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filtered by Norman Warwick

There are singles, suites and albums among many summer jazz releases recently.

For instance, Japanese musicians Hakushi Hasegawa have shared their third single and video, Departed, from their new album, Mahōgakkō, which will be released on July 24 and will mark their first full-length release for Brainfeeder. An official press release describes Departed as giving a further look into Exploratory Ratio, a self-coined term that describes Hasegawa’s long-standing approach of balancing pop and pandemonium in their songwriting.

Meanwhile, BADBADNOTGOOD unveiled Mid Spiral, a three-part suite released across three weeks in May, that showcases the trio’s ongoing fusion of diverse genres and masterful musicianship, anchored in instrumental jazz. Each of the three movements, performed with close friends and collaborators, delivers deep reflections on their personal lives and the broader world, aptly named Chaos, Order and Growth.

LA LOM, the Los Angeles trio that has established its bolero-inspired blend of cumbia, chicha and Americana over a handful of successful singles, has signed to the prestigious Verve label. They will release their debut, self-titled album of all-original music via Verve on August 9. The announcement coincides with the release of the album’s lead single, “Danza de LA LOM.”

My pal and conversationalist, Larry Yaskiel MBE, (shown far left on the cover of his autobiography) the honorary editor of Lancelot, might be very interested below. We have featured Larry, and his wife Liz many times on these pages, for the great contributions they make to the arts and cultural scene here on Lanzarote. Whenever we meet up with them Dee and I are always fascinated by his stories of the likes of Burt Bacharach, Dionne Warwick,  Herb Alpert and rock players like Peter Frampton.

Larry´s recollections of such people are always generous and appreciative. All music lovers should have a read of La Rocola del Bar Rumba, Larry´s account of his previous life working in the recording industry in Germany and in England. He worked at a level that saw him become a key member of A & M records.

An artist Larry still speaks of with much admiration is Peter Frampton, (right) who has just received the Les Paul Spirit Award: The Les Paul Foundation recently honoured Peter Frampton with the annual Les Paul Spirit Award, in partnership with Gibson Gives, the philanthropic division of Gibson. The annual award is presented to an individual who exemplifies the spirit of the late, great Les Paul through innovation, engineering, technology and/or music. In addition to the award, a grant from the Les Paul Foundation will be made in the honoree’s name to the charity of his choice.

Let´s now catch up with some sparkling new jazz releases to add to your playlists.

Dayna Stephens, Closer Than We Think (Cellar): Dayna Stephens has released Closer Than We Think, his Cellar Music Group debut album, which comprises compositions by the saxophonist and his band members, including guitarist Emmanuel Michael, bassist Kanoa Mendenhall and drummer Jongkuk Kim with a guest feature by trumpeter Jeremy Pelt. The record is defined via a press release as “a remarkable statement and presentation of musical unity made even more powerful by the wealth of different experiences.”

Mark Egan, Cross Currents (self-released): Bassist Mark Egan forms a potent new trio with Saturday Night Live drummer Shawn Pelton and dynamic guitarist Shane Theriot on the new album, Cross Currents. Together, the three musicians cut a wide stylistic swath, including funk, ambient, swamp rock, second-line and more. “The intent of this recording was to capture the interplay and energy of the trio and orchestrate it by adding additional guitars, bass and percussion to enhance what the songs were calling for,” explains Egan via a press release.

Brad Mehldau, After Bach II (Nonesuch): Brad Mehldau’s After Bach II comprises four preludes and one fugue from the Well-Tempered Clavier, as well as the Allemande from the fourth Partita, interspersed with seven compositions or improvisations by Mehldau inspired by the complementary works of Bach. Speaking of the universality of Bach’s music, Mehldau says in the liner notes of the album: “The more you try to engage with him, the more your own personality becomes visible, unavoidably.”

Mahogany L. Browne and Sean Mason, Chrome Valley (The Soapbox Presents): Distinguished writer, playwright, and Lincoln Center’s first poet in residence Mahogany L. Browne has teamed up with jazz pianist, composer and producer Sean Mason to create Chrome Valley, a genre-traversing album and musical essay exploring the Black experience in America. This project, inspired by Browne’s acclaimed poetry anthology of the same title, serves as the debut release for The Soapbox.

Paul Winter’s 29th Annual Summer Solstice Sunrise Concert: Saxophonist Paul Winter presented his 29th Annual Summer Solstice Sunrise Celebration on June 22 at New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Devine (right) . The Paul Winter Consort premiered a new musical journey, “Adventures in the Universe,” inspired by composer Charles Ives’ aural vision of a “Universe Symphony,” a work that Ives never realized, but which he encouraged future musicians to explore. Playing with the Consort for the first time was a special guest Jeff Beal on the flugelhorn. community-centered record label.

SFJAZZ Announces 2024-25 Season Programming: SFJAZZ has announced the 2024-25 concert season, running from September 5, 2024-25, which marks Terence Blanchard’s inaugural season as Executive Artistic Director. The new season will present over 350 concerts, family and education programming, and expanded SFJAZZ at Home digital content from a wide range of artists and musicians. It will also include “The UpSwing,” a new programming series personally curated by Blanchard pairing dynamic artists and rising young musicians

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