This Just In: A New Music Round Up – Friday May 10 from Music Director Sean McPherson

Greetings! Every Friday I’ll be bringing you some highlights of new music we are featuring here on Jazz88. This is all connected to This Just In, our weekly show that celebrates new jazz releases. You can catch This Just In, hosted by moi, Fridays at noon on 88.5, or catch it on your own schedule from our on-demand page.

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

The Early Planets – “DONKEY” from their new album The Waits / inBetween Music Listen Here

Mischief is an underappreciated emotion to conjure in music. Blues music does mischief great, maybe the best. Mischievous jazz is a close second and “DONKEY” from The Early Planets’ debut record captures that for me. From note one, you can tell that all three players are listening, reactive and most importantly. . .kind of punchy. Guitarist/leader and author of the tune Mike Wolter jumps into your ears with this counterpoint-y Scofield-esque chord melody that moves in three and a half directions at once. When Wolter starts to solo, he opens with a very subtle note off of the melody, seeming to egg on the other players to get skeletal with their relationship to the tune. Wolter’s solo methodically climbs to higher intensity with mischievous twists and turns from the rhythm section throughout, including some awesome choked cymbals and errant snare flourishes from drummer Cory Healy. As a fellow bass player, I would like to tell Cody McKinney that he has no right to have an electric bass sound that woody and deep. Most players have to cart around $15,000 of maple and spruce to get this sound and you’re doing with a semi-hollow body in a gig bag. I’m not happy about it Cody, and I’m taking that bass next time I see you.

Karrin Allyson – “Wave” from her album A Kiss for Brazil  Listen Here

Karrin Allyson has a voice that always puts me at ease. She locks in with the rest of the ensemble and delivers the goods melodically and rhythmically. With a skillset like that it’s no surprise that hearing her in a Brazilian setting is a real treat. Allyson pulled a number of great pieces from the Brazilian songbook for this effort but her rendition of Jobim’s “Wave” caught my ear first. As the band climbs through the enthralling chord progression, Allyson will have you hanging on the next syllable AND on exactly where she’ll place said syllable rhythmically. It’s such a treat to hear a talent like Allyson work over these textures. I was also happy to notice that Allyson will be playing material from this new release for her Twin Cities Jazz Festival appearance on the Jazz88 Mainstage.

Charles McPherson – “Ode to Barry” from his new album Reverence  Listen Here

Charles McPherson is a prolific jazz treasure with a discography going all the way back to the early 1960s. With someone as accomplished as McPherson, it can be easy to forget that the man has more to say in 2024! On his new Smoke Sessions record, he added Terrell Stafford on trumpet to the front line and recorded the whole album in front of an audience at Smoke Jazz Club in NYC. The set shows McPherson’s facility as a writer, leader, and soloist, but what stands out the most is the empathy that his working group has established in the years together. With Billy Drummond behind the kit, David Wong on upright bass, and Jeb Patton on piano, the group is the opposite of mercenary. They sound like they are aiming at the same beautiful bullseye of expression on every single tune. I was most drawn to McPherson’s ode to the piano legend Barry Harris, who was a fixture in McPherson’s upbringing in Detroit and his early years in New York. It’s a joy to hear these players together and it’s a mistake to think that McPherson’s best recordings are behind him.

Thanks for checking out This Just In, and be sure to shoot an email over to if you have any input about our music programming!

-Sean McPherson

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