DJ Monkey

DJ MonkeyI just discovered the unique sound of DJ Monkey. The band combines spoken word, jazz, soul, rock, funk, and hip hop. I love genre-defying bands and this one puts the emphasis on defiance. Through their lyrics, they challenge the status quo. Through their sound, they defy categorization or conventions. I just put the track ?5th Avenue Jam? into the TomorrowJazz Radio playlist. You can also check out other sounds from, and information about, DJ Monkey at their site. I want to know what you think!

DJ Monkey just signed with 7 Records Music where their debut recording, Another Evolution, will be reissued next month.

New Bad Plus

The Bad Plus Blunt Object Live In TokyoThe latest release by The Bad Plus can only be purchased online at two music stores. Seven of the eight tracks of Blunt Object – Live In Tokyo are now available now at iTunes, several weeks earlier than the date listed on group’s web site. It has a couple of unreleased covers including “We Are the Champions.” You can buy the CD only at Sony’s online music store. However, unless you must have the 13 minute “Silence Is the Question” song, you might as well buy the other tracks at iTunes for 99 cents. Seven bucks instead of the ten bucks at Sony. You support this site with your purchase at iTunes through the link above!

More Jazz Remixes!

Impulse! RemixedCelebrating its 25th year, Concord Picante (which focuses on Latin jazz) will have several special projects. One of them is Concord Picante Regrooved, which features DJs Mario C., Cuica, Los Amigos Invisibles, among others. The disc is due May 17.

Later this year, Verve strikes again with Impulse! Remixed. That is currently scheduled for September 13.

Speaking of the Remix

Bird Up The Charlie Parker Remix ProjectThere are entire albums of one artist remixed, like Charlie Parker and Billie Holiday (on April 19; see the new release list). Here are some others I?d love to see remixes of:

The Crusaders – Verve owns that catalog so it should be no problem.

Miles Davis – I believe there was a remix CD a few years ago but nothing like I’m thinking. His fusion era Columbia recordings are fair game as well as his Warner Bros. years. I don’t know who has the WB catalog any more but there is lots of material to work with. Call it ReMiled and go with it.

Bob James – When Warner Bros. reissued his entire catalog years ago, I got a sampler from each CD. That’s some classic material. When Masters at Work remade “Nautilus” on their classic Nuyorican Soul recording, it showed how timeless the material is with an updated sound.

How about you? Got ideas for a jazz remix project? Add a comment!

New Release Roundup

With fewer and fewer jazz releases coming out, fans of the music are ecstatic about the last two weeks.

Out today is the latest from George Duke, simply called DUKE. It?s his second release on his own Big Piano Music label. And, from what he says, it?s a classic Duke recording.

Last week was a big week. Trumpeter Patches Stewart released Blow, which is produced by Marcus Miller. I’ve yet to see the CD in any stores or on iTunes but the release date was confirmed. Additionally, information about the CD is oddly unavailable at his web site except for this link to a press release.

Luc's Lantern from William ParkerI’ve listened to samples of bassist William Parker’s Luc’s Lantern and am impressed. The Thirsty Ear label can always be counted on for inventive music. This recording is a trio recording (with female pianist Eri Yamamoto and Michael Thompson on drums) and features some unique compositions and excellent playing. It’s only $9.90 on iTunes too.

Maybe I need to listen to it several more times, but I couldn’t get into Altered State, the new CD from Yellowjackets on Heads Up. Press materials are focusing on the shifting time signatures and the album cover by Peter Max. I’ve heard the band’s ability to jump time signatures in their excellent late 80s to early 90s catalog. Those were more interesting. Nothing on this release sounds different from the other ‘Jackets recordings from the last decade. In fact, I was so frustrated with it when I first received it, I didn’t listen to it again for a week in hopes that I could get a fresh listen and enjoy it. Didn’t work.

We Want You To Say Sakesho!The other Heads Up release that came out last week was on the opposite end of the spectrum. The new band with steel pan master Andy Narell is called Sakésho is excellent. We Want You To Say… is easily one of most listenable CDs I’ve heard this year. If there were an audience, I would swear this is a live recording. Sakésho, which also consists of pianist Mario Canonge, bassist Michel Alibo, and drummer Jean Philippe Fanfant, brings a lot of adrenaline into the studio. The compositions are rich in world music, a given for a jazz quartet with roots deep in the French Caribbean. I really like We Want You To Say… and hope it gets the recognition it deserves.