As we approach the end of 2022, San Antonio-based writer and radio host Anthony Dean-Harris takes over for another monthly round up of new jazz tracks he’s been digging – and playing…
This turns into a busy time for me as I also sort through my favorite albums of the year, but taking the time to think about just the past month does perhaps help with the process.
It gives snapshots in moments on which I can reflect. It’s another piece of emotional data pulled apart from the rest.
So here are 10 tracks I dug in November…
Michael Blake, “Focus Pocus”
Usually, I move on from an album after reviewing it for a publication, but Michael Blake’s Combobulate really stuck with me, so it stays in radio rotation for another month.
Olli Hirvonen, “Outline”
I was sent this album months ago when it felt too early to have it and almost forgot about it after one play through, but somehow kept in mind that it was one of those Q4 releases that I needed to circle back to in its proper time.
Kielo is largely a more somber, contemplative album, but there are a few more rollicking tunes that I knew would be perfect for the radio. This is one of them.
Avram Fefer, “Brother Ibrahim”
From: Juba Lee
Juba Lee has been one of the real joys this last month. This band with Eric Revis, Chad Taylor, and Marc Ribot is something to take note.
They’re a fun, inventive quartet.
Duduka Da Fonseca & Quarteto Universal, “Lilia”
I’m a sucker for Milton Nascimento after spending probably much of this last summer playing Wayne Shorter’s Native Dancer repeatedly, so when I stumbled on this take on the tune in the library, I gravitated to it immediately.
Tyshawn Sorey Trio +1 with Greg Osby, “Night And Day”
From: The Off-Off Broadway Guide to Synergism
It’s weird trying to program live sets into radio but I do it anyway for real burners like this album.
This particular tune is a long cut that one would use sparingly on the radio but I like the task of programming around it on a specialty show.
Give it the time to breathe that it should. Give it a set by itself.
The Comet Is Coming, “Frequency of Feeling Expansion”
From: Hyper-Dimensional Expansion Beam
This album made it to the station and made for easy pickings for the back end of a set.
This is always a fun group and probably an easy suggestion for folks who ask what to get into when they want to get into the genre and blah blah blah (I bore of the question).
JD Allen, “Down South”
From: Americana Vol. 2
I’m keeping the new JD Allen in rotation. It’s got a great vibe that I’m enjoying a great deal. It’s the most I’ve loved a JD Allen album in quite some time.
Makaya McCraven, “This Place That Place”
From: In These Times
I will continue to play this album through to the end of the year.
Part of it is determination and my commitment to a bit, but it’s moreso that it’s worthy of it, as all Makaya McCraven albums are.
Jacob Bro, Joe Lovano, “As It Should Be”
From: Once Around the Room: A Tribute to Paul Motian
Everything about this album is just what the elements require- an ECM released tribute to Paul Motian with two drummers, three bassists, a guitarist, and a saxophonist, all prime players truly listening to each other.
This track is spooky and moody and free while maintaining form. It can be a hard sell, but you have to let it breathe, just like the work of Paul Motian.
The Ostara Project, “Delta Sky”
From: their self-titled album
I got a call in the on air booth one Saturday afternoon this last month asking about this group.
I distinctly remember his enthusiasm, and my need to spell out the name of the group (which I subsequently did on the following mic break) for him to look them up later. That interaction is why this makes the list this month.
Big thanks to Anthony for putting this together.
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