Needle Play – Death by Dying
Boston’s Needle Play claim to play “math fusion” and “jazzcore”, and they do not lie! Their sophomore release, Death by Dying—and its instrumental version, Death by Detail—proves it once again. Variable geometry riffs clash with very few things that could be labelled “jazz”, safe the occasional clean section and usual complex harmonies. Great album for angry dying.
Otis Sandsjö – Y-Otis 2 (We Jazz)
OK, the album artwork and title might be detrimental to its first impression, but it’s all going to go out of the window once you hit play. Swedish saxophonist Otis Sandsjö is back with an amazing electro-jazz record, an instrumental, part R&B, part hip-hop, parts jazz fusion, neo-classical, and drum & bass. It’s a solid album that’s definitely going to hook you.
Byzmuti – Τίποτα [Típota] (Orb Tapes)
Byzmuti‘s Τίποτα [Típota] might be a 2019 latecomer, but it came back up thanks to Orb Tapes’s physical release this month. Contrary to typical nu jazz and R&B fashion, this album consists of only four songs, but these are all around ten to fifteen minutes long. Thanks to these impressive lengths, the songs each have convoluted structures and don’t shy from straying off the beaten path. This makes for a very progressive experience, and one that’ll definitely not go by unnoticed.
Thanya Iyer – Kind (Topshelf)
Kind is the latest album from Montréal singer and multi-instrumentalist Thanya Iyer, where pop and jazz blend together into a somewhat experimental, off-kilter experience. It has soul, it has melodic hooks, it has improvisation, it has electronics… It has it all, and it’s an outstanding record!
Quinsin Nachoff – Pivotal Arc (Whirlwind)
Pivotal Arc sees the release of three of composer and saxophonist Quinsin Nachoff‘s compositions: a violin concerto in three movements, a string quartet in four, and the title track. On this album, contemporary classical and avant-garde jazz meet and interbreed into a powerful combination of the best of both worlds.
Pedro Melo Alves – In Igma (Clean Feed)
Pedro Melo Alves is a Portuguese drummer and composer dwelling in avant-garde jazz and electroacoustic compositions. On In Igma, out via the Clean Feed label, we can hear five of Pedro’s compositions mostly focused on voice and atmosphere. They sound like a soundtrack to some ritual or a tense horror movie. It might be a rather deranging experience, but it’s beautiful and awesome at the same time.