Tuesday, December 3, 2013

News of Past Guests, December Edition

Happy, Happy.  (You know: holidays.)

Notice anything funny about the sky last night? Ben Allison's new album, The Stars Look Very Different Today (with Steve Cardenas, guitar; Brandon Seabrook, guitar and banjo; and Allison Miller, drums), is out today, and you can buy it and stream it on Ben's website.  The band played live on WNYC's Soundcheck last Tuesday, November 26th (player embedded below), and they were featured on NPR's All Things Considered on December 1st.  "Audacious sci-fi jazz," the Denver Post calls this music.

Elsewhere on the airwaves: saxophonist Noah Preminger was in the studios of Newark's WBGO a few weeks ago, playing and promoting his latest album, Haymaker, on The Checkout.  You can hear the show by clicking that link just a few words back, and you can hear the entire album at the Palmetto Records website.  Anat Cohen (see last month's post) came to the same studio a few weeks later with her brothers Avishai and Yuval to perform live selections from their new album Tightrope.

We've already told you about RenĂ© Marie's new stunner--it will almost certainly top our "Best of 2013" list--but you should go back/scroll down and have a look-n-listen for yourself if you missed our previous postRenĂ© lights up the cover of the December issue of Jazz Times, and if history is any guide, that cover story should be available on the JT website in a few weeks.

Every month, WBGO and NPR Music team up to broadcast/podcast Live at the Village Vanguard. Several past RJA guests have been featured on the program since it started up a few years back (if you check out our artist web pages, you've probably heard some of those performances already), and coming up on December 10th at 5:30 Pacific Time, it's drummer extraordinaire Brian Blade, who came to the Arcata Playhouse last spring as part of Joel Harrison's Spirit House, and who will appear on LATVV with his long-running Fellowship Band.  As you can well imagine, the show has an awesome archive.

The Grammy nominations are out, and while cats in the jazz world often complain that the people who make those nominations don't know much about jazz, this year, at least, they got one thing right, nominating Donny McCaslin in the "Best Improvised Solo" category for his burning solo on "Stadium Jazz," from his latest album Casting for Gravity.