One thing, as they say, leads to another. Little did I know when I named Bobby Watson's The Gates BBQ Suite my top album of 2010 that I'd soon become immersed in big band jazz. My favorite new album in the form is Orrin Evans' Captain Black Big Band. Evans, as jazz obsessives know (and the rest of the world doesn't care about), is a Watson protege. Boasting a bevy of ringers like saxophonist Tim Warfield, the Philadelphia-based big band is raucous but squarely within the tradition. Evans' arrangement on the first minute of "Inheritance" epitomizes everything that's good about the powerfully soulful groove that only be attained by a big band. "Jena 6," the title of one adventurous composition, reflects the band's contemporary sensibility. The illicit speakeasy atmosphere of live recording on the Posi-Tone label is entirely winning.
Today's new releases, in the order of my personal preference: Tyler the Creator, Jesu, Raphael Saadiq, Samantha Fish/Cassie Taylor/Dani Wilde, Manchester Orchestra, Randy Newman, Gerald Clayton, Black Label Society, Colin Vallon and Patrice Moret, Okkervil River, Nigeria 70- Sweet Times: Afro-Funk Highlife, Sea & Cake, Booker T. Jones, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Anvil, The Cars, Larry Goldings, Blue October, Bruce Barth Trio, Man Man and Greg Brown.
I'm genuinely impressed by Samantha Fish and company's take on the Rolling Stones' "B*tch".
Guitarist Cornell Dupree has died.
John Walker of the Walker Brothers has died.
Kansas City Click: Tim Whitmer plays at Accurso's on Tuesdays.
My Life With the Thrill Kill Cult is ostensibly appearing Wednesday at El Torreon.
Jessica Lea Mayfield is at the Record Bar on Thursday.
(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)