Here is a roundup of selected recent jazz releases.
Diana Krall—Quiet Nights (Verve)
With the assistance of the veteran production/engineering/arranging team of Tommy LiPuma, Al Schmitt and Claus Ogerman, Krall faithfully recreates the lush jazz sound of Verve’s 60’s heyday on this vocal tour de force that also offers popular song interpretations. Few artists have both the jazz chops and keen pop sensibility to pull off an approach that on the surface appears so simple, yet is nearly impossible.
Charlie Haden—Family & Friends-Rambling Boy (Decca)
Charlie Haden must be considered one of the greatest living jazz artists on the planet today. While he could easily rest on his laurels as a member of celebrated recordings such as Ornette Coleman’s Shape of Jazz to Come, his recordings and performances as the leader of the Liberation Orchestra and Quartet West, not to mention his many collaborative duo projects, he instead continues to explore new sounds. Recording here with many of the talented members of his extended family, he ventures far afield from strictly jazz to make an almost country recording. You have to hear this album to believe it.
Milton Nascimento/Jobim Trio—Novas Bossas (Blue Note)
Teaming the Jobim Trio with Milton Nascimento is a dream meeting of the bossa nova minds. This breathtaking and romantic recording is a milestone in modern Brazilian music and breathes life into a sound that many think of as something only from the past.
Marcus Roberts—New Orleans Meets Harlem, Vol. 1 (J-Master Music).
This trio recording finds Roberts once again able to maintain the great tradition of jazz greatest artists, from Jelly Roll Morton to Monk and everything in between, while putting his own keyboard stamp on every note.
Ravi Coltrane—Blending Times (Savoy Jazz)
Ravi Coltrane continues to step out of the reach of the long shadow cast by his father John. Maintaining the perfect mix of straightforward accessible jazz and experimental improvisation, Coltrane continues to refine his sound and make music that is all his own.
WEHM’s New Release Tuesdays
June’s selections for 92.9&96.9 WEHM New Release Tuesdays with Harry Wareing (airing every Tuesday night from 9-10pm) each take the core sound of an acoustic guitar to wildly different areas.
In the span of Elvis Costello’s career, he has worn many genre hats, everything from frenetic New Wave to Country. On his latest, Secret, Profane and Sugarcane, and on the track “Complicated Shadows,” Costello successfully delves into rich, authentic country blues with acoustic instrumentation.
Dave Matthews Band’s newest Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King and the track “Funny the Way It Is” has that classic DMB sound, the deftly executed drumming of Carter Beauford and Matthew’s froogy guitar and vocals being particular highlights.
Alt country notable Rhett Miller displays a mellow singer-songwriter vibe on his latest, eponymous release containing the tune “I Need to Know Where I Stand.” The song displays heartfelt vocal harmonies and a catchy chorus.