Fusion Jazz

Noel Johnston – Salted Coffee (2014)

Noel Johnston – Salted Coffee (2014)

Van Halen-inspired and jazz-trained guitarslinger Noel Johnston merges his passion for both worlds for his third album Salted Coffee, out March 11, 2014 via Armored Records.

Something Else! sneak peek: Mike Dillon, “Hero The Burro” from Band of Outsiders (2014)

Something Else! sneak peek: Mike Dillon, “Hero The Burro” from Band of Outsiders (2014)

The irrepressible vibraphone-playing jazz guerrilla Mike Dillon is prepping his latest album Band of Outsiders for an April 1, 2014 release (Royal Potato Family Records),

John Zorn, with Abraxas – Psychomagia (2014)

John Zorn, with Abraxas – Psychomagia (2014)

Though I don’t know exactly what Psychomagia means, the name oddly fits the sometimes-manic and often-magical music performed on John Zorn’s latest project to be released, out just last month from his Tzadik label.

Pat Metheny Unity Group – Kin [] (2014)

Pat Metheny Unity Group – Kin [<-->] (2014)

Over the course of Pat Metheny‘s long and erudite career, I’ve considered his non-Metheny Group side projects as mostly separate, with little or no musical/stylist overlap.

Free Nelson Mandoomjazz – The Shape of Doomjazz to Come/Saxophone Giganticus (2014)

Free Nelson Mandoomjazz – The Shape of Doomjazz to Come/Saxophone Giganticus (2014)

If jazz is dead, then why are there still new forms of it popping up everywhere?

Lorenzo Feliciati and Colin Edwin – Twinscapes (2014)

Lorenzo Feliciati and Colin Edwin – Twinscapes (2014)

We never question the notion of two guitarists playing alongside each other but the idea of two bassists doubling up the low end still seems to be an exotic proposition.

One Track Mind: John McLaughlin, “Abbaji” from The Boston Record (2014)

One Track Mind: John McLaughlin, “Abbaji” from The Boston Record (2014)

It’s easy enough to focus on the initial dry-ice fluidity that guitarist John McLaughlin brings to this advance track from the forthcoming Boston Record, recorded live at the Berklee College of Music. Instead, take a moment to let Etienne Mbappe’s chocolatey sweet bass line envelop you.

Wayne Escoffery Quintet – Live At Firehouse 12 (2014)

Wayne Escoffery Quintet – Live At Firehouse 12 (2014)

Wayne Escoffery returns to his hometown New Haven, Connecticut to tape a live performance with his latest quintet and the feels right at home during the gig, captured on his upcoming album Live At Firehouse 12.

Shawn Maxwell’s Alliance – Shawn Maxwell’s Alliance (2014)

Shawn Maxwell’s Alliance – Shawn Maxwell’s Alliance (2014)

Though my mind sometimes likes to classify all “big band” jazz into that Benny Goodman/Glenn Miller/Paul Whiteman box, doing so ignores the innovations in working with larger groups brought by Fletcher Henderson, Sun Ra and, mostly prominently, Duke Ellington.

Wertico Cain and Gray – Out in Space (2014)

Wertico Cain and Gray – Out in Space (2014)

With Out in Space, Paul Wertico, a seven-time Grammy winner who rose to fame with the Pat Metheny Group, expands on the successes of last year’s collaboration with David Cain.