Monday, December 12, 2016

News of Past Guests, 2016 Holiday Edition

Just in time for the holidays--well, just in time for the solstice--pianist Frank Kimbrough has released a beautiful trio album, Solstice (Pirouet), with bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Jeff Hirschfield. Here's the title track:

Pianist Uri Caine, meanwhile, has a new trio with bassist Mark Helias and drummer Clarence Penn--and a new album, Calibrated Thickness, with cornetist Kirk Knuffke guesting on several tracks. (Buy and listen to samples at CDBaby.)

And speaking of trio albums, drummer Allison Miller plays a big part in two of them just out. The first, Swivel, is by the collective Honey Ear Trio, with bassist Rene Hart, saxophonist Jeff Lederer (now filling founding member Erik Lawrence's shoes), and guest trumpeter Kirk Knuffke.  Two tracks here:

And then there's Lean, with saxophonist Jerome Sabbagh and bassist Simon Jermyn.  Here's a taste of their eponymous debut:

Meanwhile, Miller's group Boom Tic Boom (with RJA vets Myra Melford, Ben Goldberg, Kirk Knuffke, Jenny Scheinman, and Todd Sickafoose) released a video from a recording, made back in May, of their upcoming appearance on WBGO's The Checkout:

(As it happens, Boom Tic Boom bandmate Myra Melford appeared on the November 21 edition of The Checkout, performing solo and talking about her own band Snowy Egret.)

Guitarist Rez Abbasi appeared in a live webcast from New York City's Asia Society on Friday, December 16 with his band Invocation, featuring fellow RJA veterans Rudresh Mahanthappa, Vijay Iyer, Johannes Weidenmuller, and Dan Weiss. The concert of music from the band's upcoming release Unfiltered Universe was previewed with a profile and interview in the Village Voice, and you can watch an archive of the webcast (the band comes on around 12'30"):

Finally: the 2016 Jazz Critics Poll, facilitated as always by Francis Davis and hosted (for the 4th year in a row) by NPR, may be dominated by what Davis calls the "avant elders."  But the Top 10 also include records by past guests Vijay Iyer, Michael Formanek, Nels Cline, and Matt Wilson.  Keep going into the top 50 and you'll see Tyshawn Sorey, Tom Harrell, Fred Hersch, Donny McCaslin, Frank Kimbrough, Melissa Aldana, The Cookers, Jeff Parker, and Allison Miller.  (Rene Marie tops the special "Vocal" category; Camila Meza is #3.)  We--and 139 of the world's most knowledgeable jazz writers--can't be wrong. Right?  Happy Holidays!

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