San Antonio-based writer and radio host Anthony Dean-Harris takes over for a round up of new jazz tracks he’s been digging – and playing – this month…
After over a dozen or so years of making jazz radio that’s always new, I’m as conscious of the energy I’m trying to mold over one or two hours as much as I am about the rate of churn I think the shows should have programming shows that are designed to be current.
Still, in a kind of compartmentalized sense of myself, there are the selections that bleed through, those things I encounter in the world or in some other orbit that I just had to bring to the radio instead of it being the other way around.
So here are 9 tracks I dug in September…
KingKlavé, “5/4 joint” feat. Joshua Crumbly
From: his self-titled debut album KingKlavé
I’ve been looking forward to percussionist Amaury Acosta’s debut album for years and am glad it’s finally here. It’s dope and you should hear it. It’s worth the years of hype of “the album is almost done”.
It’s all kinds of vibes and everyone one would expect from this dude from Hell’s Kitchen.
Tumi Mogorosi, “Mmama”
From: Group Theory: Black Music
I never take recommendations but this was by result of one of the few times I did from a friend who texted me that I should check this out.
I actually held the Bandcamp link open in a tab for weeks until I finally played the album while house-sitting for her sister. I was moved to the core while drunkenly swimming in her sister’s pool, and texted her about how great a choice this was.
I bought the album on Bandcamp and included four songs in the KRTU library the following weekend. Every now and then something breaks through my hard shell.
Theo Croker, “To Be We” feat. Jill Scott
From: Love Quantum
I’ve wanted to play this on the radio from the moment the single dropped and I’ve been a sucker for this song ever since.
Croker has the same reverence for Jill Scott as I do, and I love that I get to play a song on the radio with the lyrics “Freedom is delicious. Freedom is my favorite position.”
Makaya McCraven, “Dream Another”
From: In These Times
Makaya McCraven makes vibes and I’ve always appreciated them, so I stayed on top of the release cycle for this album. It’s as excellent as every previous album and continues the line of the energy he pulls together from his Chicago compatriots.
Billy Mohler, “Exit”
When Anatomy dropped in June, I took note about how it was one of my favorite albums of 2022. This is me still making note of that as the year keeps rolling along. This quartet of bassist Mohler, saxophonist Chris Speed, trumpeter Shane Endsley, and drummer Nate Wood totally kill.
Julian Lage, “Heart Is A Drum”
From: View With A Room
Julian Lage has become the master of making neat & tidy little releases that give you everything you want out of a guitar album. He’s really found something alongside bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer Dave King. Adding Bill Frisell into the mix makes things even sweeter.
David Virelles, “Ignacio Villa” feat. Julio Barreto
I keep circling back to Nuna in my programming the show in the last few months, it’s still surviving the churn, but whenever I’m in the booth and Barreto’s percussion kicks into gear and Virelles changes pace, it always calls my attention.
Wanye Shorter/Terri Lyne Carrington/Leo Genevieve/esperanza spalding, “Endangered Species” off Live at the Detroit Jazz Festival
I’m cheating here in that I actually haven’t played this song on the radio yet because it’s not in the KRTU library since it’s not great to have too many 20+ minute songs in there, but I’m including it here because I’m a sucker for this song.
Katalyst, “Summer Solstice”
I have been loving each and every Jazz Is Dead album that Ali Shaheed Muhammad & Adrian Younge have released and their release with Katalyst is as excellent as the previous dozen. But the energy this band corrals in this song takes the whole cake. I love coming in hot on the mic right after this song ends.
Carlos Niño & Friends, “Actually”
From: Actual Presence
Everything about this album is too cool, but this tune is probably one of my favorites to play on the radio. It not being one of the singles is probably an element in this. Not that the singles aren’t great, but I have a tendency to pick my own personal favorites and this is definitely one of them.