Simon Toldam Trio, Green Dome, Diarrheal Blast, Cheeto’s Magazine, Deathcrush, and Marilyn Mazur

Simon Toldam Trio – Omhu (Ilk Music)

Omhu means “care” in Danish, and, as you can hear on Simon Toldam Trio‘s new album, it’s a well chosen name. The music that welcomes you upon arrival is slow… quiet… thoughtful… careful. It might be one of the most minimalistic efforts in modern jazz that I’ve heard recently, but, just like last year’s Animal Image, it strikes a chord with me, rather powerfully. It’s delightful.

Green Dome – Thinking in Stitches (Case Study Records)

Thinking in Stitches is a beautiful avant-garde masterpiece. The harp-piano-drums trio Green Dome is supplemented by … Read more

Lou Kelly, Zajwert, and Sick Boss

Lou Kelly – From the Vault: Sore Losers (avant rock, cut and paste metal)

Brand new from Lou, we are presented a skillful and relentless experiment in stylistic mish-mash. As a freebie “gift” release of former contest-entry songs, this one cuts between metal flourishes, quirky Elfmanesque themes, square wave breaks, so many idiosyncratic genre motifs, and even a borrowed melody or two. … Read more

Anne Paceo, Black to Comm, Sándor Valy & Júlia Heéger, Ludwig, Mòs Ensemble, and Monolithes

Anne Paceo – Bright Shadows (Laborie Jazz)

French drummer and composer Anne Paceo releaser her latest collection of compositions in late January. Bright Shadows is a marvellous work blending modern jazz, R&B, and pop music into a delectable product. With Ann Shirley and Florent Mateo on vocal duties, the songs are in good care, and indeed the melodies presented are poignant and memorable. Similarly, the saxophone and clarinet, guitar, and keyboards are all just right, in their own way. Finally, the drums evidently serve well the compositions, and often shine through by originality and precision. However, they are not the … Read more

Alister Spence and Satoko Fujii Orchestra Kobe, Agamemnon Moustakas, and João MacDowell

Alister Spence and Satoko Fujii Orchestra Kobe – Imagine Meeting You Here

Australian jazz pianist and composer Alister Spence joined forces with Satoko Fujii Orchestra Kobe, a big band jazz ensemble, to give life to his newest vision: Imagine Meeting You Here. The album comprises five tracks, anywhere between compositions and improvisations. Jazz improvisation by an orchestra is something quite unusual. The greater the number of heads, the harder it is to guide them. So, it’s quite a feat that has been pulled off here! The improvisations don’t feel aimless, quite the contrary, and the musicians hop back … Read more

Eric Thorfinnson, Navi, and Starpilot

Eric Thorfinnson – Qwag (avant-pop, folk)

Eric Thorfinnson is best known as main-brain and frontman of Toronto progressive metal band Autocatalytica. With a distinctly art pop sensibility, this one’s a significant departure from what we’ve come to expect. Electro-based gems to acoustic folk, this collection of Eric’s music is mighty diverse. Even tho it’s considered a compilation of one-offs, there is a fluidity here that makes for a unified listening experience. In addition to Eric’s stellar guitar work, haunting vocal arrangements and audio production, three tracks from Qwag also finds an additional dimension brought to the fore by collaborator … Read more