10 New Jazz Albums You Need To Know About: October 2018

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

Omar Sosa and Yilian Cañizares – Aguas (OTA Records/PIAS/MDC)
Release date: October 5

Pianist Omar Sosa and violinist-vocalist Yilian Cañizares team up on a new, personal album: an engaging mix of the artists’ Afro-Cuban roots, Western classical music and jazz that also features their compatriot, percussionist Inor Sotolongo. As the title suggests, Aguas is also dedicated to Water, and especially to Oshun, the Goddess of Love and Mistress of Rivers in the Lucumí tradition of Yoruba ancestry, known in Cuba as Santería, which is a spiritual practice that is important to both artists.

Ambrose Akinmusire – Origami Harvest (Blue Note Records)
Release date: October 12

Origami Harvest finds trumpeter-composer Ambrose Akinmusire putting things that are seemingly opposite right next to each other. The result is a surprisingly fluid study in contrasts that actively respond to societal divides, the way our politics hold us emotionally hostage and the ever-growing list of black lives ended by structural racism by pitting contemporary classical wielding against deconstructed hip-hop with bursts of left-field jazz, funk, spoken word and soul. Origami Harvest features New York’s Mivos Quartet and art-rap expatriate Kool A.D., plus drummer Marcus Gilmore and pianist Sam Harris, among others.

Ben Wendel – The Seasons (Motéma Music)
Release date: October 12

The Seasons is a forthcoming album of studio recordings and reinterpretations of Ben Wendel’s compositions that he had performed in a duo with various musicians on his acclaimed YouTube series of the same name. For this album and the tour dates to follow it, the saxophonist-composer formed a band with guitarist Gilad Hekselman, pianist Aaron Parks, drummer Eric Harland and bassist Matt Brewer. Each of its 12-tracks is inspired by the compositions of Tchaikovsky and dedicated to a specific month of the year.

Ann Hampton Callaway – Jazz Goes to the Movies (Shanachie)
Release date: October 19

Vocalist, songwriter and musician Ann Hampton Callaway celebrates the long tradition linking jazz and cinema on her 16th album, Jazz Goes To the Movies. Featuring Callaway’s new jazz arrangements of American songbook classics from some of Hollywood’s best-known films, the 14-track recording includes “The Way You Look Tonight” from the 1936 Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers musical Swing Time, “Blue Skies” from the history-making 1927 musical The Jazz Singer and “As Time Goes By” from the beloved quintessential 1942 film noir Casablanca, among others.

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and Rubén Blades – Una Noche con Rubén Blades (Blue Engine Records)
Release date: October 19

Una Noche con Rubén Blades is a new live album documenting a special concert by one of the biggest names in Latin music and one of the world’s leading big bands from November 15, 2014. On this night, the Jazz at Lincoln Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis welcomed vocalist, songwriter, actor and activist Rubén Blades to their Rose Theater stage in Manhattan, New York, for a night of swing and salsa. During the concert, Blades and the Orchestra performed new versions of some of the vocalist’s biggest hits from his over-forty-year career, such as “Pedro Navaja” and “El Cantante,” and such swing standards as “Too Close for Comfort and Begin the Beguine.”

Christian McBride – Christian McBride’s New Jawn (Brother Mister Productions/Mack Avenue Music Group)
Release date: October 26

Bass great Christian McBride recently launched Brother Mister Productions, his new imprint, in partnership with Mack Avenue Music Group. His first release for it is the eponymous debut album of his new band, Christian McBride’s New Jawn, which draws inspiration from the grit and vibes of his Philadelphia hometown. The group features McBride alongside trumpeter Josh Evans, saxophonist Marcus Strickland and drummer Nasheet Waits, and they are described as walking the razor’s edge between thrilling virtuosity and gut-punch instinctiveness.

David Hazeltine – The Time Is Now (Smoke Sessions Records)
Release date: October 26

The Time Is Now sees pianist-composer David Hazeltine heading a trio with two fellow jazz masters: bassist Ron Carter and drummer Al Foster. All three artists come from the straight-ahead jazz tradition; as such, Hazeltine had no interest in reinventing the wheel on this occasion and set out to create amazing music from familiar ingredients. “I’ve always thought of creating music – and perhaps all art – as a way to impose order on a chaotic world,” he explains via a press release. “It’s an opportunity to make beautiful the not always beautiful human condition and I was happy to finally have Ron and Al to do it with me!”

Keith Jarrett – La Fenice (ECM Records)
Release date: October 26

Keith Jarrett is a master of improvising entire piano solo concerts flawlessly. Such mastery is captured in the successful previous releases The Köln Concert (1975) and La Scala (1997) – and now a new long-awaited double album, La Fenice, which documents the pianist’s concert at the Gran Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Italy, from 2006. This release shows that each of the pianist’s solo performances is its own world, as Jarrett shapes his musical structures in real time and takes the listener on a consistently captivating journey.

Makaya McCraven – Universal Beings (International Anthem Recording Co.)
Release date: October 26

Drummer-producer Makaya McCraven introduced his unique brand of “organic beat music” to the world on his breakout 2015 album In the Moment. On his new album, Universal Beings, he hones this process, culling, post-producing and re-composing sets of source material gathered from intimate live sessions in New York and Chicago, and pop-up “studio” sessions in London and Los Angeles. The project defies international borders and spans deep spiritual meditations, pulsing post-bop grooves and straight ahead boom-bap, projecting an all-encompassing message of unity, peace and power.

Stéphane Galland – Stéphane Galland & (the Mystery of) KEM (Outnote Records)
Release date: October 26

Stéphane Galland started playing drums at the age of three and since then has developed an original musical language. His latest album draws inspiration from the term “Kem,” which in ancient Egypt referred to the color black, a symbol of darkness and fertility, to continue his sonic experimentations and pursue an exploration of the roots of the rhythm at the crossroads of all musical traditions he got to know. Joining him on the journey for (the Mystery of) KEM is a group of young, talented and adventurous as well as South-Indian Ravi Kulur, one of the world’s most prominent contemporary Carnatic flutists and frequent collaborator of Ravi Shankar.

Featured photo credit: Makaya McCraven / Facebook

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