Avishai Cohen impressed a lot of listeners with his soulful contributions to Mark Turner’s Lathe of Heaven album in 2014. Now the charismatic Tel Aviv-born trumpeter has his ECM leader debut in a programme of expansive and impressionistic compositions for jazz quartet (trumpet, piano, bass, drums), augmented by tenor saxophone on a few pieces. Into The Silence is dedicated to the memory of Avishai’s father David, reflecting upon the last days of his life with grace and restraint. Avishai’s tender muted trumpet sets the emotional tone of the music in the album’s opening moments and his gifted cast of musicians explore its implications. Israeli pianist Yonathan Avishai has played with Cohen in many settings and solos creatively inside the trumpeter’s haunting compositions, sometimes illuminating them with the phraseology of the blues.
For 15 years, Jake Shimabukuro has been expanding the possibilities of the ukulele as an instrument, bringing it from its role as a cornerstone of Hawaiian music into the worlds of rock, jazz and classical music. This January, Shimabukuro assembled a trio and went into the studio with no music written beforehand, in hopes of coming up with some decent ideas and maybe recording a song or two. Six days later, they had recorded Nashville Sessions, a full album of original compositions, written on the spot and recorded live.
Street Blues is a beautifully produced album that is a fantastic listening experience. Full of great original songs and choice covers. A perfect vehicle for Simon's clever writing, soulful singing and killer modern blues guitar playing.
Cuban born pianist Alfredo Rodrguez literally lived his music while in his native land. Coming to the United States has given Rodriguez a new perspective and a second chance at creativity that few artists are smart enough to embrace on the first go-round. The Invasion Parade celebrates different styles of Cuban music seldom recorded in the United States along with a wonderful lineup of musicians including a nice cameo from Esperanza Spalding.
The hauntingly beautiful voice of countertenor Carlos Mena is featured here on the Mirare début of the Disfonik Orchestra. The group’s music blends jazz and classical with other influences to produce a sound that is both unique and captivating. Under the Shadow includes a selection of some of the most beautiful works in the classical repertoire, delicately arranged for jazz band.
Legendary jazz greats Branford Marsalis and Kurt Elling collaborate for the first time on a full album, Upward Spiral. They ve been talking for a while about making a record together, and finally at the end of 2015 it all came together. They found time to play the new material in the New Orleans Snug Harbor club for four days and then recorded a variety of songs in the studio, all chosen because of their melodic richness and musical quality. Their versions of the chosen material are simply incredible, as the musicality of Branford and Kurt and their deep understanding of these songs shows through immediately.
After a much celebrated appearance by Adam Baldych at the 2011 Berlin Jazzfest, critic Ulrich Olshausen raved in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper: "He has, without doubt, the greatest technique of any jazz violinist alive today. We can expect everything of him". High praise for a musician of just 26 years of age, and at the same time only fitting for a man who has been considered a prodigy in his native Poland for many years already. He discovered the violin at the age of 11, and jazz at 13; the music gave him the freedom of expression he was looking for, and at 16 he started his international career. After completing his jazz studies at the Katowice Academy with distinction, he was awarded a scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Based in São Paulo, Metá Metá have played a key role in the city’s thriving experimental music scene, mixing samba and Afro-Brazilian candomblé with jazz and rock. Now they have added north African influences, inspired by visits to Morocco, in an album that constantly changes style and pace – often in the same song. Opener Três Amigos sets the mood, starting as an atmospheric piece with an Arabic edge and relaxed vocals by Juçara Marçal, before switching to a furious blitz of sound by saxophonist Thiago França and guitarist Kiko Dinucci, who played a key role in an extraordinary recent album from Elza Soares. Elsewhere, the songs vary from the cheerful and breezy Toque Certeiro (featuring scat vocals from Marçal that have the easy charm of Joyce Moreno) to passages that sound like an angry Brazilian post-punk thrash, influenced by their country’s political crisis.
When a musician’s second record is released, one is tempted to say that this is the album of maturity and it’s often true. This time, we have to admit it’s not the case, Baptiste Herbin having passed that stage with his first opus. The young saxophonist from Chartres (France), who started with classical music and switched to jazz studying with Lourau Julien and Jean-Charles Richard, made his mark in 2012 with his first album “Brother Stoon” justifiably prompting a series of rave reviews that emphasized the virtuosity of the young man, fan of Charlie Parker and Cannonball Adderley.