Meeting of the Waters

Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra – The Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra features some of the top jazz musicians and arrangers in the Pacific Northwest, primarily focusing on original music written for the band. The tight harmonies of the ensembles and strong soloists are key ingredients to their success. This is not strictly an all-female band like Diva, as drummer Jeremy Jones and lead trumpeter Dennis Haldane are regular members and there are several male guests in the trumpet section. Musical director Daniel Barry contributed several charts and guests on his “Encontro das Águas (Meeting of the Waters).” Hazel Leach wrote the powerful, complex ballad “Self Portrait,” which features a moving vocal by Greta Matassa, and the perky “The Tulip Wonder,” which showcases trombonist Jennifer Kellogg.”—allmusic.com

OA2 Records, 2007

Moxie – Jessica Jones Quartet

Moxie is both an extension of tenor saxophonist Jessica Jones’ previous work and a glimpse back to an earlier point in her career: she continues to explore the possibilities inherent in a piano-less quartet with a two-tenor front line while reuniting with a rhythm duo that she worked with in the ’80s—bassist Stomu Takeishi and drummer Kenny Wolleson. The music that she makes here, with that team and fellow tenor/husband Tony Jones, is predictably unpredictable, grounded yet far-reaching, and irresistibly intriguing in its unfolding.” –All About Jazz

New Artists, 2015

True Stories – The Rippingtons

The Grammy-nominated contemporary jazz band celebrates its 30th anniversary with the release of True Stories, their 22nd album. Recorded over an intensive three-month span, the album is a refreshing compilation sure to please established fans and attract new ones. Joined by original member, saxophonist Brandon Fields, drummer Dave Karasony, bassist and Rhodes player Rico Belled, and special guest Jeffrey Osborne, founder/guitarist Russ Freeman orchestrates 10 compelling original tracks.

Entertainment One, 2016

Notes by John Gilbreath

Kneedelus – Kneebody + Daedelus

Considered an instrumental “mind-meld,” the complex collaboration of Kneebody and Daedelus is a spiraling electro-jazz-rock fusion that has scorched in the indie music scenes up and down the West Coast. Filled with deft synth beats, at-times dizzying percussion, and sensual horns, the 10-track Kneedelus is an album that moves the listener – a cross-genre experience that opens the doors for many more real/virtual mash-ups.

P&C Brainfeeder, 2016

Notes by John Gilbreath

Super Petite – The Claudia Quintet

A collection of musical vignettes, of sort, Super Petite is the new release from New York drummer/composer John Hollenbeck and his Claudia Quintet (Chris Speed, sax; Matt Moran, vibes; Red Wierenga, accordion; Drew Gress, bass). Featuring notably short compositions, this record (the group’s eighth) explores the dichotomy between brevity and complexity. Taking its name from a friend of the quintet’s, Super Petite contains 10 original compositions filled with the wit and virtuosity listeners have come to expect from this group.

Cuneiform Records, 2016

Notes by John Gilbreath

Everything’s Beautiful – Miles Davis & Robert Glaspar

A remix project for the award-winning pianist, Robert Glasper was given access to Sony’s Miles Davis catalogue to revamp and extend the jazz icon’s legacy. Bringing Davis’ innovative and unpredictable spirit into the 21st century, Glasper invites heavyweights including Erykah Badu, Stevie Wonder, and John Scofield, as well as up-and-comers like Hiatus Kaiyote and L.A. trio King, to collaborate in creative reinvention. With textures of R&B, rap, future-soul, funk, Latin, and more, Everything’s Beautiful is just the Davis tribute we need. As Glasper noted, “Miles didn’t have one audience…his music traveled.”

Sony, 2016

Notes by John Gilbreath

Leslie Odom Jr. – Leslie Odom Jr.

After taking Broadway by storm in Hamilton, the Tony Award-winning star makes his debut as a jazz singer with his self-titled album. Staying close to home, Leslie Odom Jr. features a collection of jazz and Broadway classics, including soulful, R&B-inspired tracks like “Autumn Leaves,” “Cheer-Up Charlie,” and “The Party’s Over.” His smooth voice glides effortlessly through each track, proving that he is “not throwing away [his] shot” as a recording artist.

S-Curve Records, 2014

Notes by John Gilbreath

Soul Eyes – Kandace Springs

Young artist Kandace Springs releases her debut album Soul Eyes, which touches upon soul and pop while channeling her jazz influences as well as her Nashville upbringing. The singer, songwriter, and pianist counts such stylists as Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Roberta Flack, and Norah Jones as her heroes, yet she has a sound all her own; her warm alto effortlessly delivers an amalgam of soul, jazz, and pop tracks on this record, produced by Grammy-winning producer Larry Klein (Melody Gardot, Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock).

Blue Note, 2016

Notes by John Gilbreath

American Tunes – Allen Toussaint

Though the beloved musician, songwriter, and arranger passed away in the fall of ‘15, Allen Toussaint has left a posthumous album filled with his distinctive style: American Tunes is a collection of standards, repurposed with the New Orleans legend’s elegance and energy. Bringing special guests including Bill Frisell, Charles Lloyd, and Rhiannon Giddens into collaboration, Toussaint swings through tunes by Fats Waller, Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington, and more, as well as his own “Southern Nights.” It’s a wonderful tribute to the American popular song, and a nearly perfect parting gift.

Nonesuch, 2016

Notes by John Gilbreath