New modern jazz releases from a diverse trio of Seattle groups
The live concert schedules are finally back to a post-pandemic new post-normal. In that time, record releases have reached a frenetic pace and show no signs of slowing. On this week's New Cool, host Abe Beeson highlights new albums from three very different, innovative jazz groups from Seattle.
Freudian Slurp pushed back the release of their new album, The Getaway Car, to April 1. The first single, a cover of Nirvana's "In Bloom," was released last fall. "I Dream of Jammie" followed, and the title song hit the web just this week. The band's self-described "dirty groove" vibe makes magic on pulsing rhythmic workouts featuring new trumpeter Adam Robb.
The April 1 full album release completes the picture of this live recording from January 2020 at the Chapel Performance Space in Wallingford. Freudian Slurp has also returned to live performance recently. Stay connected to The New Cool for upcoming concert news.
Defying description almost by definition is the duo Josh and Ray, accordion player Joshua Hou and trumpeter Ray Larsen. Their debut album The Horn Bellows was developed in socially distanced meetings during the pandemic and was released online Feb. 9.
The accordion's nostalgic sounds create an interesting partnership with the trumpet. Their take on the classic "Smile" evokes images of a French sidewalk café, while "Nica's Pizza" has a gypsy jazz swing feeling.
Hou's instrument sounds innovative, if not downright modern, on originals like the moody "Too Bad It's All Sea and Fog" and the romantic "Places We Used to Go." Three more jazz standards get unique treatments as well. The Horn Bellows is a musical journey like you've never heard but welcomes all aboard.
Don't miss Ray Larsen's "Monday Night Special," a one-night-only concert at the Royal Room March 7. Playing Larsen's original tunes, the trumpeter will be joined by the improvisational talents of clarinetist James Falzone, guitarist Cole Schuster, bassist Tony LeFaive and drummer Evan Woodle.
Seattle's modern-jazz heroes High Pulp completed a series of EPs showing off their talents through avant-garde jazz, modern R&B, psychedelic electronica and a world of beats. 2022 brings their new full-length album of originals, Pursuit of Ends. You can pre-order the April 15 release now, and two singles are already available.
"All Roads Lead to Los Angeles" features guest saxophonist Jaleel Shaw on a sonic cityscape with driving rhythm and a powerful solo moment for Shaw. Other guests on Pursuit of Ends include trumpeter Theo Croker, harpist Brandee Younger and keyboardist Jacob Mann.
High Pulp's second single, "Blame Mercury," slows the pace to a hypnotic groove with a beautiful sax spotlight for Andrew Morrill that reaches for the stars and returns with handfuls of space dust.
The April 15 release date for Pursuit of Ends is matched with a tour that begins March 24 in Portland. High Pulp plays a hometown show at Seattle's Neumo's March 25 before hitting the road in earnest.
The New Cool airs Fridays at 9 p.m., hosted by Abe Beeson and produced by KNKX Public Radio in Seattle, Wash.