Jason Miles - Kind Of New 2: Paris Is Blue (2017)
Veteran of the scene, keyboardist and producer Jason Miles comes up with another Kind Of New project, picking up where the seminal Miles Davis album Kind Of Blue left off. While the first Kind Of New album revolved around jazz trumpet player Ingrid Jensen, this new album is a varied all-star affair and is much more groovy and accessible than its predecessor. It oscillates between jazz, funk and world giving the various soloists plenty of space, like trumpet players Russell Gunn, Theo Croker, Patches Stewart, Jukka Eskola, saxophonist Jeff Coffin and guitarist Ricardo Silveira, all doing great solos throughout, with Ricky Kej providing the world element and Maya Azucena some great vocals. Unique, original and entertaining, Jason Miles delivers a batch of outstanding music once again. Very recommended!
Bunny Brunel & Friends - Bass Ball (2017)
Bass lovers watch out, this album is for you! Co-produced by Stanley Clarke, it features world class players like Billy Sheehan, Victor Wooten, Steve Bailey and Armand Sabal-Lecco, plus a string of top bass players from France who contribute to this veritable bass fest. Don't miss it!
Darry Williams - Here To Stay (2017)
Bass player Darryl Williams, who makes a living backing the industry's top stars, comes out with his own solo release, featuring guests like Euge Groove, Paul Brown, Jonathan Fritzen, Michael Lington, Jeff Lorber and Scott Wilkie, which results in pure smooth jazz bliss. Thumbs up!
Mark Whitfield - Live & Uncut (2017)
Guitar player Mark Whitfield delivers a raw live set in a trio setting, released on the audiophile Chesky Records, it was recorded with a single binaural microphone at the Rockwood Music Hall in NYC recreating a perfect live experience, he is accompanied by Billy Drummond and Ben Allison. This is no-frills straight ahead jazz!
The Soulful Strings - String Fever (1969)
My nod to the past goes to The Soulful Strings, a project by producer Richard Evans who put the string section in the center of the action on these recordings, playing the hits of the day over funky grooves, augmented with jazzy solos. Stood the test of time!