So much good music and so much to choose from. Every day provides the opportunity to hear something new or rediscover the magic in old tunes. The records on this list don't have much in common, except they all sound completely fresh and open and have their own take on what it means to create jazz today. Here are thoughtful nods to tradition, genre-bending experiments, soliloquies and group efforts.
In the age of streaming and digitalization, it has been a special joy to witness the care that still goes into the packaging of physical product. At best, a record isn't just a thing to listen to, but also an artwork to contemplate. This was especially evident in the releases from Moss Project and Kolonihaven Unikum, which synthesized words, music and images into complex and beautiful artworks.
No matter what, jazz continues to thrill. There's simply so much good stuff out there and this is just a tiny tip of the iceberg.
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.