Aug 24 2015
We’ve got four more recommendations for you as we get caught back up with our This Is Jazz Today columns. And we still have a lot of catching up to do. And you, well, you have too much unused space on your computers and phones and CD shelves. Let’s fill that stuff up.
And, as always, your budget belongs to us. Now, it’s time to begin the search again for your new favorite album.
The Dorf – eviL (Skycap)
Terribly cool jazz orchestra hailing out of Germany’s Ruhr district. This mix of jazz, noise, krautrock, avant-garde and any number of other influences comes off as creatively unhinged in its relentless pursuit of Big Sound fun. There’s an exuberance to this music that is positively addictive, and it’s that magnetic quality that draws attention to the little details that provide intrigue and texture to the huge washes of sound. Unexpected switchbacks and scene changes add to the flavor without harming the album’s cohesion. Just really fun stuff.
Amir ElSaffar Two Rivers Ensemble – Crisis (PI Recordings)
Supremely lyrical session from trumpeter ElSaffar, whose Two Rivers Ensemble hits the sweet spot where modern jazz and Middle East musics converge. As with other modern jazz albums built around the method of maqam, well-crafted melodies, stated with emphasis, are the launching points for further elucidation on-the-fly… getting to where a self-referential conversation becomes a mesmerizing display of melodic beauty and joy. Joining ElSaffar are bassist Carlo DeRosa, drummer Nasheet Waits, saxophonist Ole Mathisen, oudist & percussionist Zafer Tawil and Tareq Abboushi on buzuq.
The Brothers Nylon & MK – Analog Spirit Quest Vol.1 (Ropeadope)
Very fun jazz-funk recording, loaded with deep grooves suited more for outer space than the dance floor. At its heart, a trio of the Michael & Nick Rufolo on percussion & clarinets and Michael Kammers on saxophones & keyboards, but they get their hands on all kinds of supplementary instruments… plus some guests sit in and provide extra depth. Though, in spots, this EP lacks polish, I’m not sure that isn’t part of its charm. Uncontrived fun is no small thing, and it’s nice to know that a smile offered up is genuine at heart. Some of you will be interested to learn that a refurbished Tascam 388 8-track mixing board was used for this recording.
Nick Fraser – Too Many Continents (Clean Feed)
This dissonant music possesses an innate casual ease in the way phrases are often drawled out and allowed to linger. This leads to a curious whiff of elegance and charm in a chaotic sonic environment… as if Southern gentlemen expressed their hospitality through the medium of avant-garde. Drummer Fraser, pianist Kris Davis and saxophonist Tony Malaby are just the kind of musicians to pull off this kind of endeavor.
Have a great time digging through the list!
And remember, it’s simple: You like what you like.