An important Blue Note set from the end of the 90s – a record that marked a bit of a shift in the label's approach, and really set the scene for a more open ear to new sounds to come! BrianBlade's a drummer, but the set is definitely the work of a warm fellowship in jazz – a well-matched group of players that includes Myron Walden on alto, Melvin Butler on tenor and soprano, John Cowherd on acoustic piano and Wurlitzer, and Christopher Thomas on bass – all working through mostly original material by Blade that has this slow burn and soulful sparkle – often mellow, but without every being too laidback – and produced by Daniel Lanois with a really great overall sense of sound. Titles include "The Undertow", "In Spite Of Everything", "Folklore", "If You See Lurah", "Mohave", and "Red River Revel". LP, Vinyl record album
Wolfgang Muthspiel/Scott Colley/BrianBlade —
Angular Blues ... LP ECM (Germany), 2020. New Copy ...
A record that's maybe one of the most tuneful, lyrical we've ever heard from guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel – and that may have a lot to do with the wonderful help in the trio from Scott Colley on bass and BrianBlade on drums! The tunes still have some of the abstract qualities of Muthspiel's other work, and certainly continue his very distinct exploration of color and tone – but there's this sparkle, almost a sense of joy about most of the numbers – very present when things are grooving and moving fast, but also really there in a sense of subtle bounce when they're a bit more mellow. The quality's a bit hard to describe, but it's there right from the start, and holds up beautifully throughout – on titles that include "Wondering", "Angular Blues", "Everything I Love", "Kanon In 6/8", "I'll Remember April", "Ride", and "Camino". LP, Vinyl record album
Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau, Christian McBride, & BrianBlade —
RoundAgain ... LP Nonesuch, 2020. New Copy ...
One of those rare cases where an all-star group is really worth the weight of its talent – as this quartet really sounds wonderful together, and make you know that you're in for a treat right from the very first note in the set! The best energy of the record might come from the rhythmic conception of drummer BrianBlade, and maybe a bit of the spirit of bassist Christian McBride – because pianist Brad Mehldau and tenorist Joshua Redman come off with all these really inventive, creative elements – very much structured around a sense of rhythm, although one that's nicely complex at most moments – a less-familiar sort of swing, and we mean that in the best way possible. Titles include "Father", "Floppy Diss", "Your Part To Play", ":Moe HOnk", "Right Back Round Again", and "Undertow". LP, Vinyl record album