Thursday, June 18, 2009

Recommended Listening: Dave Douglas "Spirit Moves"

Dave Douglas is back with yet another new record. After releasing killer albums with his "Keystone" and "Quintet" groups in the past two years, the trumpeter has just released Spirit Moves with his five-piece brass ensemble - Brass Ectasy.

While the material is what one would expect from the prolific composer - nine original compositions plus covers of Otis Redding and Steve Cropper's "Mister Pitiful" and Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" - the instrumentation is a departure from his previous ensembles. Douglas' trumpet is joined by french horn, trombone, tuba and drums, played by Vincent Chancey, Luis Bonilla, Marcus Rojas and Nasheet Waits respectively.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Recommended Listening: Darcy James Argue's Secret Society "Infernal Machines"

I've read several recent articles on an apparent big band revival and composer Darcy James Argue's name always seems to be at the forefront of the movement.

His ensemble, Darcy James Argue's Secret Society, has just released its debut recording Infernal Machines to rave reviews.

Argue describes the music made by his 18-piece group as "steampunk big band." I hear it as a combination of rock, classical and jazz music that will hopefully tune a younger generation of listeners in to instrumental big band music.

The composer's blog also serves as the band's website and there are a ton of free mp3s of live performances available. If you like what you're hearing, support the musicians and purchase the album!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Recommended Listening: Chris Potter "Ultrahang"

Saxophonist Chris Potter has just released a new record with his group "Underground."

The album, entitled Ultrahang, features Adam Rogers (guitar), Craig Taborn (Fender Rhodes) and Nate Smith (drums) on a collection of original material and covers of songs by Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell.

Potter is releasing the album himself through ArtistShare. Since 2003, ArtistShare has been allowing fans to show appreciation for their favorite artists by funding their recording projects in exchange for access to the creative process, LTD Edition recordings, VIP access to recording sessions and even credit listing on the CD.