Fusion Jazz

Maria Marquez – Tonada (2013)

Jazz vocalists don’t typically give me the same charge I get from jazz instrumentalists, but there are always a few exceptions to the rule.

Soft Machine Legacy – Burden Of Proof (2013)

Soft Machine will never come to exist again, but one of the best of the Canterbury bands still lives on in an alumni band called Soft Machine Legacy. Together since 2002, the lineup is dominated by members of the underrated mid 70s version

Vo-Duo – Nou La (2013)

To commence Nou La, Vo-Duo sends blessings to the sacred heart of the Asoto drum, to the spirits and finally to the listeners. This modest, exquisite acapella piece, called “Bonjou,” foretells the loveliness and sanctity to come.

Drivetime – Ignition (2013)

Drivetime calls what they do “urban organic jazz” and, actually, that about sums it up. The Philly group blends Latin rhythms, Tower of Power-style grooves and these satiny smooth instrumental lines on Ignition

Larry Coryell – The Lift (2013)

Larry Coryell – The Lift (2013)

Recently I came across a video of televised performance featuring the Gary Burton Quartet, and its guitarist Larry Coryell was using his solo time to deliver some tasty licks that perfectly bridged the gap between rock guitar and jazz guitar.

Troy Roberts – Nu-Jive 5 (2013)

Like Linda Oh, Troy Roberts’ journey from Perth, Australia to New York City has left a trail of awards and accolades in his wake and one gets the sense he’s just getting started. And yet, Nu-Jive 5, due next week, will be his fifth album.

Samuel Blaser Quartet – As The Sea (2013)

About three and a half years ago, I passed along some thoughts on a young, up-and-coming trombone player from Switzerland, Samuel Blaser.

Ches Smith and These Arches – Hammered (2013)

Ches Smith’s These Arches boasts a line-up so powerful I had to check the statute books to see if this grouping was even legal.

Eberhard Weber – Résumé (2013)

Good improvisers can bolster a melodic development. The really great ones can make up a whole new one out of thin air.

Herb Alpert – Fandango (1982; 2013 reissue)

I tried — I really did — to shake Herb Alpert. His silky smooth trumpet musings had been my introduction to something like jazz, though, and I’ve always associated his music with a time of unvarnished musical enthusiasm.