Jack DeJohnette/Ravi Coltrane/Matthew Garrison
File next to: Leroy Jenkins, McCoy Tyner
Europe's ECM label launched a 2010 reboot that's helped shape the current jazz renaissance. While releases from Carla Bley and Vijay Iyer hinted at ECM's late-'70s excitement, this set from drummer DeJohnette, bassist Garrison, and Coltrane's son Ravi on saxophone, captures the mix of calm and tension of ECM at its best. DeJohnette's years with Miles Davis, John Abercrombie and Special Edition are often cited as the nexus of his fame, but this new NYC session may be the finest percussion work of his career. In Movement is a long, complex suite of eight extended tracks, often sporting radical changes in style and cadence between compositions like "Serpentine Fire" and "Lydia." The new wave of jazz is often defined by the likes of Kamasi Washington or The Comet Is Coming, yet this album can stand as an exemplar of that renaissance. — LW
File next to: Stereolab, School of Seven Bells, Hospitality
Those longer-term Wye Oak fans who lamented the Baltimore duo's shift to electronica on 2014's Shriek album may not be eager to learn that guitars are all but banished from Tween. The good news is that this short but powerful new album demonstrates co-founder Jenn Wasner's ability to transfer the passion of her older guitar anthems to new songs characterized by cold and clean keyboard lines. The pop sensibility of tracks like "Better (for Esther)" and "Watching the Waiting" suggests classic Stereolab, which is a significant step beyond the more clinical nature of this album's predecessor. And while you may still find yourself longing for those guitar washes in Wye Oak's early work, just think of Tween as a gateway drug to whatever comes next as the band charts its progress in a post-guitar world. — LW
Invention of Knowledge
Inside Out Music
File next to: Yes, Flower Kings
Swedish multi-instrumentalist Roine Stolt made a name for himself with Flower Kings, a successful attempt at bringing the 1970s classic progressive rock aesthetic into modern times. Here, he partners with the inimitable Jon Anderson, who was the voice of prog heroes Yes from their 1969 beginning until his departure in 2004. While Anderson's work outside Yes has often lacked the spark and muscle of that band's best work, this collaboration with Stolt brings out the best in him. And even though Invention of Knowledge never sounds explicitly like Yes, the spirit of that group's best work still shines through. Shortish tunes alternate with epic-length (but never meandering or static) compositions of the sort favored by prog fans. Rather than a strict division of labor, both artists had a hand in crafting lyrics and music. The result is a high water mark in the careers of both. — BK
This is awesome! Excited about the new music and adventures for his year!
Thanks so much!!!
Hah! Similarly, one, if famous, should not die in December, as all those who passed…