JAZZIZ Weekly Discover Playlist: June 29, 2020

The Blue Note Records label continues to speak to the power and poignancy of the current moment courtesy of some compelling new releases by young artists. The latest arrives on August 7, when alto saxophonist and composer Immanuel Wilkins will deliver his expansive opus about the Black experience in America on his remarkable debut album Omega. Omega was produced by Jason Moran and features a next-generation quartet: pianist Micah Thomas, bassist Daryl Johns, and drummer Kweku Sumbry. We’ve included the album’s first single, “Warriors,” in this week’s Discover Playlist.

From the press release for Omega: “Wilkins wanted to convey the deep pain his people have endured in this country for centuries. That message lands harder in 2020, as the world struggles through a global pandemic, and cities across America are uprising due to the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, three unarmed Black people who died at the hands of whites.”

“Warriors,” a powerfully fluid tune that draws its energy from a cascading piano line and a beseeching saxophone call, is a commentary on the nature of the  to both protect and provide. “It’s about friendships, family, your hood, and your community,” Wilkins says. “It’s about us serving as warriors for whatever we believe in.”

“Immanuel has always been leaning forward into the music,” says Moran. “He is a powerful player. He blends traditions in a way that only his generation knows how to do. His band is set to begin a new mode that I look forward to hearing develop. The future of the music rests with these musicians, and I trust their noses.”

Also, congrats to Mark Lomax, II for being our Inside Track Artist of the Week! His song “Ancestral Walk, Pt. 1,” from the album 400 Year Suite, is available for purchase on his website.

As writer Whitney Balliett once said, “Jazz is the sound of surprise.” Our Weekly Discover playlist will take your ears to new places with the latest sounds from your favorite artists — and some you should definitely get to know. Catch up on albums that came out over the weekend, newly released singles and other tunes that may have flown under your radar. Stream now on Spotify or on your favorite music service using the links below.

Listen on: qobuz

Immanuel Wilkins

Con Alma
Jimmy Heath
Con Alma

Hipsippy Blues
Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers
Hipsippy Blues

Stray Cat Walk
Marcin Wasilewski Trio, Joe Lovano
Arctic Riff

Iron Man
Black Art Jazz Collective

New Prayer
Jon Regen
New Prayer

Dat Dere
Ray Mantilla

Kansas Smitty’s
Things Happened Here

Under It All
Kurt Rosenwinkel, The Heartcore Orchestra
Under It All

Come Away with Me
Maggie Herron

This Way
Tom Ranier
This Way

Let’s Be Friends
Pink Martini
Let’s Be Friends

Ancestral Walk, Pt. 1
Mark Lomax, II
The 400 Years Suite

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