JAZZIZ Editors’ Choice: Lizz Wright, José James, Nick Finzer & 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 begins with “Pluto Language” from Keep Swingin’, a 10-track collection by Garry Dial and Rich DeRosa that pays tribute to the great jazz educator Charlie Benacos and his music. Saxophonist Ada Rovatti offers six improvisationally rich instrumentals on her seventh album as a bandleader, The Hidden World of Piloo, including a funk-spiced, dobro-driven rendition of “Pluto Language.” “Respira y Siente” is an energetic salsa from La Visa Misma, the upcoming album by Cuban-American percussionist and vocalist Ivan Llanes, which will be released on March 22.

Hamburg-based guitarist Filip Dinev showcases his fearless approach to the modern guitar trio format on Romann, encapsulating distinct elements of the Balkan heritage on each track, including our selection, “Morgenland.” José James combines late 1970s disco and R&B pop in his tribute to his musical heroes Marvin Gaye, Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson, “Saturday Night (Need You Now).” “Say When” is the lead single from Nick Finzer’s upcoming Legacy: A Centennial Celebration of JJ Johnson, honoring the icon’s past and commemorating his still-living legacy, brought to life by some of Johnson’s own longstanding band members.

Vocalist Lizz Wright has released “Your Love,” featuring Meshell Ndegeocello on bass and Brandee Younger on harp, as the second single from her upcoming debut album on her Blues & Greens label, Shadow. “Speedball” is a track from Montreal jazz pianist Simon Denizart’s new album, Piece of Mind, which will be released on March 29. “Twilight” is the seductive lead single from Hopeless Romantic, the upcoming debut EP by New York City-based soul-jazz singer and violinist Alexvandria. In our playlist’s closing track, classically-trained jazz musician Tara Lily collaborates with trumpeter Theo Croker on “6 Feed Down,” a track laced with late-night melancholy and dubbed-out instrumentation.

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

Featured photo courtesy of the artist.

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