Rhythm Changes: New Music, December Edition

We’ve got some new releases, including some holiday fun, to welcome into the rotation here at Jazz88. As always, if there is some new jazz you are loving that you aren’t hearing, I’d love to know about it! I can be reached at sean@jazz88.fm.

STRTA album cover

ST4TA“Lazy Days feat. Emma-Jean Thackray” from their album ST4TASFEAR  Listen Here

London jazz funk royalty has teamed up with the next generation of music innovation and the results are spectacular. The group ST4TA is fronted by tastemaker and DJ Gilles Peterson and guitarist Jean-Paul Maunick (famous for his work with Incognito). They’ve been making waves with a series of releases in the past couple years but this one takes the cake. They reached out to Emma-Jean Thackray, vocalist, trumpeter, producer and label owner. If you ask most folks in the groove-centric jazz world what they’re listening to and Emma-Jean Thackray is likely to be near the top of the list. This tune has a summery, 70s fusion vibe with an uptempo groove that I think might melt the snow on your driveway without a shovel in sight.

Blue Note Reimagined II Album Cover

Cherise – “Sunrise” from the Blue Note Compilation Album Blue Note Reimagined Vol. II  Listen Here

Blue Note Re:imagined II is a compilation of the cream of the UK jazz crop tackling songs from the Blue Note catalog and I’ve honed in Cherise’s rendition of “Sunrise” a tune that first appeared as track one on Norah Jones’ breakout success full-length, Feels Like Home. This one has just a pinch more sass in the rhythm section but nothing that clouds the beauty of the melody and the evocative lyrics. 

Lauren Falls – “A Little Louder Now” from her album “A Little Louder Now” Listen Here

I will be buying all the stock in Lauren Falls, a Toronto based upright bassist. This one came across my desk and I wasn’t familiar with her work or with any of the players on the disc. Right away I caught strong Brian Blade Fellowship energy, largely thanks to active rhythm section playing supporting long beautiful harmony lines from saxophone and guitar. And like Blade, Lauren Fall’s writings features stunning, simple beauty with sophisticated twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat. The grab me moment was at thirty one seconds into the tune when Lauren adds beautiful deep chords to her bassline. The song takes on a new depth and it just gets better from there.

Rachael and Vilray Single Cover

Rachael and Vilray – “Just Me This Year” from their single “Just Me This Year” Listen Here

Rachael Price has a pretty good day-job as the lead singer of the phenomenally successful group Lake Street Dive. But when that group grabs a couple weeks of vacation time Rachael tends to stay busy with writer and multi-instrumentalist Vilray. In this case the duo cooked up a new holiday single celebrating the joys of a holiday season spent mostly alone. “Just Me This Year” will put a smile on the face of everyone who knows the joy of ditching a relationship just in time to skip all the obligations that go with having a not so special someone to spend the holiday season with.

Jane Monheit – “That Holiday Feeling feat. John Pizzarelli” from her album The Merriest Listen Here

Jane Monheit album cover

We’ve got a new addition to the holiday songbook compliments of Jane Monheit. The whole disc “The Merriest” is full of great cuts, but I thought getting the one with John Pizzarelli in the mix is a good idea. Pizzarelli is well-known to our listeners thanks to the great work he and Jessica Molaskey do on Radio Deluxe (on Jazz88 at 5pm on Saturdays). Pour yourself a tumbler full of musical eggnog and let the spirit of the season swing you into 2023.

Thanks for checking this out and if you have new music suggestions, or music suggestions in general, contact me at sean@jazz88.fm

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