Jazz Album of the Week

July 30, 2018.  Satchmo. Dippermouth. Pops. All nicknames used to address one of the most influential artists in jazz history—Louis Armstrong.  To honor the anniversary of Armstrong’s birth in New Orleans on August 4, 1901, Verve Records is releasing an amazing four-disc set showcasing the legend’s unique vocal style.  Pops Is Tops: The Verve Studio Albums is truly tops!

July 23, 2018.  It’s been five years since we’ve had new music from saxophonist and York, Pennsylvania native Tim Warfield.  His new album, Jazzland, uses the same configuration of his 2013 release One for Shirley. Terell Stafford is on trumpet, Pat Bianchi on the Hammond B3 organ, Byron Landham is the drummer, and Daniel Sadownick handles percussion.

July 16, 2018. Lynne Arriale has a special relationship with the piano.  It’s apparent as soon as you hear a few bars of her playing on Give Us These Days. Double bassist Jasper Somsen and drummer Jasper van Hulton add the magic that makes this album distinct.

July 9, 2018.  New music from John Coltrane!  I bet you thought you’d never hear that again—until this recording from 1963 surfaced. Trane and his classic quartet with pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Elvin Jones were on the cusp of a transformation. In John Coltrane: Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album you can hear it from the first notes.

June 25, 2018. French-born vocalist Cyrille Aimée’s new album Live is a testament to why she’s made such a big splash in the American jazz scene. Cyrille Amiée Live marks the bandleader's last time performing with her longtime band, and there was something special in the air that night. 

June 18, 2018.  Not all duos are dynamic, and jazz duo albums tend to be described as “nice,” or “easygoing.” Blued Dharma is a duo album, and it is fairly relaxed, but the unlikely pairing of Canadian pianist and composer Adrean Farrugia and saxophonist Joel Frahm brings a little extra “cool” to the table.

June 11, 2018. On West Coast Trio, pianist and composer Roberta Piket returns to a familiar setting for the first time in over a decade. With Darek Oleszkiewicz on bass, and Joe La Barbera on the drums, the splendor of her selections shines.

June 4, 2018. It’s been quite a few years since a noteworthy jazz release included narration and movements to tell a historical story. The last one I can remember was Irvin Mayfield’s 2004 album Strange Fruit. Now, pianist and composer, and Temple University professor, Elio Villafranca has stepped up to the plate and released Cinque—the culmination of years of composing and traveling. 

May 28, 2018.  Powerhouse saxophonist Tia Fuller has always been about jazz. Even when she visited Philly as a touring member of Beyoncé’s all-female band, she would take jazz gigs in town, or hit a jam session. She’s worked with the cream of the crop in the jazz world as well, and the talent that appears on her new album, Diamond Cut, proves just that.

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