The Bad Plus Prove San Antonio They’re Just as Great Live as On Their Albums

The Bad Plus Prove San Antonio They’re Just as Great Live as On Their Albums

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

In 14 years together as a group, rhythms get to be familiar. This thematically was what I was getting at in the preview piece I wrote for the San Antonio Current of The Bad Plus’ show last night at San Antonio’s Aztec Theater. There’s a sense of familiarity in the rhythm, a knowledge of direction. When I asked them how they do what they do, for example, in Reid Anderson’s composition, “Physical Cities” off 2007′s Prog (a song the trio unfortunately didn’t play last night, something just a tad too complicated and a little too far back in their catalog to perform with the level of precision these guys are proud to demonstrate in every show), while I expected some sort of breakdown of specific counting, a lesson of polyrhythms that couldn’t possibly have been conveyed to such a tender-minded admirer in the span of time of the tail end of a dinner break, Iverson jokingly answered they did so through telepathy. One might over 14 years of playing together and building such a body of work, most recently with Inevitable Western on the Sony-OKeh label, seriously consider that as a possibility.

Their performance put on by the Arts San Antonio organization as the close of their 2013-2014 season (today, October 1, being the new fiscal year, caps off the first day of the 2014-2015 season) was the first time The Bad Plus, the genre-expanding trio of pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Reid Anderson, and percussionist Dave King had ever played in San Antonio. This show is actually nestled in the middle of a tour of southern U.S. cities that the trio had never had the chance to play before. There was certainly the hope that this crowd would show up and show out. There were a lot of hopes involved here. This performance was one of the first in the newly renovated Aztec Theater, a historic, Egyptian-themed former movie theater built in 1926 in downtown San Antonio alongside a cluster other equally ornately-designed theaters, including the Majestic (built in ’29) and the Empire (built in ’19), both just a block away. Various endeavors intertwined with the effort to bring back nightlife to downtown San Antonio have been enmeshed with the Aztec’s running. After being shut for so many months after a few rather sigh-inducing endeavors at other season-long nightly shows, a new booking agent has stepped up to the plate and filled the 1,600-capacity venue (with standing cocktail tables) with acts like Broken Bells and Switchfoot with Arts San Antonio sidling in and integrating its potpourri season with the venue. As tour dates opened up for TBP and this slot just so happened to be in the Aztec’s newly-made schedule, it seemed like serendipity all around, and quite the eye-opener at that. Quite rarely do so many natives to a city say “Y’know, I’ve never even been here before?” Such a show like this, bringing out the city’s familiar jazz crowd (and the region’s jazzbros who show up specifically for shows like this; who knew San Antonio even had them?) shows promise that maybe the city can keep supporting shows like this, and maybe former mayor (now U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary) Julian Castro’s “decade of downtown” is still on track. A nearly full Aztec Theater is definitely a good sign of that.

Understanding the brilliance of what this trio is doing in a live setting and in their recorded work involves understanding what can happen when already brilliant, creative people have been working together for an ongoing length of time. In the original compositions on their latest album, Inevitable Western, it makes sense for the initiated to say it’s “another Bad Plus album”. It sounds naturally like what Iverson, Anderson, and King would write, work out over time, and play. Their solos are in familiar places, individually and simultaneously. Polyrhythms and irregular time rear their heads. Remembering the intricacy of these compositions is a feat, most certainly, but knowing intuitively where each musician is rhythmically is part of the job. I’m not saying it’s not difficult, but as it relates specifically to these guys, it’s not not difficult (at least not entirely).

Thus, whether discussing the new group of songs the trio have put together on Inevitable Western or their performance last night in San Antonio, there isn’t that large a distinction to make. It would be akin to comparing an invigorating, evening drive home on clear streets in a Honda Civic with a drag race in the same car outfitted for the same purpose. You’re still going fast, perhaps just as seamlessly maneuvering. However, the objective of the drive is altered somewhat, even if it’s still just as fun. For songs like “Gold Prism Incorporated”, it’s a marvel what these guys are pulling off. It’s not just that they can free improvise like this, it’s that they can do so simultaneously in these intricate polyrhythms that flow relentlessly throughout the piece. On “Do It Again”, things get jangly, and Iverson’s right hand went crazy on the far end of the Steinway imported from Austin. On “Self Serve”, one goes through the evening’s constant reminder that it’s just hard to keep your eyes off King on the drums, though Iverson building up his playing to a quick stand-up flourish as a capper isn’t worth missing, either. Speaking about the group compositionally or performatively are so closely related that it’s practically impossible to try to separate the two.

Essentially, this trio not only sounds great together on every recording they’ve ever released (though some albums are admittedly stronger than others), but they’re just as brilliant live. One simply cannot look at this group and separate their recorded work from their live performances because the rhythm that flows between them is part and parcel of the band themselves. Each members’ very countenances leans into this rhythm. In a moment earlier in the evening as Iverson and King were speaking with those organizing the show and determining how to handle selling merch up front, both Iverson and King sorted through the issues, and closed the point almost absentmindedly, in a nature that would only come from them, stated in unison, “We need to sell stuff” (and judging from the line for autographs at the end of the night, there were many fans, the veterans and the newcomers alike, who definitely unloaded some of those copies of Inevitable Western, The Rite of Spring, and 2012′s Made Possible from these dudes when all was said and done). Even in their off moments, their rhythm and timing is unassailable. Whether it’s on a show, on an album, or just hanging with these these guys, The Bad Plus have reached heights in their collaborative rapport that far surpasses a jazz band. TBP is a state of being.

The Bad Plus continue their tour through the South before making their way back to the Northeast before heading to Japan and then Europe throughout November. Check out their upcoming tour dates.
October 2014
01 Baton Rouge, LA — The Listening Room
02 Little Rock, AR — South on Main
04 Fayetteville, AR — Starr Theater
05 Atlanta, GA — Variety Playhouse
18 Durham, NC — Duke University
23 New York, NY — NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts
24 Ithaca, NY — The Hangar Theater
25 Wilmington, DE — World Cafe Live
26 Vienna, VA — Barns at Wolf Trap
30 Tokyo, JAP — Cotton Club
November 2014
01 Tokyo, JAP — Cotton Club
02 Tokyo JAP — Cotton Club
07 Hertogenbosch, NDL — Verkadefabriek
08 Hertogenbosch, NDL — Verkadefabriek
09 Mannheim, DEU — Alte Feuerwache gGmbH
10 Zurich, CHE — Moods
11 Middelburg, NDL — Schuttershofcafe
12 Odense, DNK — Jazzhus Dexter
13 Oslo, NOR — Nasjonal Jazzscene, Victoria
14 Gothenburg, SWE — Nefertiti
15 Hasselt, BEL — cc Hsselt
16 Amsterdam, NDL — Bimhuis
17 London, UK — London Jazz Festival
18 Toulouse, FRA — Salle Nougaro
20 Zagreb, HRV — ZKM, Zagreb Youth Theatre
22 Gdasnk, POL — Polska Filharmonia Baltycka Gdansk

Inevitable Western, the latest album from The Bad Plus (one of two albums the trio have released this year) is available now on iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play on Sony/OKeh Records

Nextbop @ Art of Cool editor Anthony Dean-Harris hosts the modern jazz radio show, The Line-Up, Fridays at 9pm CST on 91.7 FM KRTU San Antonio and is also a contributing writer to DownBeat Magazine. You should follow him on Twitter.

Mark de Clive-Lowe – “Sketch for Miguel” (Video)

Mark de Clive-Lowe – “Sketch for Miguel” (Video)

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

One of the albums of this past summer has definitely been Mark de Clive-Lowe‘s CHURCH. It’s a work that masterfully melds jazz and a cadre of other genres. We’ve definitely taken a shining to it here at Nextbop. Now, just on the arrival of CHURCH‘s new coppability on limited edition180-gram vinyl for sale at his Bandcamp, de Clive-Lowe has just released video for “Sketch for Miguel” featuring the maestro Miguel Atwood-Ferguson (who has finally released his own solo material on his own namesake and with his Quartetto Fantastico, both of which I should probably have). Check out the video for this most chill (until it reaches to ethereal heights) song after the jump.


video shot, directed and edited by Eric Coleman for Mochilla
original studio recording session filmed at Stagg Street Studios, Los Angeles

Mark de Clive-Lowe – piano/rhodes/keyboards/electronics
Miguel Atwood-Ferguson – viola
Ben Shepherd – bass
Jamire Williams – drums

Mark de Clive-Lowe’s CHURCH is available now at his Bandcamp and iTunes on Ropeadope Records.

Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood – ‘Juicy Lucy’ (Video)

Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood – ‘Juicy Lucy’ (Video)

Ben Gray
Staff Writer
bengray417@gmail.com

Medeski, Martin, & Wood recently teamed up with guitarist John Scofield for their fourth album together as a quartet, Juice. As you might expect, the album features mostly hard-grooving tracks with plenty of Medeski on the organ. This time around there is more acoustic piano in the mix than in previous outings with Scofield, but otherwise these four have found a very comfortable groove and can run with it. They recently released their first video from Juice, for a tune they’re calling “Juicy Lucy” (presumably a play on “Louie Louie”, which you can be excused for thinking this sounds like a cover of, even if it’s an old Cuban riff according to the artists). The video features two couples dancing in their home, one of which is Billy Martin’s parents, and intersperses some performance footage. Check it out after the jump.

MSMW will be touring Europe behind Juice through the month of November, and will return to North America in December:
Thu 11/06/2014 – Ghent, Belgium – Bijloke
Fri 11/07/2014 – Heusden-Zolder, Belgium – MUZE
Sat 11/08/2014 – Zagreb, Croatia – ZKM
Sun 11/09/2014 – Prague, Czech Republic – Lucerna Music Bar
Tue 11/11/2014 – Las Palmas, Spain – Teatro Perez Galdos
Wed 11/12/2014 – Madrid, Spain – Centro Cultural Conde Duque Madrid
Thu 11/13/2014 – Padova, Italy – Padova Jazz Festival
Fri 11/14/2014 – Ingolstadt, Germany – Audi Forum
Sat 11/15/2014 – Tarnow, Poland – Centrum Sztuki Moscice
Mon 11/17/2014 – Budapest, Hungary – Palace of Arts – Budapest
Tue 11/18/2014 – Barcelona, Spain – BARTS – Barcelona Arts On Stage
Wed 11/19/2014 – Basel, Switzerland – Volkshaus Basel
Thu 11/20/2014 – Bologna, Italy – Teatro Duse
Fri 11/21/2014 – Athen, Greece – Onassis Cultural Center
Sat 11/22/2014 – Paris, France – New Morning
Thu 12/04/2014 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
Fri 12/05/2014 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
Sat 12/06/2014 – Westhampton Beach, NY – Westhampton Beach PAC
Sun 12/07/2014 – Boston, MA – House of Blues Boston
Mon 12/08/2014 – Durham, NC – Carolina Theatre
Tue 12/09/2014 – Atlanta, GA – Symphony Hall
Thu 12/11/2014 – New York, NY – Terminal 5
Fri 12/12/2014 – Toronto, ON Canada – Massey Hall
Sat 12/13/2014 – Chicago, IL – Vic Theatre
Sun 12/14/2014 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue

The Line-Up for 26 September 2014

The Line-Up for 26 September 2014

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

It’s the steady celebration of the new and I’m getting hype for The Bad Plus playing in San Antonio on Tuesday.

The Line-Up for 26 September 2014

Jason Moran – Handful of Keys
I’ve been loving this song more and more with each play. I’ve been telling people about how brilliant it is with folks responding back to me with approval but not that knowing approval that satisfies my innate need to feel this appreciation for Moran’s take on “Handful of Keys” is reciprocated. It’s a serious kind of love.
Flying Lotus – Breathe . Something/Stellar STar
Otis Brown III – Stages of Thought
Otis Brown III’s The Thought of You is spectacular and a fine addition to the Blue Note catalog, especially for songs like these.
Matt Ulery – Sweet Bitter feat. Zach Brock
Violinist Zach Brock is a star. I’m swearing on this. Zach Brock is a star.
Mndsgn – Sheets
The Bad Plus – Inevitable Western
The excitement I have to hear The Bad Plus play in San Antonio tomorrow, September 30th at the newly reopened Aztec Theater, is palpable. I’ve been giving Inevitable Western a lot of play lately and uncovering its layers.
Avishai Cohen’s Trivini – Dark Nights, Darker Days
I was really intrigued by Ben Gray’s review of Trevini’s Dark Nights, so I just had to give this some play on the show this week
Mndsgn – Frugality
Walter Smith III – Kaleidoscope
The release of Smith’s Still Casual snuck up on me. I’ll have to get this in my rotation now so I can really dig into it.
Jochen Rueckert – We Make the Rules
Ben Gray just reviewed We Make the Rules at Nextbop and I felt his look at the album was spot on.
Steve Lehman Octet – Chimera/Luchini
While I’ve been putting other music in my rotation lately, I’m still coming back to Mise En Abîme. The obsession has hardly waned.
Teebs – Pretty Poly
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey – Betamax
I’ve just gotten ahold of the new JFJO album, Worker. I’m looking forward to how that’ll work in my rotation.

Jochen Rueckert – ‘We Make the Rules’

Jochen Rueckert – ‘We Make the Rules’

Ben Gray
Staff Writer
bengray417@gmail.com

There is nothing wrong with Jochen Rueckert’s new album We Make The Rules. Rueckert is on the drums and is joined by a fantastic group of musicians – Mark Turner on sax, Matt Penman on bass, and Lage Lund on guitar – to round out his quartet. Rueckert has been based in New York City since 1995 and has played with many of the leading voices in jazz during that time (Kurt Rosenwinkel, Sam Yahel, Will Vinson, Mark Copland, and Seamus Blake, among others), but is a relatively low-profile name despite his top-notch chops on display here. This quartet has been together for several years and reconvened to record these songs in the studio after road-testing them and working out the kinks (in fact, Rueckert, Penman, and Turner also played on Rueckert’s 2011 album somewhere, meeting nobody, along with guitarist Brad Shepik). All of the songs on We Make The Rules are Rueckert originals, and all of the tunes are very “contemporary jazz”, if that is a reasonable term to use, giving the album a unified feel.

Starting with the drum roll on “Eggshells”, the album’s opener, the tunes on here are mostly mid-tempo, harmonically adventurous stuff with sinewy melodies delivered by Turner’s sax. The tempo is pushed and pulled, the chords are rearranged courtesy of Lund’s guitar voicings, Rueckert and Penman are locked together to create a solid rhythmic foundation, and the improvisation is fresh throughout the album. All four members of of the band cohere to make this sound come together, and despite the band leader being perhaps the lowest-profile musician on the record, the tunes on here will almost certainly appeal to fans of these artists’ work elsewhere. This isn’t to say that there is no diversity on the record – album closer “Manong Twilight at the Whatever Hotel” is at a ballad tempo and has Turner’s sax getting a sort of buzzing tone in places, for instance, and “Bess” is similarly at a ballad tempo, but there is an overall feel of sameness on the album. As I said to open this review, though – there is nothing wrong with the album. This would be a nice album to have on vinyl, because anywhere the needle dropped would reveal fantastic playing and would find new interactions. Given that it’s 2014 and the album is on shuffle on your iPod, be sure to take some time with the title track, “We Make The Rules”, featuring a catchy guitar arpeggio that opens the tune and sets the stage for what is to come– excellent mid- to up-tempo improvisation.

Jochen Rueckert Quartet, “Alloplasty” Live at Small’s, Jan. 12, 2014
(featuring Orlando LeFleming on bass in place of Matt Penman)

There is nothing about this album that doesn’t work, and it is very much recommended listening. I would propose, however, the following experiment. First, get yourself worked up over something. Second, go take a walk outside and sing something like Thelonious Monk’s “Nutty” as loud as you can. Feeling better? Now try that same experiment with Rueckert’s “Alloplasty”. Hmm. I find myself looking for more of a catchy melodic line to hang onto with many of the tunes on here. This shouldn’t be a huge complaint, given the volume of jazz whose melodic line isn’t as catchy as “Nutty”, and it isn’t a huge complaint given the quality of the playing from Rueckert, Turner, Lund, and Penman on this album. In particular, the album serves as an excellent showcase for Rueckert’s drumming, very much on par with names like Jeff Ballard or Marcus Gilmore that are perhaps better known. Following on We Make The Rules, we can hope to see and hear more from Rueckert.

We Make The Rules is out October 14th on Whirlwind Records.

Track List:
Eggshells
Pretty from Afar
Saul Goodman
We Make The Rules
Bess
The Cook Strait
Alloplasty
Yellow Bottoms
Manong Twilight at the Whatever Hotel

Jochen Rueckert Quartet Tour Dates:
(Rueckert, drums; Mark Turner, sax; Lage Lund, guitar; Chris Smith, bass)
1st October – Stadtgarten Cologne, Germany 20:30
2nd October – Leipzig, Telegraph Germany 20:30
3rd October – Jazzschmiede Duesseldorf, Germany 20:30
4th October – Karlsruhe, Germany 20:30
8th October – World of basses, Reutlingen, Germany 20:00
9th October – Pizza Express, London, U.K. 20;30
10th October – Paradox, Tilburg, Netherlands 20:30
11th October – Jazzkeller, Frankfurt, Germany

A Look at the Best Jazz Festivals Across Europe

A Look at the Best Jazz Festivals Across Europe

Mary Jo
Contributing Writer
info@nextbop.com

Europe is home to a thriving jazz scene and each year boasts an impressive number of fabulous jazz festivals which enable people of all ages to get involved with this popular and engaging music genre. With this in mind, here is my first-hand guide to some of the best jazz festivals to attend in Europe next year.

Copenhagen Jazz Festival
This fabulous jazz event has been a regular feature in the Danish capital for over three decades now. The festival is held in the first week of July and features a remarkable number of concerts which take place in iconic venues across the city. Over the years, the Copenhagen Jazz Festival has welcomed many talented musicians including Tony Bennett, Sérgio Mendes and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. I found this festival to be home to a unique atmosphere and structure, whilst the additional feature of surprise guests keeps everyone on their toes. The general feel of Copenhagen’s jazz extravaganza is that of an amiable get-together of global music lovers.

Paris Jazz Festival
This unforgettable jazz festival is held at Paris’ Parc Floral on an annual basis and attracts a large number of popular musicians and music fans. The festival takes place throughout the months of June and July and uniquely, the concerts include free entry to festival goers who have paid the rather reasonable five euro parking fee! I would personally advise you to use a booking platform in advance in order to make sure that you stay close to your favourite venue during the festival. This will enable you to explore your beautiful Parisian surroundings whilst making the most out of every minute of this fun and friendly jazz festival. The venues tend to fill up quickly so get an early start to make sure you’re one of the first in line!

Montreux Jazz Festival
This wonderful jazz festival was first inaugurated back in 1967 and has been held annually on the beautiful shores of Switzerland’s Lake Geneva ever since. The festival is held in June and lasts for the duration of two weeks. Montreux’s celebrated jazz event has featured industry legends such as Duke Ellington and Miles Davis alongside singers Ella Fitzgerald and Etta James. Prices can be a little steep but festival goers can also attend a number of free outdoor concerts with the added bonus of authentic Swiss food stands, before visiting some of the nearby attractions such as the Château de Chillon, which will no doubt take your breath away. Montreux’s Walk of Fame, along the picturesque promenade, offers an additional insight into past festival performers including the likes of Charlie Chaplin! I would consider this unforgettable festival to be one of the most dignified out there, so dress to impress and you’ll feel right at home in no time!

Malta Jazz Festival
This popular open-air jazz festival is hosted in the splendid and historically significant city of Valletta. The event lasts for three days in July and features a number of talented jazz musicians on an annual basis. Past performers include the likes of Robert Glasper, Gerald Clayton and Michel Camilo. Malta’s top jazz event is held on Valletta’s suggestive waterfront making this a great choice for couples who want to spend a little romantic time together, serenaded by the sultry tones of contemporary and classic jazz. This idyllic backdrop creates a relaxing ambiance where you feel invited, almost obliged, to get up and sway to the sound of the music.

Nice Jazz Festival
This veteran music event was held for the first time in 1948 and has since evolved to become an extremely popular annual jazz festival. This is without a doubt one of the most prestigious jazz festivals to date being held on the stunning French Riviera in the month of July. Celebrated artists who have performed at the Nice Jazz Festival include Ray Charles, Wynton Marsalis and Dizzy Gillespie. Children aged ten years and under get in free making this a wonderful family-friendly event. As an art lover I visited a number of the city’s galleries which hold special exhibitions in conjunction with the festival. This is a great opportunity to learn about how the jazz genre has evolved over the years and inspired many talented artists worldwide.

If you are lucky enough to attend one of Europe’s greatest jazz events, I would advise you to book your concert tickets and accommodation well in advance in order to ensure that you make the most, not only out of the festival, but also of the natural and man-made beauty that all of these fabulous festival locations have to offer the avid jazz follower.

Mary Jo is a freelance writer and Miles Davis enthusiast.

Leron Thomas – ‘Take It…’

Leron Thomas – ‘Take It…’

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

Houston-native trumpeter, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist Leron Thomas has been around the block quite a bit, and he certainly has had a busy year so far. His vocals have charmed the pants off folks singing alongside Zara McFarlane on “Angie La La” off If You Knew Her from earlier this year, and his work with Jason Moran in the Fats Waller Dance Party and Moran’s latest album, All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller has been nothing if not eye-opening to how talented this man is. His voice and his horn exude a warmth and sweetness that should be celebrated all on its own. Now Thomas is doing so with the release of his new EP, Take It…. On it, Thomas is going a more experimental route, weaving and mashing his smooth voice with layers of sounds and electronic touches. It’s so much more than a jazz release.

It would sort of make sense in this day and age to make an album that’s more than one genre. His background goes deep, working in the R&B, soul realms when he hasn’t been a sideman in demand in the jazz realm. He’s playing with Bilal, Roy Hargrove, and Erykah Badu back in the early 00s and he’s been a player in demand ever since. So it would stand to reason that the man has some range. To hear all the various influences play through so prominently in this release is a curveball, but it’s certainly not outside of the strike zone. This can get weird, but not out of reach. Thomas is trying for some different things here with some surging beat flowing through this EP, clocking in at just under a half hour. There are many sides to Leron Thomas and it’s cool to see this artist express himself so fully.

Production by Leron Thomas and Malik Crumpler
Sound Design by Malik Crumpler and Leron Thomas
Engineered by Malik Crumpler
Recorded and Mixed at Milerapa’s Mind in New York, New York
Mastered by David Michel Ruddy at the Hidden Fortress Oakland California
Lyrics and Compositions by Leron Thomas
Arranged by Leron Thomas (Except on ‘Old Friends’ and ‘Appear To Stack’ Arranged by Leron Thomas and Malik Crumpler)
All Vocals, Keys, Percussion, Trumpet by Leron Thomas (Except on ‘Old Friends’ Background Vocals by Leron Thomas and Malik Crumpler . ‘Kept’ Background Vocals by Malik Crumpler. Ass kickin’ Background Laughs by Malik Crumpler and Leron Thomas)
Cover art by Poppi Kikos

Take It… is also available on iTunes from the Berlin label On Point.

James Farm’s ‘City Folk’ Out October 27

James Farm’s ‘City Folk’ Out October 27

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

Get read for the sophomore release from the jazz not-a-supergroup (because they’re modest like that) James Farm of saxophonist Joshua Redman, pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Matt Penman, and drummer Eric Harland. Their 2011 debut release on Nonesuch was a bunch of fun and great first outing for this group. Now they’ve gotten together for their second release with a new bunch of composition from the quartet. This time around, the band moves less from a conceptual idea of a collective to more of a pronounced idea of what this specific band is. In a music of collaboration, it’s good to know these specific ties are binding to make this particular sound. Every one of these dudes in this quartet is a monster on his instrument and a moving composer, so it’ll be exciting to hear what’s next to come from James Farm. City Folk available for pre-order now at the Nonesuch website, and when you pre-order the album, you can download the first single, “Two Steps” written by Matt Penman. In the meantime, check out a stream of “Two Steps” after the jump.

James Farm’s City Folk is out October 27th on Nonesuch Records.

The Line-Up for 19 September 2014

The Line-Up for 19 September 2014

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

I was rather distraught at the timing of this week’s show. Last week at 9:50pm as my show was winding down, Joe Sample passed away at his home in Houston, Texas. I knew my next show would be all Joe Sample as tribute, but then I remembered Jazz’SAlive was the following weekend, and then Steve Coleman was named a MacArthur fellow, and The Bad Plus are still coming to town. The business of being a journalist has gotten in the way of the weekly schedule. I’ll definitely do a Joe Sample tribute show as soon as I’m able, but for this week’s show, there’s still some business of current events and the usual newness I have to settle.

The Line-Up for 19 September 2014

The Crusaders – Eleanor Rigby
I knew I would want to start this week’s show with this song, no matter what. It’s such an integral song to my everyday.
Mndsgn – Txt (MSGS)
Mario Castro Quintet with Strings – Entrapment feat. Dave Liebman
I was sort of in a rumbly, stormy mood with this week’s show, so I felt like this song worked best and I wanted to keep that general energy going throughout the hour. Though if there’s anyone who knows how to keep energy going, it’s Castro. I’ve been enjoying Estrella De Mar a lot lately. I went a little long this time in reviewing it to show for it.
Steve Coleman and Five Elements – Cerebellum Lean
I’m probably going to be looking back at Steve Coleman’s work for a bit, huh? Alright, where should I start?
The Bad Plus – I Hear You
I’m really excited The Bad Plus are playing San Antonio next Tuesday. These guys never disappoint. Also, there’s this barbecue place in Southtown I’d love them to try.
Mister Barrington – Helter’s Kelter
Mostly Other People Do the Killing – Blue in Green
I’m so intrigued by just the concept of MOPDtK’s Blue, a note-for-note performed transcription of Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue. There’s all kinds of rambling theoretical questions I want to ask. I feel a thing coming on.
Dayna Stephens – Oblivion
I’ve just started to unpack Stephens’ latest album, the upcoming Peace, but the lineup is just so impressive it’s impossible to pass up– Brad Mehldau, Julian Lage, Larry Grenadier, Eric Harland. I mean, damn!
Flying Lotus – Breathe . Something/Stellar STar
Nicholas Payton – Two
Setting aside all personal or ideological disputes I may have with the man, this track is pretty damn brilliant. It’s been stuck in my head all weekend. His set at San Antonio’s annual jazz festival free to the public, Jazz’SAlive, was a burner. This is undeniable. Though, having Butcher Brown on your side ain’t a bad idea, by any means either.
Yellowjackets – Civil War
I unfortunately had to head home early and missed Yellowjackets’ Sunday night set, but they were pretty amazing at soundcheck earlier that day. There’s a reason why they’ve still amazed this long in the game.
Mndsgn – Frugality
Miles Davis & Joe Sample – Amandla
Had to make sure I closed with some Joe Sample as well. There will be a full hour at some point. Believe that.

The Line-Up for 12 September 2014

The Line-Up for 12 September 2014

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

It’s beginning to look a lot like fall with all the hot new releases coming in. More specifically, I’m actually allowed clearance to play all this new music as opposed to sitting on all of it for a while, hoping my enthusiasm doesn’t wane. Dig this new Moran, by the way.

The Line-Up for 12 September 2014

Matt Ulery – Black Squirrel
The new album from bassist Matt Ulery, In the Ivory, has some of the best playing from Zach Brock that I’ve heard in a while. It’s sort of like medicine that we’ve all direly needed, that violin soaks into the bones.
Mndsgn – Txt (MSGS)
Dylan Ryan/Sand – Low Fell
I’ve been working through the latest from Dylan Ryan & Sand, Circa, in fits and starts over the last few weeks, renaming the file names so I can actually pay attention to what I was hearing as opposed to being lost by the raucous guitars from an “Unknown Artist”.
Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood – Louis the Shoplifter
The new MSMW album, Juice, is just as cool when it’s lively as when its soft. It’s probably the best album this group has released together yet.
The Bad Plus – Epistolary Echoes
I’m still falling for Inevitable Western as I do for every TBP release. This one feels more in line with their Never Stop work. We’ll definitely have more to say as time goes on, especially with them coming to San Antonio on the 30th.
Mdsgn – Sheets
Yellowjackets – An Amber Shade of Blue
I’m rather looking forward to seeing Yellowjackets with their latest addition, bassist Felix Pastorius, play Jazz’SAlive this weekend. I’m cool with Pastorius’ bandmade, Chris Ward, who totally shreds in their group Hipster Assassins. This may not exactly be the same thing, but I’m looking forward to it nonetheless.
Butcher Brown – Forest Green
I misspoke during the show, indicating that Butcher Brown was playing with Nicholas Payton this weekend in San Antonio. Payton will be playing Jazz’SALive and Corey Fonville will be backing him on drums, but not the whole band. It still should be an interesting show to watch.
Dj Harrison – Carnaval 74
Stanley Clarke Band – Up
I’ve been turning over the latest from The Stanley Clarke Band, Up, and I’m as impressed as always. Clarke always exhibits the best range and taste in the genre and it shows in all his work.
Otis Brown III – Stages of Thought
I couldn’t hold this song back any longer. It’s a topsy-turvy ride. It’s a burner.
Mndsgn – Frugality
Jason Moran – Handful of Keys
I’ve been loving this song for the last month now. It’s utter brilliance. The composition, Moran’s extra bounce, the swirling electronic effect, everything. All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller is pure flames, but this song is my top pick.