Tiny Reviews: Isaac Jaffe, Jimmy Owens, Lutz Hafner, & Carmen Sandim

Featuring Tiny Reviews of Issac Jaffe Telenova Vol. 1, Jimmy Owens The Monk Project, Lutz Hafner Bar Talk With Bela, and Carmen Sandim Brand New.


Isaac Jaffe – Telenova Vol. 1

Well, since we’re talking about Indie-Jazz fusion, we might as well mention bass player Issac Jaffe’s new album. Telenova really strays far away from Jazz’s center, though as this particular vein of jazz-indie fusion is becoming more commonplace, the “center” of jazz is becoming an increasingly fuzzy measurement. A quintet of trumpet, tenor sax, guitar, bass, and drums, the album keeps a rapid pace throughout, and even when Jaffe gets the group to lay back on the tempo, you can tell it’s just a matter of time before they get the heart rate up again.

Your album personnel:  Jackie Coleman (trumpet), Nicholas Myers (tenor sax), Kirk Schoenherr (guitar), Sam Levin (drums), and Isaac Jaffe (bass)

Jaffe describes his sound as post-hardcore Jazz, and explains, “Post-Hardcore Jazz mixes exciting rhythm, harmony, and immediately engaging melodies to create an entirely new sound drawn out of a diverse array of American music.”

Jaffe has a strong voice on bass, and this Indie-Jazz sound is becoming a stronger voice on the modern jazz scene. If I were to generalize the interests of a typical rabid music fan in search of cool new sounds, I’d have to say this album would be right up the alley of many.  Easy to like this album.

This album is Self-Produced.  Jazz from the Brooklyn scene.


Jimmy Owens – The Monk Project

Here’s a treat. NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Owens gives us an album of his own arrangements of Monk tunes. Lending his sweet trumpet sound to a septet ensemble which includes modern jazz giants Wycliffe Gordon (trombone), Marcus Strickland (tenor sax), Howard Johnson (tuba, bari sax), Kenny Baron (piano), Kenny Davis (bass, and Winard Harper (drums), Owens has crafted a series of magnificent versions of classic compositions for what might be the strongest release of a strong week of releases. The feel of much of the album is blues, evident even when the ensemble sounds chipper as hell. Never sounding reductive to some past age of music, this is Jazz as jazz gets, fresh as bread baked this morning and just as hot. Beautiful stuff, and very very highly recommended.

Released on IPO Recordings.

Available on eMusic.


Lutz Hafner – Bar Talk With Bela

This straight-ahead album features a strong cast of players. In addition to Lutz Hafner on sax, it also features some of the best musicians on the scene- Adam Rogers (guitar), Scott Colley (bass), Donny McCaslin (tenor sax), Johan Ruckert (drums), and Rainer Bohm (piano and Fender Rhodes). Hafner’s sound on sax is perpetually curious, seemingly to always be looking to discover an inventive path less traveled. Interplay between the sextet member is top-notch, and makes for a very enjoyable listen.

Released on the CARE Music Group label.

Available on eMusic.


Carmen Sandim – Brand New

Wow, beautiful! Former Brazilian, Current Colorado pianist Carmen Sandim comes out strong with her debut album, featuring mainstays of the Denver jazz scene, including wildly talented trumpeter Ron Miles. It’s mostly a series of tuneful post-bop tracks; deep melodies made more satisfying for not resolving to a natural conclusion, nice quick step rhythms that mesh seamlessly with Sandim’s piano bounce and skip, and some seriously lyrical guitar action. Recorded on the fledgling Dazzle Records label, who has put out some strong albums as their opening statements to the scene. 

Your album personnel:  Carmen Sandim (piano), Ron Miles (trumpet), Danny Meyer (sax), Matt Fuller (guitar), and Jean Luc Davis (bass).

Jazz from the Denver scene.


That’s it for today’s article.  There’ll be some more on Wednesday from this same batch of recs.


Here’s some language to protect emusic’s rights as the one to hire me originally to scour through the jazz new arrivals and write about the ones I like:

New Arrivals Jazz Picks“, courtesy of eMusic.com, Inc.
© 2012  eMusic.com, Inc.

My thanks to emusic for the freelance writing gig, the opportunity to use it in this blog, and the editorial freedom to help spread the word about cool new jazz being recorded today.