Top 10 Jazz Releases, September 2013
Welcome back from summer vacation! Jazz was up to all sorts of bass-thumping moves while you were at the beach. Come to think of it, you might have grooved to the sly and sophisticated funk of Derrick Hodge's Live Today while sitting poolside, but either way, tracks like "The Real" and "Gritty Folk" are in the appended playlist, ready for you now.
August saw another couple of hard-swinging new albums led by bassists. Christian McBride's group adhered to a more classic post-bop sound, so buckle up and try "Hallelujah Time" (or the leader's solo on "Cherokee"!); also, up-and-coming bassist Linda Oh, whom we profiled here, closed out the month with new release Sun Pictures.
Meantime, legendary vibes man Gary Burton gave us a new Guided Tour that features three smoking new tunes written by his bandmate, phenom guitarist Julian Lage. And be sure to catch up with two gems that the essential Clean Feed label dropped this summer: Nate Wooley's (Sit in) The Throne of Friendship balances groove and experimentation, while Mark Dresser's working quintet (with Rudresh Mahanthappa on sax) presented some blazing strange sounds (check the prepared piano on "Not Withstanding").
Earlier in the season, pianist Bruno Heinen presented a new jazz reconstruction of Karlheinz Stockhausen's Tierkreis compositions. The whole cycle works best if you know the original sequences (and for that, do see our breakdown in this Classical Remix post), but tunes like "Taurus" and "Scorpio" work as pure jazz on first hearings, too. Put it together with a newly reissued Ornette Coleman live date (which occasionally verges on soul jazz!), as well as new cuts from the likes of Etienne Charles and Sunna Gunnlaugs, and you've got enough high-spirited stuff to help you make the most of the few remaining days before fall. Catch it all over in the playlist!