Midsummer Jazz Dreams: La Lucha, Quin Kirchner, Charles Rumback & Seth Trachy

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La Lucha: Everybody Wants To Rule The World

As I watch a tropical storm do it’s thing outside my window, for some reason it’s feeling like a good week to drop some new jazz on you. Here are four artists who may not be on your radar with wonderful new(ish) albums you should check out to sate your jazz urges. First up is Florida’s La Lucha. On paper, they’re a traditional piano trio, but on Everybody Wants To Rule The World, they rarely fall into any clichés. Whether it’s the load of special guests (horns, guitars, etc), or the cool rock covers (including the title track and a Bad-Plus-esque Bowie run) or just turning full electric-groovy, this one is as unpredictable as the weather. Give it a listen, lots to love in this one.

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Quin Kirchner: The Shadows And The Light

Speaking of unpredictable, The Shadows And The Light, the latest release from Chicago drummer Quin Kirchner is an all-over-the-place delight. Cross-cutting jazz styles and themes – one minute it’s got a big band feel, the next a funky fusion feel – with an excellent band of Chi-town players, all brought together under the superlative drumming and leadership of Kirchner, it’s all an adventurous listen. Covers of Sun Ra and Carla Bley among others give you a small hint at where its ambitions lie. This is a record I haven’t been able to pull from my listening rotation since I first heard it, one of my favorite jazz releases of the year and a must listen for anyone with even a passing interest in the genre.

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Charles Rumback: June Holiday

While I’m recommending wonderful Chicago drummers, how about the newest from Charles Rumback. I know him best from his work with Ryley Walker, but here, leading a trio with Jim Baker on piano and John Tate on bass, he’s equally as mesmerizing. There’s something special about a piano trio like this being led by a drummer, the rhythms somehow the centerpiece, but still, wisely, playing off the piano and bass. The trio plays compositions by all three players and it feels fresh and experimental while not getting too far out there. An absolute treat for the ears!

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Seth Trachy: Zygmon

I’ll finish up the set up where these things should finish up, in New York City. Zygmon is the debut album from saxophonist Seth Trachy and I have to say these five tracks kind of crept up on me. Combining a fiery, but straightforward jazz sound with the interesting twist of traditional Pygmy music, Trachy’s first release, out recently on Ropeadope is one that slowly reveals its secrets and surprises the deeper you go. The rare album that maybe gets better and more interesting with each song, so put it on and give it a little bit to find that sweet spot. Enjoy all of this week’s picks, back with more real soon.

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