depth.  Terrifically absorbing album.

Artist site | Listen | Buy: eMusicAmazon

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

*****

Jacky Terrasson – Take This (Impulse)

Jacky Terrasson - "Take This"A serious charm to the newest from pianist Terrasson.  All kinds of personality that just bubbles over, shining through whether an original or a cover (Brubeck, Beatles).  Cheerful music possessing a friendly, conversational chatter.

Artist site | Buy: Amazon

*****

Jeremy Siskind – Housewarming (BJU Records)

Jeremy Siskind - "Housewarming"A new set of intoxicating tunes from the trio of pianist Siskind, vocalist Nancy Harms and saxophonist Lucas Pino (who also adds some excellent clarinet work to the session).  Interesting to hear a couple guest vocalists, including Kurt Elling.  This is the sound of moonlight.

Artist site | Buy: eMusic – Amazon

*****

Grace Moon & the Jaguar – Kananga (Self-Produced)

Grace Moon & the Jaguar - "Kananga"Massively captivating vocal jazz session that brings a strong updated Motown R&B influence to the session.  At its core, the band is a trio of piano/vocals, guitar and drums, but augmented by string & brass units, along with a variety of percussion.  A tunefulness bordering on addictive.

Artist site | Listen | Buy: BandcampeMusicAmazon

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

*****

Luiz Moretto Quintet – Vampyroteuthis Infernalis (Slam Productions)

Luiz Moretto - "Vampyroteuthis Infernalis"A gripping avant-garde session from violinist Moretto.  He doubles up on rabeca for this session, which is reflective of the unconventional instruments he brings together so splendidly on this recording.  A strangely alluring melodicism throughout this fun, invigorating challenge of an album.

Artist site | Listen | Buy: eMusicAmazon

*****

Matthew Stevens – Woodwork (Whirlwind)

Matthew Stevens - "Woodwork"Nifty modern set from guitarist Stevens.  Concocts an appealing mix of contemporary jazz sheen and rustic folk-jazz charm.  Strings the melodies out nicely, so they linger as the quintet goes off in new directions.

Artist site | Buy: eMusic

*****

Wolff & Clark – Wolff & Clark Expedition 2 (Random Act)

Wolff, Clark Expedition 2Nice straight-ahead set from pianist Wolff and drummer Clark, who are joined by a strong line-up of guests, including Christian McBride, Wallace Roney and Hailey Niswanger.  Nothing fancy; just a fastball right down the pipe.

Artist site | Listen | Buy: eMusicAmazon

*****

Yuri Honing Acoustic Quartet – Desire (Challenge)

Yuri Honing - "Desire"Gorgeous album from tenor saxophonist Honing.  Dreamy tunes that swim in melancholia and float atop the prettiest melodies.  This is an album built for rainy days and windows that look out over the city rooftops.

Artist site | Buy: eMusicAmazon

*****

Blaubart – Blaubart (Unit Records)

Blaubart - "Blaubart"A fascinating reinterpretation of Béla Bartók’s Bluebird’s Castle.  A trio of clarinets, strings and piano & keys grow lively improvisations from the heart of the original compositions.  Switches between a haunting beauty and an ominous ferocity.

Artist site | Buy: eMusic – Amazon

*****

Lisa Parrott – Round Tripper (Self-Produced)

Lisa Parrott - "Round Tripper"For an album that rarely takes the commonly traveled road, the music is pretty smooth cruising.  Saxophonist Parrot brings a strong line-up to this crackling set (Matt Wilson, Chris Lightcap, Nadje Noordhuis & Carl Dewhurst).  Parrott & crew find a lot of nifty ways to make small differences resonate far and wide.

Artist site | Buy: CDBabyAmazon

*****

Tom McClung – Burning Bright (Archieball)

Tom McClung - "Burning Bright"Nice straight-ahead trio session from McClung, who’s lent his piano to collaborations with Archie Shepp & Yusef Lateef.  They dive right into a talkative chatter and don’t let up.  Friendly, cheerful music.

Artist site | Buy: eMusic – Amazon

*****

 

Have a great time digging through the list!

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

Cheers.

***