10 Albums You Need to Know: September 2021

A celebration of women composers; a vanguard vocalist’s big band debut; a jazz legend’s first official posthumous release. All this and more in our list of ten albums released this month (September 2021) that you need to know about.


Renee Rosnes, Kinds of Love (Smoke Sessions)

Release date: September 3

On Kinds of Love, pianist/composer Renee Rosnes honors and celebrates love through nine brilliant new compositions. The recording features a stunning all-star band with some of her favorite collaborators, including Chris Potter, Christian McBride, Carl Allen and Rogério Boccato, many of them back in the studio for this recording session after the long dry spell of 2020. Order Kinds of Love here.


Eliane Elias, Mirror Mirror (Candid)

Release date: September 10

On Mirror Mirror, pianist/singer/songwriter Eliane Elias returns to the two-piano setting for the first time in many years. The record features piano duets with the late legendary jazz great Chick Corea and famed Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés and marks Elias’ first piano-only recording since 1995’s Solos and Duets. Order Mirror Mirror here.


Jazzmeia Horn and Her Noble Force, Dear Love (Empress Legacy)

Release date: September 10

Dear Love is vanguard vocalist Jazzmeia Horn’s first big band effort, for which she put together a 15-piece ensemble called Noble Force. The album will be released on the artist’s own record label and, according to a press release, “brims with the combination of her assured delivery and spoken word segments, deft arrangements and fiery musical ideas.”


Pat Metheny, Side-Eye NYC (V1.IV) (Modern/BMG)

Release date: September 10

Recorded just before the pandemic, Side-Eye NYC (V1-IV) is a new Pat Metheny live album featuring the guitar great at his most rocking, performing new originals and inventive reworkings of some of his most beloved original compositions, accompanied by a handpicked rotating cast of players. This is Metheny’s second full-length of 2021, following his classical guitar multi-movement Road to the Sun. Order it here.


Helen Sung, Quartet+ (Sunnyside)

Release date: September 17

Pianist/composer Helen Sung celebrates women composers with Quartet+, a vibrant new album combining her all-star quartet with the GRAMMY-winning Harlem Quartet. Quartet+ co-produced by violin master Regina Carter and features Sung’s own original compositions alongside pieces by Geri Allen, Carla Bley, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Mary Lou Williams, and Marian McPartland.


Sheila Jordan, Come Love: Lost Session 1960 (Capri)

Release date: September 17

Capri releases a previously unknown 1960 recording by vocalist and NEA Jazz Master Sheila Jordan. Recently discovered on acetate, Come Love presents the singer in a nascent but instantly recognizable form on a set of standards. The session predates her historic 1963 Blue Note debut, Portrait of Sheila, making this the singular vocalist’s earliest-known recorded session. Order it here.


Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble, …dreaming in lions… (Blue Note)

Release date: September 24

On his full-length Blue Note debut, pianist/composer Arturo O’Farrill presents two original suites he composed in collaboration with Cuba’s Malpaso Dance Company, performed by his 10-piece Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble. One suite, “Despedida,” is a meditation on farewells. The other, “Dreaming in Lions,” is inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s novel, The Old Man and the Sea. Order …dreaming in lions… here.


Chick Corea’s Akoustic Band, Chick Corea Akoustic Band LIVE (Concord Jazz)

Release date: September 24

Chick Corea Akoustic Band LIVE is the piano great’s first posthumous release and the final project he prepared before his passing. The album documents a concert by his Akoustic Band with bassist John Patitucci and drummer Dave Weckl from January 13, 2018, at SPC Music Hall in St. Petersburg, Florida, and serves as a reminder of Corea’s singular genius, with more than two hours of inspired music playing and spirited camaraderie. Order it here.


Henry Threadgill Zooid, Poof (Pi)

Release date: September 24

Following the hugely acclaimed and Pulitzer-winning 2016 album In for a Penny, In for a Pound, newly-minted NEA Jazz Master Henry Threadgill returns with his primary musical laboratory for the past two decades, Zooid. Their new album, Poof, is a collection of compositions that Threadgill describes as sonatas or concerti: “Come and Go” for saxophone and cello; “Poof” for saxophone and guitar; “Beneath the Bottom” for trombone; “Happenstance” for flute and drums; and “Now and Then” for tuba and guitar. Order it here.


Joey DeFrancesco, More Music (Mack Avenue)

Release date: September 24

Multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire Joey DeFrancesco offers the remedy for a challenging year via ten new compositions and by debuting a new trio with organist/guitarist Lucas Brown and drummer Michael Ode. More Music also finds him supplementing his organ virtuosity with trumpet, piano, keyboard, vocals and – for the first time – tenor saxophone. Order it here.


Featured photo: Toshi Sakurai

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