Ready for the Weekend: Louis Armstrong, Samara Joy & More

Get ready for the weekend with our weekly roundup of new music, videos and albums for you to discover. This week, we’re ringing in the holiday season with new Louis Armstrong, Samara Joy and Nikki Yanofsky videos and songs, and highlight new releases by Village of the Sun, Trevor Dunn and Patricia Brennan.


New Music and Videos

Nikki Yanofsky, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”

Montreal-based jazz singer Nikki Yanofsky rings in the holiday season with her own lively and jazzy version of the beloved classic, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” released via MNRK Music Group. Released in tandem with a rendition of “Marshmellow World,” this new recording follows Yanofsky’s recent jazz album, Nikki By Starlight, comprised of covers of 15 standards.

Louis Armstrong, “A Visit from St. Nicholas”

Louis Armstrong’s poignant reciting of the classic poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (also known as “The Night Before Christmas”) is brought to life in a new animated video directed by Tom Readdy and Lucy Dawkins. The legendary artist’s final recording is featured on his first-ever full-length Christmas album, Louis Wishes You a Cool Yule, available now on Verve/UMe.

Samara Joy, “Warm in December”

Vocalist Samara Joy has shared her holiday single, “Warm in December.” The swinging jazz standard is yet another example of the 23-year-old’s ability to reinvigorate a classic song for new generations. Joy’s Verve Records debut album, Linger Awhile, has recently been nominated for Best Jazz Vocal Album at the 65th GRAMMYs.


New Albums

Village of the Sun, First Light (Gearbox)

First Light is the debut album of a collaborative project between U.K. jazz virtuosos Binker Golding and Moses Boyd with electronic music legend Simon Ratcliffe of Basement Jaxx fame. Together, as Village of the Sun, they enter relatively new territory on this LP, born out of a shared passion for improvised instrumental music.

Trevor Dunn’s Trio-Convulsant avec Folie á Quatre, Séances (Pyroclastic)

Séances finds bassist/composer Trevor Dunn reconvening his genre-blurring Trio-Conversant with Mary Halvorson and Ches Smith, and expanding its possibilities with the addition of strings and winds quartet Folie á Quatre. The album comprises new original chamber-jazz-metal compositions inspired by the bizarre tales of an 18th-century French religious sect.

Patricia Brennan, More Touch (Pyroclastic)

Vibraphonist/marimbist/composer Patricia Brennan and her wholly unique quartet with Kim Cass, Marcus Gilmore and Mauricio Herrera shine on More Touch. The record expands brilliantly on the singular vocabulary showcased in Brennan’s previous works as a bandleader, employing a sonic palette blurring the line between jazz and contemporary classical music.


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