Here are five more recent jazz releases worth giving a listen to:
1. The Mothership Returns by Return to Forever (Eagle Rock Entertainment – June 19, 2012) CLICK HERE TO BUY
Return To Forever are one of the most innovative and successful jazz/rock fusion bands. Originally formed in the early seventies, they had reunions in 1983 and 2008 before the current line-up got together in 2010 with the arrival of new members Jean-Luc Ponty and Frank Gambale. This set contains a double live CD recorded in 2011 plus a bonus DVD containing the Inside The Music feature which combines live footage with the band discussing the tracks performed on the CD. Also included on the DVD are full live performances of After The Cosmic Rain and The Romantic Warrior and an extended trailer for the upcoming film The Return To Forever Story . / Line-up: Chick Corea (piano & keyboard); Stanley Clarke (electric & acoustic bass); Jean-Luc Ponty (electric & acoustic violin); Frank Gambale (electric & acoustic guitar); Lenny White (drums).
2. Across the Imaginary Divide by Bela Fleck (Rounder – June 5, 2012) CLICK HERE TO BUY
2012 collaboration between banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck and Jazz pianist Marcus Roberts and his trio. Roberts’ Trio is known for its virtuosic style: a style that is strongly rhythmic, melodic, and filled with dynamic contrast. Fleck is often considered the premier banjo player in the world. He has virtually reinvented the image and the sound of the banjo through a remarkable performing and recording career that has taken him all over the musical map and on a range of solo projects and collaborations. “It was a lot of fun working with B‚la on this project. He has a limitless imagination and, like our trio, he is willing to do whatever it takes to make a great record. The recording brings our two styles together in a way that I think will be really enjoyable for the listeners,” said Roberts.
3. Seeds From the Underground by Kenny Garrett (Mack Avenue – April 10, 2012) CLICK HERE TO BUY
Seeds from the Underground is music people, past and present, who planted seeds Kenny Garrett’s life-directly and indirectly. It s not a dedication record, although there are songs dedicated to certain people. Kenny Garrett is also a member of the DownBeat Hall of Fame being a three-time Alto Sax winner.
4. Dear Diz (Every Day I Think of You) by Arturo Sandoval (Concord Jazz – May 8, 2012) CLICK HERE TO BUY
Arturo Sandoval releases his second album on Concord Jazz, Dear Diz (Every Day I Think of You). The album is Sandoval’s tribute to Dizzy Gillespie, the mentor and friend who literally rescued him and his family from an oppressive existence and gave them a chance at an entirely new and better life. The album is a collection of classics from Gillespie’s massive body of work, each framed in big-band arrangements that throw the spotlight squarely on the elements of bebop that underscore so much of the iconic trumpeter’s work and set the tone for the music of his era.
5. Impressions of Curtis Mayfield by Jazz Soul Seven (BFM Jazz – April 17, 2012) CLICK HERE TO BUY
Curtis Mayfield’s impact on artists of all persuasions is incalculable, and jazz musicians have long found much in his words and melodies to inspire new interpretations. Impressions of Curtis Mayfield is a new collection of a dozen re-imaginings of some of the late, great soul man’s most potent compositions, recorded by a collective of jazz aces calling themselves the Jazz Soul Seven: Terri Lyne Carrington–-drums, Russ Ferrante—piano, the late Master Henry Gibson—percussion, Bob Hurst—bass, Wallace Roney—trumpet, Phil Upchurch—guitar, and Ernie Watts—saxophone.