The Round-up: Falling becomes flying becomes light


Here is some very good new music.


Eric Revis – Sing Me Some Cry (Clean Feed Records)

Eric Revis has a way of setting fire to the blues that is pretty damn thrilling, and he also has a way of directing the flames to leave ashes that, also, sound a lot like the blues.  In between, when the conflagration of Sing Me Some Cry is in full force, it’s all combustible fury burning bright, and it’s not so much about determining the nature of the sound as it is just appreciating the strength of the explosion.  Tenor saxophonist Ken Vandermark, pianist Kris Davis and drummer Chad Taylor help the bassist with the dramatic transmutations.  Music from NYC and L.A.

Artist site | Buy:  Bandcamp – Amazon


Courtney Pine – Black Notes From the Deep (Freestyle Records)

Courtney Pine is a long time veteran of the jazz scene, so it really should come as no surprise that he’s able to deliver such a soulful album with such a laid-back sound.  Some ballads and some blues and some solid vocal contributions from Omar Lye-Fook MBE is the equation that leads to the success of Black Notes From the Deep.  This is an album you want playing while you’re sitting around with a drink in one hand and your broken heart in the other.  If Omar’s name sounds familiar to readers of this site, it’s because of his powerful contribution to a track on Kairos 4tet’s excellent 2014 release Everything We Hold.  Music from London.

Artist site | Listen | Buy:  BandcampAmazon


LUMI – A Love Drunk Poem (Havtorn Records)

There’s a structure to these tunes easy to follow, but each is delivered with a looseness that that makes them feel wide open and free to roam where they please.  The LUMI quartet of drummer Pontus Häggblom, double bassist Alex Littorin, pianist Martin Jutéus and saxophonist Emil Nerstrand deliver strong takes on thick melodies, then go about stretching and twirling them around in any way that amuses them to do so… and often with a boisterousness that’s positively addictive.  And, so, the title A Love Drunk Poem either dictated the album’s boozy lyricism or was the logical choice once everything was done and all that was left was the give the album its name.  Either way, the result is bundles of fun.  Music from Malmö, Sweden.

Artist site | Buy:  Amazon


Lucas Brode – I Lick the Kerosene of Progress (Self-Produced)

This solo guitar set from Lucas Brode is simultaneously gripping and laid-back.  It demands attention, but doesn’t necessarily require you to sit up at edge of your seat.  The roll-out of melodies is the album’s transformative moment, time and again.  Sometimes the melody appears like the dawn over the horizon, sometimes it’s stuttered out like a nervous tic, and other times it eschews form and structure for a pervasive cinematic ambiance.  Very cool.  Music from NYC.

Artist site | Listen | Buy:  Bandcamp


Lena Bloch & Feathery – Heart Knows (Fresh Sound New Talent)

It’s an interesting transformation from Lena Bloch‘s debut to her sophomore release Heart Knows.  The debut’s updated true-blue expressionism has morphed into something with thicker ambiance and an emotional amplification bordering on spiritual.  Bloch still brings an adroit lyricism even in the moodier atmosphere, and, actually, that may be the contrasting element that makes this album resonate as strongly as it does.  The tenor saxophonist brings a solid cast with pianist Russ Lossing, bassist Cameron Brown and drummer Billy Mintz.  Music from Brooklyn.

Artist site | Listen | Buy:  Amazon