It’s been a while since we’ve done a Rhythm Changes update, and we’re very glad to be back! For the first few months of 2023, we’ve been focusing on one new release per week for This Just In. That pushed our Rhythm Changes series to the side. but with this great influx of new music, it’s worth bringing it back and giving you an overview of some of the new material getting spins here at Jazz88! If you have input about the music we’re playing, or ideas about what else we should be playing, let me know please! I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cécile McLorin Salvant does not miss. Her new record, Mélusine, could easily be seen as a left turn in her career, given that she is performing largely in French and navigating some songs written hundreds of years ago. However, Salvant has a gift for emoting and communicating in ways language has yet to deliver, leaving this anglophone enthralled by the record. My wife speaks French and she told me that “Il M’a Vue Nue” means “he saw me naked,” and in the tune I hear a playfulness, a vulnerability, and a sexiness that seems to vibe with that title. I hope you’ll take the time to check out the entire release. There’s not a dud in the collection.
I’ve got a good thing going with Colemine Records. If something is coming out on Colemine, there’s a good chance I’ll give it a listen to see if it fits for me. They’ve got a pretty solid batting average, so I was elated when I found out that Steve Okonski, a pianist who has worked with Durand Jones and the Indications had put together a jazz trio. The tune I’m drawn to is “Dark Moon”. It’s a slow build, but when Aaron Frazer drops in that drum fill, reminiscent of David Axelrod’s “Holy Thursday,” the song blasts off into a great jazzy groove. Five out of five stars, would recommend.
Taj Mahal is a legend across numerous genres, and I am so glad he’s come back to the swing-era songbook for an awesome new release. The full disc doesn’t drop until April 28, but we got the green light to start sharing the music from the new project. We’ve been locked in to his spirited rendition of “Caldonia.” Lean back and enjoy a modern day legend shine a light on a great era in American music. Thank you, Taj Mahal.
Gregory Groover Jr. is a young saxophonist out of Roxbury, Massachusetts who has became a fixture on bandstands with greats such as Earth, Wind & Fire, Terri Lyne Carrington, Esperanza Spalding, and more. In his bio, he is described as having been raised with a “devotion for music.” It comes through loud and clear all over this energetic record exploring the Negro Spiritual Songbook in a modern jazz context.
Years ago, the Canadian saxophonist Jane Bunnett found herself at a jam session in Cuba and was blown away by the group of women players she was sharing the room with. All the players had recently finished their time at a music conservatory in Cuba, and Bunnett decided to start up a new project. That early initiative is now a cross-continental collaboration between Bunnett and young players from Cuba, as well as from Zimbabwe, Spain, Lebanon, and the Dominican Republic. The latest edition to the group is 19-year-old violinist Daniela Olana, who lends her musical talent to this new outing. The tune we are playing, “Turquesa,” prominently features the vocal work of Joanna Majoko and the sax work of Jane Bunnett herself.
Thanks for checking out Rhythm Changes and be sure to shoot an email over to email@example.com if you have any input about our music programming!
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