Legendary jazz greats Branford Marsalis and Kurt Elling collaborate for the first time on a full album, Upward Spiral. They ve been talking for a while about making a record together, and finally at the end of 2015 it all came together. They found time to play the new material in the New Orleans Snug Harbor club for four days and then recorded a variety of songs in the studio, all chosen because of their melodic richness and musical quality. Their versions of the chosen material are simply incredible, as the musicality of Branford and Kurt and their deep understanding of these songs shows through immediately.
On its debut CD, KNEE DEEP IN THE NORTH SEA, Mercury Prize-nominated combo the Portico Quartet delivers an unusually meditative brand of world music-influenced jazz that matches a minimalist classical music vibe with a pop/jam band-informed compositional sense. Centered on repeated figures played on the hang (a type of steel drum) and soprano saxophonist Jack Wylie’s Wayne Shorter-esque improvisational explorations, Portico Quartet’s music should appeal to fans of Weather Report and the Dave Matthews Band alike.
In its latest CD Beam Me Up the Shauli Einav Quartet produces an impressive sound, rich in creative musical ideas. These talented, award winning musicians: Shauli Einav - saxophone, Paul Lay - piano, Florent Nisse – double bass and Gautier Garrigue – drums have recorded a remarkable album that is multi-layered, tuneful, energetic and swinging.
Trombonist Steve Turre has quietly become an eminence grise of mainstream jazz, a veteran with unerring instincts who brings elegance, bluesiness, and rhythmic sophistication to just about everything he touches. That shows clearly on his new album "Colors for the Masters" were he teams up with a dream rhythm section of legendary elders, each of whom shaped the trombonist’s distinctive voice: pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Jimmy Cobb.