I wake up every morning to The Crusaders' version of "Eleanor Rigby" from their Lighthouse '68 live album. It's my favorite song on Earth. Typically, one would think this to be a bad idea, to forever brand one's favorite song with being ripped from slumber. Each time those tremulous chords and crashing cymbals belt out would be associated with panic, skipped heart beats, the sudden crash, the kick. For any other song, it would ruin it completely in day or night.1 That just wasn't the case for "Eleanor Rigby". The earth shattered in Joe Sample's opening chords (and Stix Hooper's sputtering snares), giving birth anew to each day for me. Each morning was filled with promise as the Lord saw fit and as Joe kept playing. Should the song come up at any random time later in the day, I'd still give it a listen. I'd still remember every note of Joe's solo. (I'd still walk in perfect pace with Stix Hooper's driving beat.) It's a song with a swinging brilliance that transcends McCartney & Lennon's original somberness, that would transcend any unpleasant sense memory of being snatched from the blanket of unconsciousness. Joe Sample could just play like that.
Triveni's third album, Dark Nights is (it won't surprise you, based on the album title) a nighttime album. With just a few exceptions, the tunes on here are taken at a very slow tempo, creating a moody atmosphere full of the great individual playing and interplay among Avishai Cohen, Omer Avital, and Nasheet Waits that you would expect based on their previous two albums together. That said, Dark Nights has a number of new twists that very much set this apart from Introducing Triveni and Triveni II.
One of the best kept secrets of jazz today is how everyone in Punch Brothers is masquerading as a bluegrass musician. Oh, sure, they claim that they play bluegrass and have thrown the genre on its ear and have functioned as a gateway to the genre at large, but the way the quintet improvises so masterfully really just points to these guys playing a huge ruse on us al. The latest evidence of this fact is in the recent work guitarist Chris Eldridge has done with jazz guitarist (and not afraid to show it) Julian Lage. Last year, the pair released a duo EP called Closer to Picture. Now they're about to release a full-length album, Avalon, out October 7th. In support of the new album, they're releasing the Close to Picture EP for free at NoiseTrade with a new alternate take and an upcoing single from the new album. Check a stream and download link for the charming collection of songs -- the perfect melding of jazz, folk, and bluegrass -- after the jump.
The video for bassist Thundercat's "Tron Song", from his sophomore release of last year, Apocalypse, makes no damn sense. This is, of course, to be expected considering the madcap antics of Steven Bruner and the even more insanity that comes from the video's director, the certainly off-kilter Eric Andre. The video which includes Bruner as his cat, Tron, Bruner getting beat up by a cop before both he and the cop fall in love with Tron, cat poop turning into a handgun, and effects right out of the 1980s. It's pretty crazy. Check it out after the jump.
Bassist Owen Biddle and drummer Zach Danzinger have never been afraid to jam. The pair have their duo, Edit Bunker, jamming together in 70s-era Rob Reiner wigs over clips of All in the Family projected in the background, and their trio, Mister Barrington (alongside vocalist & keyboardist Oli Rockberger), have been a pretty spectacular modern fusion band for the last few years with their third release set to release soon (and it's just as good as their last two albums). However, Biddle has been dropping hints over the last couple weeks of a new project, Aerobe, recorded in Antwerp, Belgium. Aerobe features keyboardist and electronic musician Adriaan Van de Velde and saxophonist Andrew Claes. This group gets really spacey in all the best ways. Tune out for a bit with some of the samples the group have released on their SoundCloud and check out a video of a session they recorded last month after the jump.