10 New Jazz Albums You Need to Know About: July 2018

JAZZIZ.com takes a look at 10 of the hottest – and sweetest – new jazz albums that will be released in July 2018.

TROY ROBERTS - Nu-Jive Perspective (Inner Circle Music)

Release date: July 6

Saxophonist-composer Troy Roberts' Nu-Jive band is a quintet that includes Tim Jago on guitar, Silvano Monasterios on keys, Eric England on bass and Dave Chiverton on drums. Together, they have been playing for years a unique type of music that they describe as "an eclectic, yet head-bopping concoction of soul, funk, R&B and gospel music, all musically glued together with jazz etiquette." Released via Inner Circle Music on July 6, their new LP, Nu-Jive Perspective is Roberts' overall eighth album as leader and his third with this specific line-up. Click here to check out a trailer for the album.

BRIAN BROMBERG - Thicker Than Water (Mack Avenue Records)

Release date: July 13

Brian Bromberg, one of today's most respected jazz bassists, has been recording and performing for decades works falling under the smooth jazz category, straight-ahead jazz, rock-oriented jazz fusion and more. His latest project, Thicker Than Water, comprises 13 tracks and sees him utilize 11 different basses to create an orchestra of unique tones and rapid-fire runs. Joining him on this album are such notable musicians as trumpeter Randy Brecker, saxophonists Marion Meadows, Najee, Everette Harp, Brandon Fields and Gary Meek, and the late keyboard master George Duke, among others.

CHILDREN OF ZEUS - Travel Light (First Word Records)

Release date: July 13

Tyler Daley and Konny Kon are Children of Zeus, a production duo from Manchester, United Kingdom, that is part of a wave of artists blending jazz with hip-hop and electronica. Having previously released three singles and a compilation EP over the past decade, they will finally release their debut full-length album, Travel Light, on July 13 via First Word Records. This project shines another light on Manchester’s fascinating new school and is written, produced and performed entirely by Daley and Kon.

AL DI MEOLA - Elegant Gypsy & More (earMUSIC)

Release date: July 20

Guitar virtuoso Al Di Meola released his influential and highly successful second LP, Elegant Gypsy, back in 1977. Elegant Gypsy & More is his new live album that sees him revisit some of the tracks from that historic album as well as other earlier works. The track-list includes “Race With Devil on Spanish Highway,” “Flight Over Rio” and “Midnight Tango,” among others. Elegant Gypsy & More, which perfectly captures Di Meola’s passion and characteristic blend of world music, rock and jazz, was recorded last year during his acclaimed U.S. concert tour of the same name.

BOBBY SANABRIA & THE MULTIVERSE BAND - West Side Story Reimagined (Jazzheads)

Release date: July 20

Latin jazz maestro, percussionist-bandleader Bobby Sanabria, reimagines the music from West Side Story with an all new Latin jazz instrumental score. The music on West Side Story Reimagined is performed with a 21-piece ensemble named the Multiverse Band. The album celebrates the centennial of Leonard Bernstein, the composer of the music of the original Broadway hit, who was born on August 25, 1918. In addition, the proceeds from this project will go towards a Hurricane Maria Relief, particularly in support of musicians in Puerto Rico who lost their ability to generate income as a result of the hurricane.

BUGGE WESSELTOFT & PRINS THOMAS - “Bugge Wesseltoft and Prins Thomas” (Smalltown Supersound)

Release date: July 20

The first collaborative full-length album by Norwegian musicians Prins Thomas and Bugge Wesseltoft, who have been central figures and innovators of the Nordic jazz scene for nearly three decades. Here, the two musicians improvise some jazz tunes in the style and spirit of their favorite ECM Records moments, like the fresh open sounds of Codona, Egberto Gismonti, Oregon and Kenny Wheeler. The self-titled album, which also features Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, was recorded at Rainbow Studio in Oslo, Norway, where many of ECM’s classic 1970s jazz albums were recorded.

JAN HAMMER - Seasons Pt. 1 (Red Gate Recorders)

Release date: July 20

Composer-musician Jan Hammer will release Seasons Pt. 1, his first record after a nearly 10 year-long hiatus, on July 20. The album features 13 tracks in total and is a collection of existing musical sketches that Hammer developed into full-length compositions alongside selections that were created just for this album. The music of Seasons Pt. 1 ranges in style from jazz to prog to classical to pop; Hammer himself describes the album as “cinematic” via a press release, and as a collection of “pop songs without words.” Meanwhile, he is also currently working on a forthcoming follow-up, which will be aptly titled Seasons Pt. 2.

STRUNZ & FARAH - Tales of Two Guitars (Selva Records)

Release date: July 20

Guitarists Jorge Strunz, from Costa Rica, and Ardeshir Farah, from Iran, have been playing together since the late 1970s, and recorded their first album, Mosaico, in 1982. Tales of Two Guitars, recorded in the studio with 11 guest musicians, is described as a musical storybook of their fully evolved style of playing and composing which has been highly influential among guitarists everywhere. The new album, which will be released on July 20 via their own Selva Records label, has 13 original songs that range from rhythmic to romantic to jazz and incorporate in varying degrees their classic Latin, Middle Eastern and jazz influences.

THE VERVE JAZZ ENSEMBLE - Connect the Dots (LightGroove Media)

Release date: July 20

The Verve Jazz Ensemble is a modular New York-based ensemble led by drummer Josh Feldstein. Their fifth album, Connect the Dots, sees them expanded to a seven piece band and playing catchy melodies imbued with deceptively rich harmonies and finger-snapping grooves that, according to Feldstein, is part of the band’s reason for being. Connect the Dots features new arrangements of some of the most beloved jazz standards alongside original compositions, including Feldman and trumpeter-flugelhornist Tatum Greenblatt’s bebop title track.

MARY HALVORSON - Maid With the Flaxen Hair - A Tribute to Johnny Smith (Tzadik Records)

Release date: May 27

Maid With the Flaxen Hair is an album of soulful duets by two of the most original guitarists in modern jazz: Mary Halvorson and Bill Frisell. Here, they team up to pay tribute to Johnny Smith, a guitarist who has been a huge influence to both. Smith is widely considered one of the greatest guitarists of his generation and a prominent figure of cool and mainstream jazz of the 1950s and 1960s. He was born in 1922, died in 2013, but had retired as a performer in 1978. Maid With the Flaxen Hair sees Halvorson and Frisell perform nine ballads associated with Smith and his own classic 1954 composition “Walk, Don’t Run,” which was later recorded by such artists as Chet Atkins and, arguably most famously, by The Vultures.

Matt Micucci
Matt Micucci

Matt Micucci is the Online Editor of JAZZIZ Magazine.

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