Fahir Atakoğlu - For Love - Far & Here

An unrepentant romantic, Turkish-American pianist-composer-arranger Fahir Atakoğlu is all-in For Love on his 18th album as a leader. A visionary undertaking that blends musical elements from Turkey, Spain, Italy, the Middle East, Cuba and Brazil while revealing touches of American jazz in the freewheeling improvisations heard throughout, For Love also carries the majestic sweep of symphonic polyphony in Fahir’s stirring string orchestrations. With world-class musicians in American saxophonist Bob Franceschini, Canadian bassist Alain Caron, Turkish percussionist Mustafa Boztuy and Cuban drumming marvel Horacio “El Negro” HernandezFor Love also features an international cast of vocalists in Spain’s Buika, Brazil’s Luciana Souza, Italy’s Letizia Gambi and American rising star jazz singer Aimée Allen, each contributing lyrics while singing in her native tongue.

Deborah Silver - "I Got Rhythm" - Independent

Following up on the run-away success of Deborah Silver’s 2016 #1 Billboard Traditional Jazz album The Gold Standards, we bring you a taste of what’s to come from Deborah’s August 7th release Glitter & Grits. Leading the way is the dynamic single “I Got Rhythm”, a collaboration with Ray Benson and his legendary band Asleep at the Wheel. A vibrant blend of Jazz with a twang of western swing, “I Got Rhythm” is a fun, summertime take on an all-time classic. Silver’s upcoming full-length album, Glitter & Grits is stacked top to bottom with classics with a twist and is coming to Jazz radio early August!

Mafalda Minnozzi - Sensorial: Portraits in Bossa and Jazz - MPI Music

Internationally acclaimed vocalist Mafalda Minnozzi is proud to announce the release of her highly-anticipated album Sensorial – Portraits in Bossa & Jazz. Under the musical direction of guitarist Paul Ricci and with the help of heavyweights like pianist Art Hirahara, bassists Essiet Okon Essiet and Harvie S, drummer Victor Jones and percussionists Will Calhoun and Rogério Boccato, Sensorial revisits and reimagines the Brazilian songbook, while consciously interlacing the dynamismof New York City in an imaginative blend of Bossa and Jazz. With its track selection inspired by the aesthetics of Gil Evans, João Gilberto and Roberto Murolo, Sensorial not only showcases Mafalda Minnozzi’s unmistakable technique and spirit, but presents a collection of emotionally charged arrangements drawing from her multicultural career in South America, Italy and New York City. Known for her explosively energetic live performances, this recorded project aims to deliver that same fiery appeal, and this release succeeds in doing just that.

Purdie/Fabian/Oswanski - Move On! - CAP Records

Christian Fabian composes for the first-ever organ trio with bass featuring Bernard Purdie and Ron Oswanski. While this is their first project together, it sounds like they’ve been playing together all their lives. The trio plays original jazz funk which includes several new compositions and a few covers and amazing surprises like a swinging, grooving “Battle Hymn of the Republic”! Described by Emilio Castillo of Tower of Power as “downright funky, edumacated jazz – these cats have GOT IT DOWN!”

Chip Shelton - Plan Be Your Dreams - Crystal Clear Music

After 8 critically-acclaimed prior releases, and a recording hiatus to grow as composer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and author, Chip Shelton is back with a 3 Release kick-off, starting now. Current release #9, PLAN BE™ DREAM MUSIC, feature nine Shelton originals; along with three by bassist Tom Charlap (Bill’s brother); and one each by pianists Roy Meriwether and Gino Rosaria. Three bonus instrumental tracks “Inspiration”, “Dedication”, and “Surrender” are included here for programmers who prefer instrumentals over the vocal versions. The PLAN BE… (CD’s) musical messages synchronize with the self-help, career-planning principles outlined in Shelton’s co-released 1st book, “Excel in Two Careers… Plan Be™ Your Dream” Complimentary digital or print copies of the book (while they last) are available to educators, programmers, etc. by emailing contact@chipshelton.com

Jeff Hamilton Trio - Catch Me If You Can - Capri Records

With the veteran drum legend Jeff Hamilton at the helm of any ensemble – swing is not just a given – it’s an imperative. United with the pianist Tamir Hendelman and the bassist Jon Hamar, Hamilton leads a trio that, as displayed on Catch Me If You Can, is committed to upholding the fundamentals of robust mainstream jazz: forthright and economical improvisation, lyricism, and, above all, uncompromising swing. Building on the foundation of Hamilton’s stirring stick and trademark brush artistry, the outfit calls attention to the durability of the enduring piano trio tradition. A reliably inspired entity for almost 30 years, the Jeff Hamilton Trio confirms with this captivating new recording that it remains one of the premier ensembles of its day. As the Jeff Hamilton Trio marches into a new decade, it has taken on a major challenge: how to keep the mainstream piano tradition fresh. With Catch Me If You Can it proves, beyond a doubt, it has succeeded.

The Mark Masters Ensemble - Night Talk: The Alec Wilder Songbook - Capri Records

With his latest album, Night Talk, the brilliant arranger and bandleader Mark Masters delves deep into the Alec Wilder catalogue, crafting a vibrant, richly hued collection to spotlight one of modern jazz’s most gifted and singular voices: baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan. Backed by the virtuosic Mark Masters Ensemble, a stellar line-up featuring four horns and an impeccably swinging rhythm section, Smulyan explores Masters’ imaginative reinterpretations with the emotional eloquence of a great singer paired with the dazzling agility of a master soloist. Night Talk embraces the shadowy grandeur of Wilder’s compositions, from the evocative noir-influenced cover photograph to the dark-tinged luxuriance of Masters’ orchestrations. The pieces are given thrilling new life by the remarkable ensemble, which includes saxophonists Don Shelton and Jerry Pinter, trumpeter Bob Summers, trombonist Dave Woodley, pianist Ed Czach, bassist Putter Smith and drummer Kendall Kay. The cream of the West Coast scene, these musicians have forged long-standing musical relationships with one another and with Masters, in some cases dating back as much as three decades. 

Brecker Brothers - Live and Unreleased - Piloo Records

The return of a great band! The archival recording, ‘Live and Unreleased’, documents the Brecker Brothers at the peak of their powers during a European tour on a particularly happening night in Hamburg on July 2, 1980 at the legendary Onkel P’s Carnegie Hall. One of the best-selling, most potent bands of the ’70s, the Brecker Brothers defined the swaggering sound of New York funk-fusion during the decade. On the strength of such contemporary crossover recordings as their 1975 self-titled debut, 1976’s Back to Back, 1977’s Don’t Stop the Music and 1978’s Heavy Metal Be-Bop, brothers Randy and Michael Brecker set a new standard in jazz with their tight arrangements, catchy funk grooves, melodic grooves and scintillating solos. A showcase for the brothers’ legendary chops, Live and Unreleased also shines a light on Finery’s scorching guitar licks, Gray’s innovative Prophet V and Mini-Moog work, Jason’s slap bass prowess and Morales’ thunderous drumming throughout 10 exhilarating tracks. Among the highlights are a 19-minute version of “Funky Sea, Funky Dew” (from 1977’s Don’t Stop The Music) that features an astounding 9-minute unaccompanied solo from Michael Brecker that has him deeply into an experimental mode with electronic effects.
Personnel: Michael Brecker (tenor saxophone), Randy Brecker (trumpet & vocals), Mark Gray (keyboards), Barry Finnerty (guitar), Neil Jason (electric bass & vocals), Richie Morales (drums).

Various Artists - Ella 100: Live at the Apollo! - Concord Jazz

Concord Jazz celebrates the music and life of the “First Lady of Song,” Ella Fitzgerald with the release of Ella 100: Live at the Apollo! Recorded live at the storied Harlem N.Y. venue in front of an ecstatic audience, the concert and recording, produced by the eight-time Grammy and Emmy Award recipient and former Fitzgerald musician Gregg Field, features dynamic and loving tributes from a parade of contemporary vocal and musical giants and co-hosted by Grammy award winner Patti Austin and the multi-Tony award nominated actor/singer David Alan Grier.

In addition to Austin and Grier, the concert features performances by Andra Day, Ledisi, Lizz Wright, Cassandra Wilson, Monica Mancini and the award-winning a cappella vocal group from Howard University, Afro Blue. Accompanying these world-class vocalists is none other than the Count Basie Orchestra and strings, so effectively presenting the music of Ella and the renowned orchestra with whom Ella so often collaborated. Also featured, and to celebrate Ella’s famous quartet, is the deeply swinging Ella 100 All-Star Quartet with Shelly Berg, Nathan East, Brian Nova and Field, who channel the spontaneous spirit direct from Ella.

At just 17, Ella entered the famous Apollo Amateur Contest to dance but made a last instant and fateful decision to sing for the notoriously difficult-to-please Apollo Amateur Night crowd. Her shockingly original and vibrant delivery of Hoagy Carmichael’s “Judy” with a range and depth simply unheard-of-especially from one so young-brought the house down, thus launching a remarkable career that changed 20th Century music and has not been equaled to this day.

Brian Andres Trio Latino - Mayan Suite - Bacalao Records

Drummer Brian Andres unleashes an electrifying new project with Mayan Suite, the inaugural recording of his Trio Latino, on Bacalao Records. Though it finds Andres stepping back from his longtime leadership of the eight-piece Afro-Cuban Jazz Cartel, the new trio (featuring pianist Christian Tumalan and bassist Aaron Germain) shows itself to be every bit as musically rich as the larger ensemble. What’s more, the album’s striking originals and zesty interpretations find the band equaling that richness with audacity. Indeed, Andres created the trio in the hope of finding just such an emboldened style. With fewer voices, he says, “There’s much more space to explore, for creative expression, and with that freedom there’s greater responsibilities for all three of us.” In fact, Tumalan and Germain fulfill both their freedom and their responsibility in supplying all of Mayan Suite’s original compositions. It’s not happenstance that all three are rhythm players: Trio Latino’s prowess on Mayan Suite, collectively and as soloists, comes in the service of irresistibly kinetic grooves drawn from the Afro-Latin jazz canon.