It’s not the first time Brendon Coleman Quartet puts something out, but they might just have outdone themselves with Infinite Loop. The over fifty-minute album consists of a pretty standard quartet format with guitar and piano, but the compositions and improvisations they play are a perfect fit for it. That’s not surprising, but it still deserves recognition. Infinite Loop is just an awesome modern jazz album!
After many delays, the Greek-mythology-obsessed French band Promethean released Aloades, their debut EP, on February ninth. For once, the band describes themselves quite accurately with the term ‘symphonic blackened death metal’, although I would personally add ‘technical’ to the death metal epithet. I think the EP follows the struggle of the Aloades, illegitimate sons of Poseidon who became giants, but that might be contained in the first track only, I’m not sure. Of what I’m sure, however, is that it’s a pretty promising debut for the Parisian band! Be sure to check this out if you’re into technical metal.
The legendary rock in opposition band Thinking Plague has just released their eighth album, Hoping against Hope, after a crowdfunding campaign (I’m still waiting for my due! [Edit: Got it!]) I personally think this is their finest work to date, toppling In Extremis, which I thought was their best one, prior to this. If you’re unfamiliar with the band, be ready to be challenged. The band consists of six members who play instruments ranging from woodwinds to accordion in rhythmically and harmonically avant-garde compositions. It’s truly a treat, and I recommend that every one of you listens to it!
Anne Quillier Sextet (or 6tet) is a French jazz band, and their most recent release, Dusty Shelters, is a pure delicacy for the ears. It’s not that they don’t play contemporarily, but they do so with tact and judgement. It’s a wonderful album.
Insaneintherainmusic, best known for their jazz adaptation of the Undertale soundtrack, comes back with Alola That Jazz, a Pokémon Sun/Moon Jazz Album for the best. While I haven’t played these games in particular, the Pokémon series has always maintained a high level of quality, when it comes to their products, and, while classical covers are somewhat more common (see Braxton ‘Skotein’ Burks’ Pokémon Reorchestrated), it’s quite uncommon to hear them transposed in a jazz setting. It’s very professionally made, and no different from any modern day jazz album as far as production goes.
Lionsong is the newest album of drummer and composer Shawn Baltazor. It’s a very contemporary, just shy of avant-garde jazz album sprinkled with many surprised throughout its running time of more than an hour. There are very minimalistic but hypnotizing moments, like in ‘Folklore’, and others very dense like in ‘Momentum’. It’s a very exciting album!
Flip a Machine That Works is a peculiar EP from the French band Tasty Granny. Somewhere between indie pop and art rock, the group twists reality and make us imagine a world where often-changing pieces can be easily approachable. I get a not so dissimilar vibe from Bent Knee; although the two formations don’t sound alike at all, their musical approach is like two faces of a same object.
Le 1, from French experimental jazz band Tournez Nadège, is a fascinating EP! The first of hopefully many, Le 1 goes many places and likes to experiment. You’ll perhaps wonder, midway, where you are and how you got there, but that only adds to the charm of the journey. It’s a truly great and odd album!
Australian trio Trichotomy just released Known-Unknowned, as well as its bonus EP, for a total of more than eighty minutes of what I like to call ‘math jazz’. A style of jazz that is in any way reminiscent of math rock. Surely enough, the trio’s soothing compositions and certain knack for odd metres fulfill this premise. It’s a really good album (and EP), and I fully recommend it.