arrow
bar_big image

Digbii - 'Lonely Star'

Ben Gray
Staff Writer
bengray417@gmail.com

Nothing wrong with coming across some new grooves on a Friday. Milwaukee-based Digbii’s new release, Lonely Star, should fit the bill. Digbii is a quartet of drums (Jay Arpin), bass (Dave Dinauer), keys (Craig Rigby), and sax (Ryan Meisel) whose songs are ambitious enough to have a clear reach to them but catchy enough to grab you. There’s a strong jazz component as well as a strong '70's rock component (think Steely Dan or maybe even Elton John) that makes for a pleasant surprise. Give it a digital spin after the jump and pick up the album at Digbii’s Bandcamp page.

bar_big image

Anne Mette-Iversen - 'Round Trip'

Ben Gray
Staff Writer
bengray417@gmail.com

Bassist Anne Mette-Iversen's new quintet album, Round Trip, is described as a set of tunes designed "to return to the starting point via a different road", and the tunes on the album succeed at doing just that. Each song on the album has a feeling of movement and fluidity. At times, that makes for an almost cinematic listening experience.

bar_big image

Curtis Brothers Quartet - 'Syzygy'

Ben Gray
Staff Writer
bengray417@gmail.com

The Curtis Brothers Quartet's new album, Syzygy is dropping in mid-December where it will be (very) unfortunately overlooked as critics and listeners turn our collective attention to 'best of 2016' lists (nextbop included, of course). Don't make that mistake.

bar_big image

Ben Gray's Favorite Jazz Albums of 2016

Ben Gray
Staff Writer
bengray417@gmail.com

A quick pre-amble: jazz is so diverse that it’s near-impossible to compare and rank the "best" albums of the year (Editor's note: which is why Nextbop refers to these lists as our "favorites" as opposed to "the best", because words are important). How does one rank Julian Lage, Darcy James Argue, Takuya Kuroda, and Brad Mehldau against each other? The answer of course is that one doesn’t - you listen to what moves you, when it moves you. The broadness of the jazz genre also brings up the interesting question of what to even include in these comparisons, particularly for things that are maybe on the edge of "jazz." What makes a jazz album jazz? Solos? Extended harmony? Inclusion of a jazz standard? (What’s a jazz standard in 2016? "Teen Spirit?")

So ok, these lists are, at least at some level, irrelevant. That said, 2016 has been a bounty of music, both jazz and otherwise. There are a bunch of things that have really impressed this year and why not take the opportunity to celebrate them?

bar_big image

Aviation Trio - 'Lookout Point Session'

Ben Gray
Staff Writer
bengray417@gmail.com

Aviation Trio (drummer Jeremy Jones, bassist Alex Dyring, and pianist Shawn Schlogel) have produced a new EP, Lookout Point Session, that is full of strong grooves, great playing, and fun compositions. In short, here’s what modern jazz can do. The 3-song EP from the Seattle-based trio has the requisite Dilla-inspired drum grooves and hip-hop/soul-inspired compositions that one might expect from a group of young musicians in 2016, but this trio pulls it off in a way that few others can.