Source: I CARE IF YOU LISTEN.
Peabody Conservatory professor David Smooke is also a composer and performer. He has a new album out called Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death on New Focus Recordings, with upcoming release events in Brooklyn and San Francisco. That album title alone was enough to make us crave to know more.
Source. The New York Times.
Kamasi Washington began this year literally hobbled: After breaking an ankle on tour in Europe, he followed doctor’s orders and canceled a series of shows. Still, that pause hardly slowed the onrushing momentum that Mr. Washington, a commandingly charismatic tenor saxophonist and bandleader, has gathered since the release of his momentous debut, “The Epic.”
That aptly titled triple album — a horizon-scanning jazz opus girded with funk and soul — was one of the biggest stories in music in 2015. Mr. Washington spent much of this year carrying its message forward, both in legacy settings, like the Newport Jazz Festival, and places where a jazz musician can rarely be found, like Coachella.
Source: The New York Times.
The trumpeter and composer Wadada Leo Smith made not one but two of this year’s standout jazz releases. “America’s National Parks,” a suite on two discs, features his Golden Quintet, made up of longtime associates like the pianist Anthony Davis and the drummer Pheeroan akLaff. “A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke” is a duo session with another colleague, the pianist Vijay Iyer, inspired by the art of the Indian modernist Nasreen Mohamedi.
The albums are sonically and temperamentally distinct, but they both have something to say about transformation, which Mr. Smith, a longtime member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, considers central to his work.