There's something subtly grabbing about Sun Speak, the Chicago-based duo of Matt Gold on guitars and Nate Friedman on percussion. Some sorts of layers of what these guys are doing-- first in being a duo that can throttle forward, then in revealing compositional sophistication that's just as engrossing. This week they just released their debut album, Light Blue Light-- a great display of where these guys are going.
The most important element that one would find of Tigran's signature style would be his unique sense of time. Compositionally, this is of course clear. The young 2006 Thelonious Monk Piano Competition winner has been wowing listeners the world over for years with his five albums -- the latest of which, Shadow Theater, just released yesterday on Sunnyside-- making well known how the Armenian rhythms he's always known have melded with so many other sounds around the world in such a purely jazz kind of way. It's this sense of time that seemingly comes to a tantalizing head in Shadow Theater and shifts even further to the fore last night on the album release show at Austin, Texas' The Belmont kicking off Tigran's US tour.
Brooklyn Afrobeat band Ikebe Shakedown have just released their new album on Ubiquity Records this week, Stone By Stone (streaming exclusively this week at Wax Poetics), that has all the greatness of their self-titled release from 2011 and keeps that cool vibe going. It's the logical successor to their previous work and definitely worth copping. Get into the feeling and get your feet moving from the new video for "The Offering" after the jump.
Everybody sings the praises of Kendrick Scott. The New York Times quickly named him as one of "Five Drummers Whose Time Is Now". On the drums, he transforms into a masterful and exquisite sonic architect whose work is filled with imaginative capacity. Yet Scott is what they call a triple threat-- filling roles not only as a drummer, but also as a striking composer and band leader.
Standout trumpeter David Weiss (from The Cookers, Point of Departure, and Endangered Species: The Music of Wayne Shorter) has a new project, When Words Fail, set to be released on May 20th. Weiss has made one of the tunes from the album available ahead of that release. "Loss" features Weiss on trumpet, Myron Walden and Marcus Strickland on saxes, Xavier Davis on piano, the late Dwayne Burno on bass, and E.J. Strickland on drums. The music on When Words Fail come out of a difficult period for Weiss ("the last year or so has been a time of profound loss for me"). For the jazz community, When Words Fail is the final recording made by bassist Dwayne Burno before he was lost to us. The tune "Loss" was written by Weiss for the founder of Motema Music, Jana Herzen, who recently lost her father. Having given this context, "Loss" is an excellent piece of modern jazz that is full of great solos and group playing. The connection between Burno and Davis on bass and piano, respectively, is tight as they provide the rhythm section backing along with E.J. Strickland’s drums, and the whole tune moves along beautifully. Check it out after the jump.