Keith Oxman & Frank Morelli - The Ox-Mo Incident – Capri Records

Tenor saxophonist Keith Oxman and bassoon virtuoso Frank Morelli find common ground on their new jazz-meets-classical quartet album, The Ox-Mo Incident on Capri Records. The unique project pairs the Denver jazz great with the Juilliard bassoon professor for an unprecedented outing featuring pianist Jeff Jenkins, bassist Ken Walker and drummer Todd Reid. Jazz and classical music have crossed paths myriad times over the decades, but rarely is the meeting as unconventional yet congenial as this unlikely partnership between Denver-based tenor saxophonist Keith Oxman and bassoon virtuoso Frank Morelli. On their debut release, The Ox-Mo Incident, the two gifted instrumentalists turn the novel conjunction of two strange bedfellows into an intoxicating sound and a charming conversation between like-minded souls. The pairing is a first for both Oxman and Morelli, and perhaps for jazz itself (if not, it’s beyond doubt a true rarity). The album’s title makes a playful reference to Walter Van Tilburg Clark’s 1940 western novel The Ox-Bow Incident and its cinematic adaptation starring Henry Fonda.

Rale Micic - Only Love Will Stay - Whaling City Sound

Rale Micic’s heartwarming fusion of heritage, taste, and jazz guitar sophistication shines on Only Love Will Stay. Rale Micic is a unique voice in jazz guitar. He combines an absurdly melodic approach and an intricate insight into harmonies, with a sort of deep personal story from his native Serbia. His life experience and heritage exert a soft and loving influence on his artistic approach: the rhythm, tone, and feel of the music of his life. This approach, in the works for a while now, culminates on his new recording, Only Love Will Stay. The session, with Jared Gold on keys and Geoff Clapp and Johnathan Blake on drums, is both relaxed and substantial, joyful and chill, starring the filigreed sounds of Micic’s Sadowsky archtop and the tasty choices of empathic accompanists. Only Love Will Stay is a joyful experience and a stunning excursion into the mind of a truly original artist.

Ricardo Silveira - Solo - Moondo Music

Moondo Music presents Grammy-nominated Brazilian guitarist, Ricardo Silveira with fresh new recordings of Solo performances! Fusing original melodic compositions with sophisticated guitar arrangements, the new album, Solo captures Ricardo’s refined touch in a memorable, intimate setting. Together with Ricardo’s compositions (re-imagined for solo guitar), high points are sweetened with timeless depictions of standards by Antonio Carlos Jobim (Zingaro, Luiza), Johnny Alf (Eu e Brisa) and Rodgers & Hart (My Romance). Solo inspires a cherished connection with a seasoned artist gracefully exploring new paths of wisdom and discovery.

Freda Payne - Let There Be Love - Sound of L.A. Records

Legendary song stylist Freda Payne releases new jazz duets EP Let There Be Love featuring Kurt Elling, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Kenny Lattimore and others! Triple-threat vocal wonder Freda Payne returns from a 6-year sabbatical with her most star-studded Jazz vocal project yet, Let There Be Love. The 5-song EP – in the tradition of 10-inch shellac records from the golden years of jazz – is bubbling over with knockout performances highlighted by 4 duets with special guests who are not only stellar singers, they ALL exude sparkling chemistry with Ms. Payne. Though internationally renowned for her chart-topping 1970 Soul-Pop classic “Band of Gold,” Ms. Payne began her career in 1962 singing Jazz. She has since lent voice to everything from standards, R&B and Quiet Storm to Disco and Pop. The last two decades have found Freda Payne firmly back home in Jazz. Her latest, Let There Be Love, will make lovers of the genre giddy – from vets to newbies.

Jihye Lee Orchestra - Daring Mind - Motéma Music

As a follow up to her widely-acclaimed 2017 debut April, Daring Mind presents selections from Lee’s ‘Mind’ Series, including her BMI Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize-winning “Unshakable Mind” and her Manny Albam Commission “Revived Mind.” The album reflects her struggles, doubts, joys, and hopes while living in the amazing city of New York. The compositions explore the human mind, heart and soul, the various states of the human psyche from confusion to rage to enlightenment. Lee describes composition as a form of record-keeping for herself, as the documentation of her life, the process of finding musical equivalents to the images, thoughts and emotions in her mind. She writes first and foremost for herself, to release her feelings, which makes her music deeply personal. “My goal is to invite listeners into my creative world, to relate to my stories, and to reflect on the truth that as humans, we share similar struggles and triumphs regardless of where we come from. It is my hope that we can create genuine connections with each other through art,” she says.

Dave Weckl Band - Live in Saint Louis at the Chesterfield Amphitheater - Autumn Hill

Dave Weckl Band Live in Saint Louis at the Chesterfield Amphitheater reunites drummer Weckl with founding band members Jay Oliver (keyboards), Tom Kennedy (bass) and, for the first time in more than 20 years, Buzz Feiten on guitar. They’re joined by Weckl’s longtime saxophonist of choice, Gary Meek, who joined in 2003 – making this a unique but integral incarnation of the band. The Dave Weckl Band came back together at the invitation of St. Louis musicians Rob and Michael Silverman, co-founders of the Chesterfield Jazz Festival and Autumn Hill Records. Longtime fans, the Silvermans also share the hometown pride of fellow St. Louis natives Weckl, Oliver and Kennedy – all three of whom have played together since their teenage years in the city, making the gig a homecoming as well as a reunion. The performance will be available on most major online outlets and a full HD video will be available exclusively to subscribers of the Dave Weckl Online School.

Adam Moezinia - Folk Element Trio - Outside In Music

Guitarist Adam Moezinia and his trio are rooted in the jazz tradition but venture beyond to incorporate influences of folk and world music into their sound. Hear how they explore the relationship between jazz music of the past century and the timeless folk traditions of West Africa, the Caribbean, Appalachia and beyond. You might say that there are many instances of modern jazz that do incorporate Folk Elements… And while this may be true, the fusion is typically accompanied by increasingly complicated harmonies, un-singable melodies and the excessive use of odd/mixed meters. While these displays can be fascinating and impressive, the music often comes off as frantic and esoteric. Adam seeks to eliminate that third party and create a style that retains the simplicity of folk music whilst adding the variation and excitement of jazz, with his debut album Folk Element Trio”.

Jennifer Wharton’s Bonegasm - Not A Novelty - Sunnyside Records

When Jennifer Wharton presented her trombone-powered ensemble, Bonegasm, via its self-titled debut album in 2019, she enlisted fellow trombonists John FedchockNate Mayland and Alan Ferber, along with the rhythm section of pianist Michael Eckroth, bassist Evan Gregor and drummer Don Peretz. The overwhelming response to Bonegasm’s music was astounding, cementing Wharton’s assertion that this assemblage was no flash in the pan but an important exponent of shaping the trombone’s primacy in jazz music. Bonegasm’s new recording, Not a Novelty, wears its intentions on its sleeve, or perhaps more appropriately, tattooed on its arm. Trying to break the tradition of the bass trombone’s relegation to supportive roles in most ensembles, Wharton demanded that the pieces commissioned for Bonegasm feature the bigger horn in some fashion; she was impressed by what composers and arrangers could do when they used their imaginations. Wharton looks at Not a Novelty as a needed return. Not only did she productively utilize the time that an unprecedented circumstance (covid) presented to her, but she also took the opportunity to promote the advancement of trombone led music in the jazz canon, a task that should be celebrated and not just by “unicorns”.

Greg Abate - Magic Dance: The Music of Kenny Barron - Whaling City Sound

There’s a beautiful marriage happening with Greg Abate’s Magic Dance: The Music of Kenny Barron. It’s the union between Abate’s multi-instrumental gift of bebop and Kenny Barron’s varied and sublime compositions. Abate and Barron, who, in addition to lending Abate his material, handles keys on this recording session, are soul mates occupying the same lovely musical space. With Barron’s material and Abate’s fresh vision, the two-disc set, recorded over three days at Rudy Van Gelder Studio in New Jersey, is a revelation. Says Abate: “Kenny was kind enough to provide me with music for a range of his tunes, some more well-known than others. The only difficult part was choosing which ones to record.” Abate researched and reworked Barron’s music, inserting his own ideas when appropriate, enhancing his arrangements with multiple sax overdubs, and, when the original was so good, it made sense to leave well enough alone. The project was challenging, multi-dimensional, and immensely gratifying. “I even scored a big band sax section (two altos, two tenors and bari) on ‘Innocence’ and ‘Voyage.’ The other 12 tracks have either one horn or two horns in harmony.”

Mark Winkler & David Benoit - Old Friends - Cafe Pacific

Singer, lyricist MARK WINKLER and pianist, composer DAVID BENOIT have teamed up to record an album that pays homage to their 37 years of friendship. OLD FRIENDS is a collection of some of the artists’ favorites songs by some of their favorite composers, as well as three original tunes, newly rendered in an affable collaboration by two musicians at the top of their form. OLD FRIENDS is imbued with warmth and camaraderie. Winkler, Benoit, and the rest of the band maintain a light, sensitive touch that has great emotional depth but is never overwrought. Benoit perhaps sums it up the best, “Working with Barbara Brighton and Mark was a highlight for me. I think this is Mark’s best work. He is restrained and heartfelt. He never overdoes it, but always stays true to the melody, respecting the composer but adding his own imprimatur when needed. The song selections are fresh and original, and, I must say, I’m happy with the arrangements. Again. never too much, but elegant and tasteful. You can hear the communication with Mark and me, and it’s superb. This is a result of a certain maturity that only comes with age and a willingness to put the time and effort into the project. This could be a happy result of Covid-19 giving us all the time we needed to make it right. And the results are self-evident.”