Fusion Jazz

Superlith – Plasma Cluster (2012)

Just when you think you’ve heard it all — literally — some really crafty cats come along and create sounds that hadn’t quite been previously contemplated. A couple of such musicians from Philadelphia’s fertile experimental music scene banded together to create some of this alien but strangely alluring noise.

Philipp Gropper’s Philm – Licht (2012)

Many are the jazz adventurers who have run aground on the rocky shoals of the Thelonious Monk sound. They either come off as gimmicky impersonators, the portrait of studied eccentricity, or as well-meaning but genuinely confused – unsure of what to do with all of that dissonance.

Josh Berman & His Gang – There Now (2012)

Josh Berman follows up a debut album that brilliantly collided the very old with the very new, mainly by expanding the harmonic range of his band. Old Idea, which cleverly retrofitted trad jazz with a healthy dose of Bill Dixon, announced to the world that Chicago is big enough for another forward-thinking cornetist (alongside electro-acoustic genius Rob Mazurek).

Ligro – Dictionary 2 (2012)

I don’t know too many jazz-fusion bands out of Indonesia. As a matter of fact, I only know of one, and if one is a good enough sample, then I’m ready to state that this nation out of Southeast Asia is a hotbed for vital, dynamic and just plain great sounding fusion.

Satoko Fujii and Natsuki Tamura – Muku (2012)

Pianist Satoko Fujii and trumpeter Natsuki Tamura take to Muku with designs on once again challenging the listener. The two have consistently done so throughout their impressive careers thus far, so it should come as no surprise

douBt – Mercy, Pity, Peace & Love (2012)

Both brash and calculating, the international trio douBt (yes, the capitalization is in the right place) has set out to do what few these days outside of Medeski Martin and Wood has been capable of doing

One Track Mind: Tim Kuhl, “Indigo Blue” (acoustic version) (2012)

Vimeo Tim Kuhl and his band will always cherish their excursions to the sunny beaches New York City’s Rockaway Peninsula from the Summer of 2012.

The Whammies – Play The Music Of Steve Lacy (2012)

Throughout his career Steve Lacy paid tribute to Thelonious Monk, and even dedicated numerous albums to Monk’s music. A lot of great jazz musicians feted Monk and were clearly influenced by the master pianist/composer, too, but perhaps not with the zeal of Lacy.

Dafnis Prieto Proverb Trio – Dafnis Prieto Proverb Trio (2012)

Cuban-born drummer Dafnis Prieto never makes two albums alike. So yeah, it’s a given that album #5 wasn’t going to be a retread of #’s 1,2,3 or 4, but who could have predicted this?

Jason Robinson – Tiresian Symmetry (2012)

The competing tubas heard on the opening seconds of Jason Robinson’s new big project Tiresian Symmetry made me instinctively utter three words: Very Very Circus.