I listen to a fairly big number of albums each week. First I audition, then if I like the music I listen again, maybe in the car, and then if an album really grabs me, I listen with the reference system.
Here are 5 albums I’ve listened to repeatedly and enjoyed a lot.
1. Valérie Milt & Les Violons du Roy / Concertos for Harp & Orchestra / Analekta
This album has 3 17th century concertos for harp and chamber orchestra. It is music of grace and pleasure. The composers include Handel, Boeildieu, and Mozart. It is music that reflects the ordered and harmonic universe that was the 17th century.
2. Christian McBride Trio / Out Here / Mack Avenue
This piano trio features Christian Sands on piano, Ulysses Owens, Jr., drums, with the peripatetic bass virtuoso Christian McBride, one of the most in-demand bassists on the jazz scene today. The music swings like hell, the 3 guys are virtuosic, and the songs are interesting and extremely well-wrought. It is a very hip album on a relatively new jazz label that is putting out consistently great jazz.
Another piano trio, this time lead by the pianist David Kikoski, with Christian McBride again on bass and the powerful trap drums of Jeff “Tain” Watts. Kikoski is a powerful virtuoso, and although you hear shades of McCoy Tyner and Herbie Hancock in his playing, his style is all his own. It is a tour de force performance, brought to us by the wonderful Dutch label Criss Cross, a label that consistently puts out some of the best straight-ahead jazz today.
4. Duke Pearson / Introducing Duke Pearson’s Big Band / Blue Note
5. Jimmy Heath / Really Big! / Riverside
These two albums (#4 and #5) are big band jazz, recorded in the 1960s. They both feature great compositions and top soloists. The charts are contemporary, the sound great, and these are two rediscoveries that I can’t stop listening to.
I hope you too may enjoy some of this new and rediscovered music that’s been on my A List of late.