“Now in Stores” XX

Here are five more recent jazz releases worth giving a listen to:

1. Glad Rag Doll by Diana Krall (Verve – October 2, 2012) CLICK HERE TO BUY

Diana Krall’s extraordinary new album, ‘Glad Rag Doll’ is an exhilarating and adventurous exploration of new sounds, new instrumentation and new musicians. It stars a singer and piano player, filled with mischief, humour and a renewed sense of tenderness and intimacy. The record reveals itself at that remarkable vanishing point in time where all music; swinging, rocking and taboo, collide with songs of longing, solace and regret. All are made new again in a vaudeville of Krall’s own imagining. It is at once a major departure and a natural progression for the gifted musician. Diana simply calls the album, “a song and dance record.”

2. My Muse by George Cables (HighNote – September 11, 2012) CLICK HERE TO BUY

Having absorbed a huge variety of sounds and styles and incorporated them into his playing — from harmonically adventurous post-bop to gospel-tinged blues — pianist George Cables mines the mother load of jazz elements on his 2012 HighNote release, fusing Bud Powell’s feeling, Fats Waller’s juke joint geniality and Art Tatum’s quick wit into his own persuasive utterances. Cables’ searching and intense interpretations use the source material as a jumping-off point for his unique and quirky improvisations, and his writing is more profound and more expressive than ever.

3. Where Do You Start by Brad Mehldau (Nonesuch – September 18. 2012) CLICK HERE TO BUY

Nonesuch releases the Brad Mehldau Trio’s Where Do You Start, a companion disc to the critically acclaimed Ode. Whereas Ode featured 11 songs composed by Mehldau, Where Do You Start comprises the Trio’s interpretations of 10 tunes by other composers, along with one Mehldau original. Ode was widely praised, with London’s Daily Telegraph, in a five-star review, saying that it “shows Mehldau’s inventive powers are as fresh as ever…and the interplay with Ballard and Grenadier is masterly.”

4. Claroscuro by Anat Cohen (Anzic Records – September 25, 2012) CLICK HERE TO BUY

Anat Cohen – celebrated the world over for her expressive virtuosity on clarinet and saxophone, not to mention the sheer joie de vivre in her charismatic stage presence – presents the latest record of her evolution with Claroscuro, her sixth album as a bandleader. Claroscuro takes its title from the Spanish word describing the play of light and shade (chiaroscuro in Italian).

5. Manu Katche by Manu Katche (ECM Records – October 30, 2012) CLICK HERE TO BUY

Eponymously-titled album from Manu Katche. On his fourth ECM disc, Manus unique drumming sets the scene and direction, with compositions and arrangements radiating outward from its rhythm-patterns. His strongly propulsive yet relaxed groove is unlike any other drummers, and it lifts up the soloists. Personnel in the ever-changing Katche band currently includes Norwegians Nils Pettter Molvaer and Tore Brunborg, first heard together on ECM in the band Masqualero in the 1980s: they still play most attractively together. British keyboardist Jim Watson also makes a strong showing with minimalistically-insistent as well as lyrical piano and thick, swirling organ. Recorded March 2012 in the South of France, and issued on the eve of a major European tour.

“Now in Stores” XIX

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