- Vijay Iyer's ECM debut features music written not for his longtime trio but for piano, electronics and string quartet. It's called Mutations. Nate Chinen has a profile of Iyer in the Sunday, March 9 edition of the New York Times, and Chinen and fellow jazz critic Ben Ratliff discuss Iyer and the new album in the latest Times "Popcast."
- Ambrose Akinmusire's second Blue Note release, the imagined savior is far easier to paint, will be out on March 11th, but it's currently streaming (in preview) courtesy of NPR Music's "First Listen." (
We hear tellIt's official: Ambrose also graces the cover of the April DownBeat. AND he was recently interviewed on NPR's All Things Considered.)
- And even though Omer Avital's new one, New Song, won't be out on CD in the States until summer, the digital-download version is available now from all the usual suspects (iTunes, Amazon, Google Play)--and, for audiophiles, in 24-bit/88.2 kHz "Studio Master" format from Qobuz.
- On his latest release, Multiplicity: Leave the Door Open, the prolific guitarist Joel Harrison co-leads a group with Indian sarod master Anupam Shobhakar. The rest of the band: Gary Versace (Miles-Versace-Royston, John Abercrombie Organ Trio), Hans Glawischnig (Miguel Zenon Quartet), and Dan Weiss (David Binney Group, Rez Abbasi's Invocation Quintet), plus special guests including David Binney.
- Finally: everybody's talking about the new album, Southern Comfort, by our final guest this season (in a co-presentation with Center Arts), violinist Regina Carter. NPR ran a feature on All Things Considered, and the Wall Street Journal did a long review (well, okay--it's a double-review, of Southern Comfort and Vijay Iyer's Mutations).
Speaking of Omer Avital: it was great to see Friend of the RJA Bob Doran show up with the "big" camera slung over his shoulder for the first time since...oh, you know. The preliminary evidence is right here. (And here's hoping there'll be more!)
Rene Marie is always busy. This time it's an appearance on NPR's Jazz Set with Dee Dee Bridgewater, as part of the vocal trio "Two Skirts and a Shirt," with Allan Harris and Carla Cook.