JAZZIZ Editors’ Choice: Chick Corea, Arooj Aftab, John McLaughlin & More (PLAYLIST)

The editors of JAZZIZ have the good fortune of being able to listen to new music before it’s officially released in stores and streaming platforms. And because we’re listening to new tunes all the time, we know just what to recommend. That’s why, each Monday, we’ll be bringing you a roundup of ten songs, featuring music from our favorite new albums, singles and other tunes that may have flown under your radar. And, for good measure, we’ll be throwing in some “golden oldies” as well…

The late great Chick Corea was posthumously awarded a GRAMMY for Best Improvised Jazz Solo for his performance of “Humpty Dumpty (Set 2)” from Chick Corea Akoustic Band LIVE, recorded in 2018 and released last year. Vocalist Jazzy Ash has released “Everybody Gotta Sing,” a swinging new tune celebrating all the ways people have created and shared music throughout time. The Greyboy Allstars released their cover album, Get a Job, on April 1. The LP includes their take on Ann Alford’s 1971 deep cut, “Got To Get Me a Job.”

“Hana (A Flower for Your Heart)” is the second single from George Winston’s upcoming 16th solo piano album, Night, and a take on a composition by Japanese rock musician Shoukichi Kina. The Cuban standard “Lagrimas Negras” opens Skyline, Gonzalo Rubalcaba’s trio album with Ron Carter and Jack DeJohnette, recently awarded the prestigious Best Jazz Instrumental Album at this year’s GRAMMYs. Pianist Chad Lawson has released the title track and lead single from his upcoming lush solo piano four-track collection, Irreplaceable, recorded in London’s Abbey Road Studios.

Vocalist Tierney Sutton pays tribute to the emotional range of the Brazilian songwriting tradition with her take on Antônio Carlos Jobim’s bossa nova standard, “Triste,” arranged by guitarist Serge Merlaud. Mahavishnu Orchestra‘s live take on “Radio-Activity” from their 1984 album Mahavishnu opens a new collection of live recordings of guitar legend John McLaughlin‘s performances at the Montreux Jazz Festival. The band’s lineup heard on this track also features Bill Evans on saxophone.

GRAMMY-winner Arooj Aftab shared a cover of Rosalía’s “Di Mi Nombre (Cap.8: Éxtasis)” for Spotify Singles’ Best New Artist series. Christian McBride‘s big band album For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver was awarded the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album prize at this year’s GRAMMYs. The record was inspired by the sound of Oliver Nelson, Wes Montgomery and Jimmy Smith’s collaboration on big band albums of the mid-’60s. We close this week’s playlist with the Christian McBride Big Band’s rendition of Jimmy Forrest and Oscar Washington’s “Night Train” from the record.

Featured photo by Toshi Sakurai.

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