arrow
bar_big image

Dan Tepfer - 'Eleven Cages'

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

There's a certain kind of irony in making music so undeniably playful while insisting that the thematic element behind the music itself is cages. It's hard to be playful in a cage. Sure, there's playfulness in exploring boundaries, but one doesn't typically find joy in the boundaries themselves. Yet, this pianist Dan Tepfer plays in this irony, bouncing off the walls with his trio members, bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Nate Wood, finding so much room between the bars of Tepfer's Eleven Cages, out now on Sunnyside.

bar_big image

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah - 'Centennial Trilogy: Diaspora'

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

Diaspora, the second album of trumpeter Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah's Centennial Trilogy of albums he's releasing this year, is softer than its predecessor, Ruler Rebel. It's warmer, more somber, more spacey a collection of songs, as if these songs and the extra time between notes, a less is more approach here, is meant to depict the actual African Diaspora, a dispersal of sounds as much as a people. Nevertheless, it's a more chill kind of album, if the dynamic Ruler Rebel is a textured shot of mescal, Diaspora is the perfectly made michelada that follows it, and you're going to want to have a couple more micheladas.

bar_big image

Brandon Seabrook's 'Die Trommel Fatale'

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

If you ever want to get thrown for a loop, make something large and then take something away, some ingredient that adds a little bit of flash and go without it. Use something similar to it, beef up the other flavors. See what the rest of the ingredients can do to make up for the replacement. Test your skills. For his latest album on New Atlantis Records, guitarist Brandon Seabrook spent a year writing complex, propulsive, psychedelic jazz music with two drummers but switched the pepper up from using cymbals to that ever inventive, catchall "percussion".

bar_big image

Diego Barber - 'One Minute Later'

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

In the credits of his new album, One Minute Later, out now on Sunnyside, Diego Barber as listed as playing the classical guitar. Based on this album, this seems true in the most cursory, nominal sense. Maybe classic is a state of mind, maybe it's more of a contextual thing. If it is indeed based on context, Barber's playing alongside Ben Williams' bass, Eric Harland's drums, and Alejandro Coello's assorted instrumentation may not lend itself to the name classical.

bar_big image

Dave Chisholm - 'Instrumental'

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

Dave Chisholm is multi-talented. He's a deft trumpeter and composer-- expressive, expansive, illustrative with an idea of direction and arch. He is also a graphic artist with a good sense of form and an eve better sense of oddness. For an artist of any sort, these are all good qualities to have and it's an immense asset to be able to express oneself in multiple media, bringing together these passions into a pair of works that fulfill a certain vision. In his graphic novel and the accompanying soundtrack to Instrumental, Dave Chisholm is realizing his talents magnificently.