Editor choice

The best new jazz albums | Editor’s Choice – October 2021

Featuring stellar new albums from Pat Metheny, Eric Bibb, Terence Blanchard, Brandee Younger and more


Eric Bibb (g, v), Selwyn Arnold (org), Eric Galesk, Staffan Astner (g), Chuck Campbell (lapsteel), Christer Vandola (mand), Billy branch (hca, v), Ron Carter (b), Tommy Sims (b, v, g), Steve Jordan (d), Shaneeka Simon, Lisa Mills, Big Daddy Wilson, Andre De Lang (v) with Glen Scott (ky, syn, f, g, b, d, perc, v ). Rec. date not indicated

“Without haranguing the listener, Bibb digs deep into a hundred years of American gospel, blues, and virtuous 1960s soul to ask deep questions about why so little has changed between the Civil Rights era. and the Trump mistake.” Andy Robson

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blue note

Terence Blanchard

“A dazzling tribute to saxophonist Wayne Shorter that combines the interactive flow of the E Collective he formed in 2016 with the finesse of the Turtle Island String Quartet. Fusing his compositional mastery with Terence Blanchard’s small band skills that he honed with Art Blakey, the album fully captures Shorter’s freewheeling spirit, dramatic storytelling and oblique harmonies. Mike Hobart

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Andrew Cyrille (d), Bill Frisell (g) David Virelles (p, syn) and Ben Street (b). Rec. 2020

“Cyrille’s often painterly textural invention has always been exceptional, and here he shows perfect mastery of low tempo over audaciously spacious and sparse material where he chooses each snare or ride cymbal strike with utmost care, as whether the notes were punctuation in a letter or exclamation marks in an intimate conversation. Kevin Le Gendre

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whaling town sound

Gerry Gibbs (d), Chick Corea, Patrice Rushen, Geoff Keezer, Kenny Barron (p), Larry Goldings (kys), Ron Carter, Buster Williams, Christian McBride (b) and Kyeshie Gibbs (d). Rec. 2020

“This polished and dedicatedly crafted double album is a vehicle for a lot of exciting jazz by a superb cast, but it also has a rich flow of stories running through it. Songs From My Father is New York drummer Gerry Gibbs’ personal tribute to his 96-year-old father and bop-vibes legend Terry, involving 10 months of work and 15,000 miles of driving and pandemic-restricted meetings for Gibbs Jnr to involve four-star versions of his nine-year-old Thrasher Dream Trio across the United States. John Fordham

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BMG/Modern Recordings

Pat Metheny (g, g syn, el b), James Francies (p, org, syn) and Marcus Gilmore (d). Rec. 2019

“Our received idea of ​​Pat Metheny is that there is not one, but two Pat Methenys. There is the Pat Metheny who loves to jam, whether on his memorable 80/81, or with his trio on albums like Threesome 99 > 00, Threesome > Live and Pat Metheny Dave Holland Roy Haynes, and there’s the Pat Metheny formerly of the Pat Metheny band and now the repository of his sound, like on the 2020s From this place. After setting the bar incredibly high with this latest album (and more recently with road to the sun), an album of acclaimed classical compositions and arrangements, his current project/band Side Eye features young musicians making waves in today’s New York jazz scene. Stuart Nicholson

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Adam Fairhall (org), Mark Hanslip (ts) and Johnny Hunter (d). Rec. August 1 and 2, 2018

“This self-titled debut album from Adam Fairhall, Mark Hanslip and Johnny Hunter teems with ideas, delivered with a sly wit and unflinching confidence. With the exception of a soft reading of Carla Bley’s ‘Ida Lupino’, each track here is an original, ranging from Hanslip’s gospel-tinged ballad “Day of Rest” to the fractured boogaloo of Hunter’s “April.” Daniel Spicer

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Brandee Younger (hp), Maurice Brown

“From the inventive composition of the stunning debut album ‘Reclamation’ to the heavy ostinato of the final track, ‘Tickled Pink’, which is irrevocably reminiscent of Pharoah’s iconic ‘The Creator Has A Master Plan’ Karma, Brandee Younger’s first major label on Impulse! Records is a work of overflowing imagination and fascinating artistry. Pierre Quinn

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