What I’ve been listening to lately

  • Bill Dixon – Intents and PurposesThis 1967 recording by trumpeter Dixon is easily lumped together with the free jazz of the era, but in fact it was mostly through-composed. And it really does not sound like much from that time, or since: a moody and often delicate piece of orchestral jazz.
  • Lucky Thompson – Tricotism. Thompson has one of the most gorgeous tones of any tenor saxophonist. In these 1956 sessions, his beautiful sound is displayed to full advantage in a drummerless trio.
  • Gamelan Pacifica – Nourishment. The Seattle-based gamelan ensemble’s 1994 recording Trance Gong was a landmark in combining Indonesian modernism with American new music; this 2015 has more excellent and intriguing work.
  • Nat Birchall – Sounds Almighty. Birchall is a British tenor saxophonist who usually plays jazz, but he is also a devotee of Jamaican music. For this 2018 session he joined up with trombone great Vin Gordon to record some instrumental reggae in the classic style.
  • Cannonball Adderley & Milt Jackson – Things Are Getting Better. A classic straightahead jazz session from two masters of blues feeling. Also available as part of this compilation.

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