Guitarist/composer/cult leader Chris Schlarb makes great music. The work that he has done over the years with his band, Psychic Temple, have melded jazz, rock, and noise influences together into some new creation that is wholly engrossing. One of the latest of Schlarb's numerous projects is a soundtrack he put together for his friend Jay Tholen's new video game, Dropsy (out next Thursday on Steam), which is what he describes as essentially a new Psychic Temple album (though not to supplant the upcoming Psychic Temple III which is still somewhere around the bend). What results is what Schlarb describes as the "jazziest" thing he's ever done.
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey are stupid fun live (at least this is what I gather from video and recordings, since I've yet to experience this personally). Keyboardist Brian Haas, guitarist Chris Combs, and percussionist Josh Raymer (amongst numerous other variations of all their primary instruments, of course, to serve the craziness) have a raucous good time making their raucous music, especially on the road, as their video for "Tetherball Triumph" and their new video for "Appropriation Song" can attest. These are all from the new live album JFJO is releasing tomorrow, The Battle for Earth, recorded over two days at Dazzle in Denver, CO, one of those spots in one of those cities where many Royal Potato Family shows tend to roll through and seems quite amenable to the crazy jazz music these guys make. Check out the video after the jump.
It's pretty amazing how such an unassuming piano trio album works so well. In their self-titled album from earlier this year, the trio known as ARK of pianist Carlos Homs, bassist Karl McComas-Reichl, and drummer Colin Stranahan have put together twelve very neat, compact songs that traverse the range of the modern jazz genre in all the ways an acoustic piano trio will go.
Drummer Kendrick Scott is a modern marvel as a performer and as a composer. Every one of his releases with his band, Oracle, have been extremely impressive, and his latest, We Are The Drum continues in that same trend. The album featuring the always impressive saxophonist John Ellis, keyboardist Taylor Eigsti, guitarist Mike Moreno, and bassist Joe Sanders keeps the same ebulliently contemplative vibe that Scott's songs have always held and are expressed just as well with such great musicianship. The title track which opens the album contains all the promise one could fathom for this release, though it's certainly a hell of an hour (and the cover of Flying Lotus' "Never Catch Me" takes the song to a whole new level). Check out a stream of "We Are The Drum" after the jump before the whole album drops September 25 on Blue Note Records.
Trumpeter Josh Evans is set to release a new album on Oliver Lake's Passin' Thru imprint, Hope and Despair, on September 18th. It's a quite decent straight-ahead affair with Evans as a vibrant voice working alongside and equally respectable band. To get ready for the imminent release, Evans' has just released the song "Chronic Mistakes". Check out the stream after the jump.