Looking for some Monday motivation? We’ve got you covered. From a new extended work written for a Civil Rights icon to never-before-released recordings from the ’60s by an adventurous piano-vocal duo, here are five new jazz songs that you can listen to right now. Start your week the right way!
Joris Teepe, “Rashied Ali Suite”
Dutch bassist Joris Teepe celebrates the legacy of drummer Rashied Ali on his latest album for Jazz Tribes Records. Ali, a visionary drummer with a deep reserve of spirit and intensity, was an integral member of John Coltrane’s ensembles during the final years of the saxophonist’s life. His influence is still broadly felt among today’s avant-garde drummers. But for Teepe, who befriended Ali in 2000, that influence has taken a more personal form: “For me, Rashied Ali has been hugely important to my musical development”, explained Teepe. (Ali drummer passed away in 2009.)
Teepe’s new album features original compositions and covers of tunes by Thelonious Monk, Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry and other luminaries of the free-jazz universe. It also includes an extended suite by Ali himself. Joining Teepe in the rhythm section are drummer John Betsch and guitarist Freddie Bryant. Saxophonists Wayne Escoffery, Johannes Enders and Michael Moore make up the triple-threat frontline.
Swindle, “Drill Work” (feat. Ghetts)
U.K.-based producer Swindle released his new album, No More Normal, where he celebrates different corners of the UK’s current music scene. On “Drill Work,” he collaborates with grime originator Ghetts. The two have a long studio history together, collaborating as far back as 2007. Here, their chemistry is shown as Ghetts calls back to his home in East London, speaking of the violence that can often threaten to rear its head, while Swindle channels the lush musicality of horn and string sections in unexpected ways.
Iro Haarla, Ulf Krokfors, Barry Altschul, “Closer”
Around Again – The Music of Carla Bley, out February 15 via TUM, presents a collection of composer-pianist Carla Bley’s compositions in new interpretations by pianist Iro Haarla, bassist Ulf Krokfors and drummer Barry Altschul. The opening track for the album is “Closer,” the title track from Paul Bley’s 1965 album that featured seven of Carla Bley’s compositions, including the classic “Ida Lupino” (also featured on Around Again). “I greatly admire Carla Bley as an artist – her wealth of ideas as a composer and arranger, the talent to write entirely her own kind of music for large orchestras,” says Iro Haarla. “I also admire how, through her own strength and independence, she has had such a remarkable career.”
Angela Verbrugge, “You’re Almost Perfect”
“You’re Almost Perfect” is from The Night We Couldn’t Say Goodnight, the forthcoming debut album from Vancouver-based singer Angela Verbrugge out February 1, and the second track from the album premiering on JAZZIZ. It is a quirky, humorous swing tune the vocalist wrote to address contemporary relationships and the social phenomenon of serial monogamists, arranged by Miles Black and Art Khu. “I really enjoy writing songs in the classic style of jazz standards with lyrics that playfully address today’s society,” says Verbrugge. “I wrote the draft lyrics on a flight after hearing the story of a complete stranger’s roller-coaster relationship that was simultaneously on the brink of break-up and marriage for several years.”
Wadada Leo Smith, “Rosa Parks: Mercy, Music for Double Quartet”
“Rosa Parks: Mercy, Music for Double Quartet” is part of trumpeter-composer Wadada Leo Smith’s new extended composition, Rosa Parks: Pure Love. An Oratorio of Seven Songs. “The oratorio is composed for the iconic Rosa Parks, a person of exceptional courage and wisdom, who made the right move of resistance at the right time,” explains Smith. “Her action generated a movement worldwide for liberty and justice for human beings.” This new major work will be released on February 15 via TUM Records.
Jeanne Lee and Ran Blake, “Misterioso”
A-Side Records released The Newest Sound You Never Heard, a new album collecting nearly two hours of stunning recordings from 1966 and 1967 from the adventurous duo of vocalist Jeanne Lee and pianist Ran Blake. The collection features daring explorations of compositions by other great artists, including a mysterious and enchanting take on Thelonious Monk’s “Misterioso” with words taken from a poem by Gertrude Stein, which opens the record. Lee would have celebrated her 80th birthday on January 29.
Feature image: Joris Teepe (Courtesy the artist)
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