New Music Monday: Lakecia Benjamin, Chip Wickham, Art Blakey & More

Looking for some Monday motivation? We’ve got you covered. From a celebration of the Coltranes to unreleased Jazz Messengers music, here are five new songs that you can listen to right now to start your week the right way.


Chip Wickham, “Route One” [song premiere]

“Route One” is the new single by flutist/saxophonist extraordinaire Chip Wickhams. The song is featured on his upcoming album, Blue To Red, due out May 8 via Lovemonk. The LP promises to be his most absorbing and cosmically-charged offering to date. Wickham tells us about the song: “‘Route One’ means being direct but in a jazz style. Being too direct is often boring in the world of jazz, and being too indirect is boring for everyone else. This song is trying to be direct in a jazzy way.”


Sarah Siskind, “A Little Bit Troubled”

Singer/songwriter Sarah Siskind explores her relationship with her home state of North Carolina on her first album in nine years, Modern Appalachia, due out April 17. “A Little Bit Troubled” is one of the LP’s 12 original compositions and the second single from the album. Siskind recently shared the official video for this song and explains that the “concept for this video was inspired by a magnolia tree, which stands on the grounds of Reynolda Gardens in my hometown of Winston-Salem, NC. It is massive in stature and I’ve visited it since I was a child… It’s so tall that I can walk right into it and stand under it.”


Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers, “Quick Trick”

“Quick Trick” is a previously unheard tune composed by bassist Jymie Merritt for legendary hard bop ensemble, Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers. The track offers a taste of a previously unreleased album by the band, Just Coolin’, out on CD, digital and vinyl via Blue Note on August 7. Just Coolin’, originally recorded on March 8, 1959, is also notable because it features a short-lived Jazz Messengers lineup, with drummer Art Blakey, trumpeter Lee Morgan, tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, pianist Bobby Timmons and Merritt.


Lakecia Benjamin, “Pursuance”

Saxophonist/bandleader Lakecia Benjamin celebrates Alice and John Coltrane on her new album, Pursuance: The Coltranes. The title comes from John Coltrane’s composition of the same name from his 1964 masterpiece A Love Supreme, which she re-interprets alongside pianist Marc Cary, who channels the late great McCoy Tyner. This is one of the 13 tracks on Pursuance (seven of which originally composed by John, with six credited to Alice), released on March 27 via Ropeadope and also featuring such greats as Ron Carter, Gary Bartz, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Marcus Strickland, among many others.


Dan Pugach Nonet, “The Inscription”

“The Inscription” is a brand new single by the Dan Pugach Nonet, and follows the exciting nine-piece jazz ensemble’s acclaimed debut album, Plus One, from 2018. This is a funky and catchy samba with playful lyrics, six horns and a Moog bass synthesizer. Released via Outside In Msic and produced by Javier Raex at Congahead Studios, “The Inscription” is written by vocalist Nicole Zuraitis and arranged by drummer/bandleader Dan Pugach.

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