Jessica Ackerley – A New Kind of Water
Canada-born, New York-based guitarist Jessica Ackerley has a harmonic language and playing style all her own. That much is evident on her new jazz album for quartet, A New Kind of Water—which sounds like the slogan for “energized” bottled water or something like that—and upcoming noise rock album with Essi. Building on her previous work, Coalesce, Ackerley offers a set of alternatively challenging and rewarding compositions, with a refined contemporary sound. Over the course of the album, Ackerley easily displays a broad range of inspirations, ideas, and proficiency, which makes for a brilliant album on repeated listens.
The Side Eye – Broken Telephone (Arachnidiscs)
Broken Telephone is a recording of a free improvisation trio. The group—Michael Lynn on bass, Kayla Milmine on saxophone, and MJ Wright on drums—hops from jazz to noise in a chaotic session where the leading voice role rotates between the players, like many trains of thought racing, alternatively in front and behind one another. It’s quite an exhilarating recording that builds up quite slowly but reaches stupendous heights!
U Circle Breakers – Música para un pez descalzo (Puerto)
Ernesto Aurignac’s U Circle Breakers ensemble is a big deal. Seventeen members playing a fusion of classical, progressive rock, and jazz! Música para un pez descalzo sometimes sounds like it’s a soundtrack, but most of the times it’s a fun symphonic suite. It is anchored in classical music, but sometimes has a nice little touch of jazz or symphonic rock to it that just adds a little bit more flavour. If you want a fun new classical piece, this could be right up your alley!
Collector – Post Rock Lately (Scribbled Fang)
Collector is a trio formed of Jakob Heinemann, Devin Drobka, and Matt Blair; all known names and accomplished musicians. Contrary to what you might believe, Post Rock Lately is a jazz album: an experimental collection of two improvisations with influences ranging from electronic music to noise to drone and free jazz. The result is a baffling set, almost an hour long, with “Swing Tune 1” (not a swing tune, 44 minutes long) and the eponymous track (not post-rock, 12 minutes long). It’s really an amazing album to listen to and just follow the trio on their whimsical peregrinations.
John Zorn – Encomia (Tzadik)
You know the drill, by now… Zorn releases a new album, I buy it, I urge you to do the same and listen to it. It’s just a mandatory step in the process. Encomia is a collection of piano pieces including three preludes inspired by Debussy, Ravel, Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg, and Vaslav Nijinsky and five short pieces for piano, under the name “Encomia”, also inspired by many figures. The album ends with “Die Traumdeutung”, where the piano plays alongside the violin in a magnificent Sigmund Freud-inspired piece.
Wrvth – No Rising Sun (Unique Leader)
California-based Wrvth used to play technical death metal and deathcore, but this seems to have changed on No Rising Sun. I’m not here to complain, though. Their move towards a more blackened sound with big post-hardcore influences, while still keeping a strong sense of progressive death metal, makes for an album that I greatly appreciate. They sound a bit like Rorcal and Comity, Der Weg einer Freiheit and other similar artists. It’s a beautiful, angry, contemplative, and atmospheric journey.