Seth McFarlane, Brian Jackson, Nduduzo Makhathini & 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

Dan Olivo, “Sway” [Song Premiere]

Vocalist/actor Dan Olivo, a regular on the Southern California jazz scene, will release his debut album on July 8. For Day By Day, he wanted to blend his sophisticated, elegant sound with the feel of a big band recording but performed by a smaller combo. The second single from the record, “Sway,” is a sample of how he fulfilled this ambition. Olivo performs this standard of the pop repertoire, popularized by Dean Martin, with clear enunciation and plenty of feeling, evoking the style of the fabled crooners of yesteryear.

Seth MacFarlane, “No Moon at All”

And speaking of crooners… multi-GRAMMY-nominated vocalist Seth MacFarlane (yes, that Seth MacFarlane!) has recently announced the release of his seventh album, Blue Skies. Due out May 20, this new 14-song collection finds the crooner putting his own spin on a set of well-worn standards, orchestrally arranged and conducted by Andrew Cottee. The new single, “No Moon at All,” is accompanied by an animated lyric video that you can watch via the player below.

Ferkat Al Ard, “Entazerni”

Habibi Funk, the Berlin-based label dedicated to wider reissues of rare music from the Arab world, has announced the release of another gem. Oghneya is a 1978 album by Lebanese trio Ferkat Al Ard, presenting a unique blend of traditional Arabic elements, jazz and Brazilian rhythms, alongside poetic and politically-engaged lyrics. Oghneya will be released on Jun 24 and you can get a taste of it via its lead single, “Entazerni,” via the player below.


New Albums

Nduduzo Makhathini, In the Spirit of Ntu (Blue Note Africa)

Visionary pianist/composer Nduduzo Makhathini’s new ten-track collection finds him considering the thematic, sonic and conceptual notions explored throughout his body of work up to this point. In the Spirit of Ntu also marks the very first release on the newly-formed imprint Blue Note Africa and is performed with an ensemble of some of South Africa’s most exciting young musicians.

Brian Jackson, This is Brian Jackson (BBE)

Brian Jackson, the longtime collaborator of Gil Scott-Heron, releases today his first solo studio album for over 20 years, This Is Brian Jackson, the starting point for which was a number of unfinished tracks originally intended for a never-released Jackson solo project in the mid-’70s. The end result displays Jackson’s sparkling songwriting, vocal delivery and musicianship, beautifully framed by Phenomenal Handclap Band founder Daniel Collás’ production.

Steve Davis, Bluesthetic (Smoke Sessions)

Trombonist Steve Davis offers ten new original compositions on his latest album, Bluesthetic. They are performed with a stellar quintet of revered musicians, including Peter Bernstein, Steve Nelson, Geoffrey Keezer, Christian McBride, and Willie Jones III. “With a dream team like this nothing could go wrong, but it ended up being even better than I anticipated,” says Davis via a press release.

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