Ranee Lee, Nicky Egan, Roberto Occhipinti & More: New Release Cheat Sheet

If you’re looking for some great new music to discover this weekend, look no further than our weekly New Release Cheat Sheet. 


New Music and Videos

Roberto Occhipinti, “The Next Step” [Video Premiere]

“The Next Step” is the title track from bassist Roberto Occhipinti’s new Modica Music LP, featuring Adrean Farrugia and Larnell Lewis, and released on March 4. This heartfelt track was written by Occhipinti during the COVID lockdown and recorded at his studio. “This piece is a dedication to a friend who passed on, but also written for the change and the challenges the last two years have presented,” Occhipinti explains via a statement. “I like the simplicity of a piano trio and the sound of strings, so I added Arco bass harmonics and extended techniques to enhance the sonics.”



Ranee Lee, “The Prayer” [Song Premiere]

Vocalist Ranee Lee offers insightful new arrangements in a jazz style of the music of Quebec’s superstar Celine Dion on her new album, Because You Loved Me. The nine-song collection features versions of some of Dion’s greatest hits, including “The Prayer,” premiering below and released as a single with the hope of inspiring those to pray for peace in the world and the people of Ukraine. The song was originally released by Dion as a duet with Andrea Bocelli in 1999. Because You Loved Me will be released on May 13 via Justin Time.


Nicky Egan, “This Life” [Song Premiere]

Having previously worked and recorded with such renowned artists as Chicano Batman, the Tune-Yards and Carla Morrison, multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Nicky Egan is set to release her first official full-length on June 3. “This Life” is the title track from the album, and she defines it as a happy/sad song capturing the many stages of grief we go through when we lose people we love: “This song, for me, represents the journey that we experience going from life on this plane to the next, and the beautiful, heartbreak, incredible transition in between.”


New Albums

Lani Hall, Seasons of Love (Herb Alpert Presents)

Vocalist Lani Hall’s first album in over 20 years, Seasons of Love, is out today and offers a selection of her favorite songs, some of which are sung in Spanish and Portuguese, and some of which she has recorded before. The album showcases Hall’s signature evocative voice and was co-produced by her longtime partner Herb Alpert, who is also featured on trumpet. Order it here.


Michael Leonhart Orchestra, The Normyn Suites (Sunnyside)

The Michael Leonhart Orchestra has released a new album dedicated to the life and passing of its trumpeter/bandleader’s 15-year-old dog, Normyn. The Normyn Suites, out now, features a pair of suites, the first exploring the stages of grieving and the second reflecting on love and loss. It also includes several guest contributions and collaborations with Elvis Costello, Donny McCaslin, Bill Frisell and more. Order it here.


Jon Balke, Hafla (ECM)

Norwegian keyboardist Jon Balke celebrates the concept of coexistence and cooperation on Hafla, released today. This is his third album with his ensemble Siwan,  launched in 2007 as a meeting point for musicians of strikingly different backgrounds and experiences. The resulting music is described via a press release as “contemporary music shaped by players who choose to listen, respond and adapt.” Order it here.

Featured photo by Luke Perine.

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