Then there's Matt Wilson (below), who has a beautiful new album, Beginnings of a Memory, with a group he's calling Big Happy Family.
The "memory" is of Wilson's beloved wife Felicia, who died in 2014, and the "family" are a dozen members of his three working bands--Felicia's favorite players, who came together to play some of her favorite tunes. Wilson talks about the album in the June issue of DownBeat. Here's the title track:
There are other albums out, too (or coming out soon), by Rez Abbasi, with a new ensemble called "Junction":
by the Claudia Quintet:
--and by Phronesis bassist Jasper Høiby:
Plus, vocalist Rene Marie has just released a full album of her own compositions:
And if you'd like to hear Chris Lightcap's Bigmouth, Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom, and/or the Vijay Iyer Trio again, then you might be interested in WNYC's New Sounds podcast, since they all appear on the same episode devoted to "Groove-Based Jazz":
Otherwise, though, our news this month isn't about past guests, but about old friends from closer to home. To wit:
Last month, longtime jazz fanatic and radio programmer (at KZYX in Fort Bragg) Doug Moody was named a "Jazz Hero" by the Jazz Journalists Association. A co-owner (and Senior Vice President for Marketing) of North Coast Brewing Company, Doug has also been one of the RJA's most stalwart supporters since the very beginning of our ten-year existence. As beneficiaries of his largesse, we're in good company: North Coast supports jazz presenters, performers, and educators all over California and all across the country, not least through its sales of its "Brother Thelonious" abbey-style ale:
These days, Doug and North Coast are presenting jazz, too, at their "Sequoia Room" in Fort Bragg. Road trip, anyone?
Finally, bassist Shao Way Wu left Arcata a couple of years ago for the bright lights of Portland, where he's been illuminating that city's own local jazz scene. He's got a new album, Canvas Sky, with his bass-piano duo "Tar Beach." You can buy it on Bandcamp after you listen to it here: