Top 8 Jazz Albums, June 2013
It's a diverse haul this month: New titles from legendary avant-garde saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell and post-bop trumpeter Terence Blanchard share the stage with a long-lost treasure from Dave Brubeck and Tony Bennett.
That last album features a four-track finale in which both the pianist and the vocalist perform together for the first time, back in 1962 -- something no jazz fan should miss. (Brubeck enthusiasts will also want to hear the versions of "Nomad" and "Castilian Blues" earlier on the same album.) Meantime, the Brubeck legacy is also celebrated on the new, alt-rock-y album from jazz guitar shredder Marc Ribot's band Ceramic Dog. (They cover "Take Five" -- what else?) We've celebrated Ribot's entire career here, but Ceramic Dog are their own thing, full of raw, punkish textures. The new one, Your Turn, is worth exploring in full.
Terence Blanchard's return to long-form contemporary post-bop is likewise a welcome development. His new album, Magnetic, features his working band -- which includes drummer Kendrick Scott, who also has a new record out -- plus ringers like Ravi Coltrane. Tie it up with a lush new album of ballads (complete with strings) from Joshua Redman, and you've got the gamut of jazz styles covered.