Last weekend while drinking with friends new and old, I took part in a game wherein various bands were ranked in order of financial relevancy (not cultural relevancy, this is important). Considering these friends weren't entirely jazz folks, it was nice to get my head out that typical space (the work here at Nextbop never stops, I thought I told you that we won't stop). Yet when I mentioned how this game was the perfect exercise for me, someone constantly tilting at windmills for the sake of jazz's life force, I was rejoined by my new friend Katie with this jewel that I just had to steal-- Who cares if it's dead; is it relevant? Nothing seemed to sum up jazz's fight better.
The whole time pianist Brad Mehldau and mandolinist & singer Chris Thile took the stage of Austin's Paramount Theater, one couldn't help but wonder why this hadn't happened long ago. The master piano player, known worldwide as a game changer in the jazz genre, seemed the perfect fit for the man recognized by the nebulous MacArthur Foundation this past year for stretching the boundaries of bluegrass music. Thile always had a jazz sound to his frenetic, mellifluous style of plucking and Mehldau always had a little bit of everything else. For the last date on their duo tour together before parting ways this past Saturday, April 20, this pair proved they are a perfect match.
You may have had the chance to hear some of it on The Line-Up but now you can finally get saxophonist Uri Gurvich's new album, BabEl, for your own. The album, which released today on Tzadik Records, features Leo Genevese on keys, Peter Slavov on bass, and Francisco Mela on drums and special guest Brahim Fribgane on oud & percussion. Watch the EPK for the album after the jump and make sure to cop it on Amazon, iTunes, and the TZADIK website.
I would have attempted a 4/20 playlist for tomorrow but day-specific playlists are hard. Also, I felt this to be a particularly strong week of music releases posted on Nextbop and wanted to compile them into an hour. Seriously, it's been a good week musically.
The Line-Up for 19 April 2013
Darcy James Argue's Secret Society's new album, Brooklyn Babylon, is out April 30th on New Amsterdam Records and it's a doozy. The collaboration with artist Danijel Zezelj certainly lives up to the sprawling narrative sound we've all heard so much about. This truly is an impressive album and the next logical step for Argue's band.