JAZZIZ Editors’ Choice: John Surman, Meklit, Josh Johnson & More

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 always listening to new tunes, we always know just what to recommend. That’s why we’ll bring you a roundup of ten songs each week, featuring music from our favorite new albums, singles and other tunes that may have flown under your radar.

This week’s playlist opens with “Words Unspoken,” the title track from British reedman John Surman’s new quartet album with vibraphonist Rob Waring, guitarist Rob Luft and drummer Thomas Strønen. “One Hand One Bounce” is the second single from Hold Your Horses, the new album by soul-funk quartet Karate Boogaloo, hailing from Melbourne, Australia. Josh Johnson presents Unusual Object, a work of futuristic jazz and modern composition, characterized by a mix of processes saxophone with subtle samples and grooves, and including the track “Free Mechanical.” Jimmy B uses his lyrically expressive guitar play to tell tales chronicling his youth, family life and seminal moments on “My Old Street.”

“Chameleon” is a new track from Unessential Oils, the eponymous debut full-length of Warren Spicer’s new project, rooted in a blend of jazz, folk and Brazilian tropicalia, among other influences. Vocalist Lauren White nods to the Great American Songbook with her interpretation of “I’m Glad There Is You,” arranged as a slow bossa by pianist Quinn Johnson and included on White’s fifth album, Making It Up As We Go Along. Italian-born, Seattle-based pianist Francesco Crosara plays acoustic piano and synthesizer on Circular Motion, featuring a varied program of originals for three different trio lineups, including our selection, “Longing.”

Pianist Nicki Adams and saxophonist Michael Eaton push musical boundaries in original jazz and Third Stream music for a duo on their new collaboration, The Transcendental, which opens with the Adams-penned track, “Crying Out in the Wilderness.” “Ethio Blue” is the title track from the new EP by Ethiopian-American vocalist, composer and cultural activist Meklit. Distinguished pianist and composer Peter Jonatan collaborates with the Metropole Orkest on Psalms Symphony, a symphonic fusion of jazz and classical music that takes as its subject matter the biblical Book of Psalms, the fourth movement of which concludes this week’s playlist.

Listen to this week’s JAZZIZ Editors’ Choice Playlist via the player below.

Featured photo by Erik Fugiseth/ECM Records.

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