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Fall Preview 2021: From Bold Strokes to Fond Returns, Here's Our Guide to Feeling Good This Season


Autumn is always harvest time for new music, and this season is no exception.

More than a year and a half into the coronavirus pandemic, musicians are going out on tour, and even back in the clubs (taking all due precautions). Festivals have set their sights on a triumphant return, welcoming audiences in person again. Through it all, the music endures, finding ways to deepen and thrive. The evidence is all around us — and below, in the 88 notable releases and events we’ve handpicked for our Fall Preview.

The 2021 fall preview dovetails with WBGO’s fall fund drive, which bears the theme of Feeling Good. And we can think of few things better suited to that idea than the music gathered here — and the fact that our audience continues to support this art form. We ask that you also consider supporting WBGO, so we can continue to apply our expertise and enthusiasm in an effort to keep you and the music on the best of terms.

If you want an in-depth discussion of some highlights from this list, check out our companion episode of the Jazz United podcast. Now, deep breath, here we go!


Amir ElSaffar

One of the most exciting large ensembles in contemporary jazz, Amir ElSaffar’s Rivers of Sound, just released its highly anticipated second album, The Other Shore. The jubilee or melancholy of sound — depending on the mode, or maqam — washes over the listener on multiple fronts, as the orchestra rolls in one refreshing wave after another in what ElSaffar calls a “non-hierarchical” approach. This is some of the most spacious and otherworldly large-group improv music happening today. Sept. 10. Out Note. (Simon Rentner)

Frank Kimbrough

2020 was a year of so much loss, and the unexpected passing of pianist Frank Kimbrough at the end of the year was exceptionally hard. Ancestors, his first posthumous release, embodies the spirit of intense lyricism and risk-taking that one can hear on all his recordings over the last 30-plus years. His drummerless trio, with cornetist Kirk Knuffke and bassist Masa Kamaguchi, melds seamlessly on pieces like “All These Years,” which could have been written for a 1940s film noir. My favorite is “November,” whose title reflects the leader’s birth month, and whose sound conjures images of gray skies and bare trees. Sept. 10. Sunnyside. (Brian Delp)


Led by the articulate Swedish guitarist Johan Leijonhufvud, JLT (Johan Leijonhufvud Trio) carries on the tradition of classic small groups led by the likes of Joe Pass and Jim Hall. On Harlem Nocturnedue for release on Heartcore Records, the indie label run by fellow guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel — Leijonhufvud demonstrates a broad fluency in the modern jazz tradition, on a healthy range of material. (Pay close attention to the unforced sensitivity he brings to “Three Views of a Secret,” by Jaco Pastorius.) On bass is Johnny Åman, from Finland; on drums is another Swede, Niclas Campagnol. Sept. 10. Heartcore. (Nate Chinen)

Kenneth Dickerson

Marc Cary

Marc Cary gets personal with Life Lessons, his 18th album as a leader. It’s the culmination of three years of jamming with bassist Dan Chmielinski and drummer Diego Joaquin Ramirez at their weekly Harlem Sessions, before the pandemic. The result is 12 musical adventures heavily steeped in a blues feeling. Many of these songs have a personal backstory for Cary, from “And It's Supposed to be Love,” which he used to perform with its songwriter, Abbey Lincoln, to “Trust,” a celebration of his late friend and compatriot Roy Hargrove. Sept. 14. Sessionheads United. (Sarah Geledi)

Guelph Jazz Festival

A beacon for experimental music since 1994, the Guelph Jazz Festival is being held this year both in person and via livestream, with a purposeful focus on Canadian artists. Among the likely highlights: the Rob Clutton Trio, led by its namesake bassist, with drummer Nick Fraser and saxophonist Karen Ng; the Montreal quintet Togetherness! in a set devoted to music by South African jazz composers; and the Revival Ensemble, led by saxophonist Ted Crosby, performing Duke Ellington’s Far East Suite. Sept. 14-19. Guelph. (Chinen)

Montreal International Jazz Festival

The Montreal International Jazz Festival makes a triumphant return in its 41st edition, if a little later than usual. The largest jazz festival in the world may shrink its sprawling presentation to two featured stages, showcasing mostly local acts, but the lineup stays in tune with its eclectic identity, complete with a Blues summit featuring Guy Bélanger; some Japanese alt-rock with TEKE::TEKE; a legendary record producer in Daniel Lanois; and a standard jazz affair with the François Bourassa Quartet and Emie R Roussel Trio. The outdoor performances with limited capacity will be webcast for the first time (for free), which will crescendo with a sure-to-be-epic livestream with the brilliant Patrick Watson. Sept. 15-19. (Rentner)

Herb Alpert

The trumpeter, philanthropist and music mogul Herb Alpert has never been one to rest on his laurels, as we were reminded in the recent documentary film Herb Alpert Is… (2020). Catch the Wind, his new studio album, features nine original compositions, along with covers of familiar fare like Paul McCartney’s “Yesterday” and George Gershwin’s “Summertime.” Sept. 17. Herb Alpert Presents. (Chinen)

Sheila Jordan

Even by the elevated standards of our current lost-and-found era, Sheila Jordan’s Comes Love: Lost Session 1960 is a genuine astonishment. Recorded at Olmstead Sound Studio on June 10, 1960 — more than two years prior to the sessions that yielded Portrait of Sheila, her historic Blue Note debut — it captures Jordan on the cusp, already possessed of her preternatural phrasing and eternal cool. This album not only deepens our picture of Jordan, who at 92 is still going strong; it's an invaluable document for anyone seeking to understand the development of modern jazz singing. Sept. 17. Capri. (Chinen)

Chuck Owen and the Jazz Surge

Florida based composer and arranger Chuck Owen celebrates the 25th anniversary of his group, The Jazz Surge, with Within Us, featuring a look-back / push-forward excitement generated by members who have been with him since the beginning — and special guests including saxophonist Steve Wilson and vibraphonist Warren Wolf (brought in to celebrate the late Chick Corea on his tune “Chelsea Shuffle”). Coming off its multi-Grammy-nominated 2017 release, Whispers on the Wind, the band releases its new album on Sept. 17 (on Summit) and celebrates with a rare New York appearance on Sept. 26 (at Birdland). (Gary Walker)

Satoko Fujii

The pandemic has been an extremely prolific period for Satoko Fujii, recording in a tiny home studio. “Shiroku” — the opening track of her new album, Piano Music sets an abstract standard, evoking the otherworldly sounds one experiences during a Sound Bath meditation. Fujii’s production is meticulous, and while the recording comes across as if it was all played in one session, the process involved recording short segments, transferring them, and building a larger file in a nonlinear manner — another form of improvising, as Fujii observes. Sept. 17. Libra. (Carolyn Bednarski)

Pasquale Grasso

An impeccable technician and ardent melodist on guitar, Pasquale Grasso has released a steady run of EPs over the last two years, focusing on the music of Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk and others. Pasquale Plays Duke is a natural extension in this line: an insightful treatment of canonical Ellington fare like “Sophisticated Lady” and “In a Sentimental Mood.” Joining Grasso for this recital is his working rhythm section, bassist Ari Roland and drummer Keith Balla, with guest turns by luminous vocalists born about 70 years apart: rising star Samara Joy, and NEA Jazz Master Sheila Jordan. Sept. 17. Sony Masterworks. (Nate Chinen)

Kenneth Jimenez

Francisco Mela

Cuban drummer Francisco Mela spent an immersive stint in the McCoy Tyner Trio, an experience he regards as deeply formative. Inspired by Tyner’s mentorship, he set out to honor the great pianist’s memory with an album trilogy titled Music Frees Our Souls. The first volume in this series is an exploratory communion with pianist Matthew Shipp and bassist William Parker, whose bond is among the strongest in the contemporary avant-garde. Mela, with his open mind and his endless rhythmic resources, knows just how to lock into their frequencies. Sept. 16. 577 Records. (Chinen)

Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Ron Carter, Jack DeJohnette

Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, who first formed his reputation with a hyperkinetic fusion ensemble called Grupo Proyecto, has since chosen a path of quieter exploration, often in an acoustic trio format indebted to Bill Evans. Two legends, Ron Carter and Jack DeJohnette, form the perfect bass and drum duo on his fabulous new album, Skyline, contributing their own compositions alongside Rubalcaba’s — along with two Cuban classics, “Lagrimas Negras” and “Novia Mia.” Don’t look for any Afro-Cuban percussive fireworks here. This spellbinding music is drenched in dynamics, sensitivity, and introspection. Sept. 17. 5Passion. (Bobby Sanabria)

Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival

The Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival brings the heat for its 11th edition, with Chaka Khan, Marcus Miller, and Dianne Reeves headlining a weekend lineup of heavy-hitting performers. On the final day of the festm drummer, Steel City native and 2017 Guggenheim Fellow Jeff “Tain” Watts will present Suite Pittsburgh, an in-depth piece composed to honor the rich cultural history of his hometown. Sep. 17-19, Benedum Performing Arts Center and Highmark Stadium, Pittsburgh. (Trevor Smith)

Helen Sung with the Harlem Quartet

Helen Sung is one of my favorite “straight-ahead” piano players. So every time she goes on a musical excursion outside the mainstream, I’m always saying: “Why, Helen?” But then as always, I listen and I get it. Sung can take the abstract and make it swing. And she does it here with her new recording Quartet+ — never taking it too far in either direction, and always perfect. Consider “Coquette,” with its soft flowing strings, followed by a mellow bounce into piano, flute and rhythm. What began in Vienna now has us in South Brazil, with sparkling piano as a through line. Sept. 17. Sunnyside. Album-release concert at Flushing Town Hall on Sept. 16. (Rob Crocker)

Nadje Noordhuis

For pace and vibe, you might think the Australian trumpeter and composer Nadje Noorduis might be signed to ECM. Her trumpet tranquility gives visions of the artist performing alone in a gorgeous barren canyon. Instead, her forthcoming album Gullfoss — previously issued as a vinyl-only exclusive on Newvelle in 2019 — comes from a live performance in Switzerland, with Maeve Gilchrist on Celtic harp, Jesse Lewis on electric guitar, Ike Sturm on electric bass and James Shipp on synthesizers and percussion. Sept. 21. Little Mystery. (Rentner)

Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber

Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber returns to form with Angels Over Oakanda, a four-song suite that represents its first new studio album since 2017. The title refers to the Bay area — Oakland, one of the centers of Black culture. And the first movement opens with the funky bassline of co-leader and Dayton, Ohio groove master Jared Michael Nickerson, who sets the groove. A swinging, hip tune reminiscent of ‘70s funk and Electric Miles, and a head-bopping gem. Sept. 23. Avant Groidd Musica. (Sheila Anderson)

The Cookers: Donald Harrison, Jr., Billy Hart, Cecil McBee, Eddie Henderson, George Cables, David Weiss, Billy Harper
John Abbott
The Cookers: Donald Harrison, Jr., Billy Hart, Cecil McBee, Eddie Henderson, George Cables, David Weiss, Billy Harper

The Cookers

If you’re looking for a take-no-prisoners approach to improvisation performed by living masters of our music, then look no further than The Cookers. Their latest, Look Out!, is a fierce program of seven originals (by pianist George Cables, saxophonist Billy Harper and bassist Cecil McBee) that showcase a hard-driving rhythmic elasticity (spearheaded by NEA Jazz Master Billy Hart). Trumpeters Eddie Henderson and David Weiss and alto saxophonist Donald Harrison also have some memorable moments throughout the set. And among the many high points is “The Mystery of Monifa Brown,” which Cables composed in tribute to one of WBGO’s most cherished on-air personalities. Sept. 24. Gearbox. (Bryant)

Chick Corea

The recent death of polymath Chick Corea shed a retrospective light on his incredible body of work — and Live, a two-disc set recorded in Jan. 2018, adds to that legacy. Corea’s flights of fancy are given even more room to soar in the intimacy of his reunited Akoustic Band, with John Patitucci on bass and Dave Weckl on drums. It’s a master class in modern trio playing, with the musicians interacting together so well together they could be called a living, breathing organism. Original pieces like “Humpty Dumpty,” “Rhumba Flamenco” are juxtaposed against standards like “On Green Dolphin Street,” further demonstrating Corea’s improvisational genius. Sept. 24. Concord. (Sanabria)


Theo Croker

Trumpeter Theo Croker’s latest release is a spiritual venture into the astral zone, weaving psychedelic and futuristic textures around his mellow, fat tone. BLK2LIFE || A FUTURE PAST is stacked with guests like Wyclef Jean, Ari Lennox and Kassa Overall. Croker — like his contemporaries Marquis Hill, Christian Scott, and the late Roy Hargrove — often taps into genre-fluid grooves, layered with folkloric drums and chants. The best symbiosis of rich production paired with instrumental execution unfolds on the track “Hero Stomp || A Future Past.” Sept. 24. Sony Masterworks. (Alex Ariff)

Joey DeFrancesco

Whoever said “less is more” could probably use a consultation with Joey DeFrancesco. World-renowned as a Hammond B-3 organ hero since his teens, he’s also a surefooted trumpeter — and, for the first time on More Music, also on the record as a tenor saxophonist. DeFrancesco toggles between these instruments on 10 new original tunes, with an assist from Michael Ode on drums and Lucas Brown on both backup organ and guitar. Sept. 24. Mack Avenue. (Nate Chinen)

Chet Doxas

Tenor saxophonist Chet Doxas’ latest recording, You Can’t Take It With You, stems from an early morning bus ride with pianist Carla Bley and bassist Steve Swallow, when Doxas told the power couple how much he enjoyed their trio with Andy Sheppard. In typical Carla fashion, she asked Chet why he didn’t just start his own trio. “In the moment it took my jetlagged brain to process the idea, she then followed her question with something whispered, almost like a secret: ‘one song a month…’” Swallow whispered the same thing into the other ear. Doxas took their advice to heart in this recording with pianist Ethan Iverson and bassist Thomas Morgan. Sept 24. Whirlwind Recordings. (Geledi)

Mathias Eick

The painterly trumpet style of Mathias Eick — whispery, murmuring, yet possessed of a clarion focus — has been a standout feature of Norwegian jazz over the last decade. When we leave, his captivating new album on ECM, reinforces his additional prowess as a bandleader, as well as an organizer of sound. Chamberlike and fusionesque by turns, it features invaluable contributions from violinist Håkon Aase, pedal steel guitarist Stian Carstensen, pianist Andreas Ulvo, electric bassist Audun Erlien and drummer Torstein Lofthus. Sept. 24. ECM. (Chinen)

Daniel García Trio

The Spanish pianist Daniel García Diego has recently been committed to exploring the natural affinities between jazz and flamenco — a project that now extends to his album Vía de la Plata, with the Cuban rhythm team of bassist Reinier “El Negrón” Elizarde and drummer Michael Olivera. Special guests include Spanish guitarist Gerardo Núñez Díaz, Israeli clarinetist and saxophonist Anat Cohen, French-Lebanese trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf. Sept. 24. ACT Music. (Chinen)

Anthony Hamilton

I was first introduced to singer Anthony Hamilton in 2003, when he joined trumpeter Roy Hargrove’s neo-soul/jazz project The RH Factor for their first album, Hard Groove. Hamilton immediately won me over with his soulful delivery, sprinkled with the gritty sound of Eddie Levert, lead singer of The O’Jays. Eighteen years later, with more deep and personal pain to share, Hamilton is set to release his 10th album, Love is the New Black. The 14-track opus features an original composition, “Mercy,” where he cries: “Until you have felt the pain of a broken man, you can never understand the way I feel.” Sept. 24. My Music Box / BMG. (Lezlie Harrison)

Hiroyuki Seo

Miho Hazama

Miho Hazama left Tokyo for New York City with one goal in mind: to be known as an arranger and composer. None of the other glitter meant anything. Knowing her over the years, I know it has not been easy for her. But she maintained her vision — and here we are with her latest achievement, Imaginary Visions, a recording with the renowned Danish Radio big band. Sept. 24. Edition. (Crocker)

Nils Landgren

Forty years ago, Nils Landgren answered the call from Thad Jones to join his band. Landgren, synonymous with his red trombone, has since earned a reputation as one of the most expressive and forceful players on the international scene. It may surprise some to hear the softer, mellower, more vocal side of Landgren on his first solo album, Nature Boy, recorded at a church in Sweden during the quiet of lockdown. Sept. 24. ACT Music. (Sheila Anderson)

Monterey Jazz Festival

Once tickets became available for the 64th Monterey Jazz Festival, they sold out in less than a week. The lucky people who managed to grab those tickets will enjoy three days of music from many of today’s biggest names in jazz, including Herbie Hancock, George Benson, Pat Metheny and Terri Lyne Carrington. Not to be missed is Ledisi, who has recently been thrilling audiences with her tribute to the legendary Nina Simone. Sept. 24 to 26. (Rhonda Hamilton)

Arturo O’Farrill

The prolific, thought-provoking, multiple-Grammy award-winning pianist and bandleader Arturo O'Farrill fulfills a lifelong dream with his Blue Note debut ...dreaming in lions... With his mighty 10-piece Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble (including sons Adam and Zack), O’Farrill unveils two multi-movement suites composed in collaboration with the Malpaso Dance Company of Cuba. “Despedida,” a stirring meditation on farewells, and the Ernest Hemingway inspired “Dreaming in Lions” are fodder for this latest opus. Sept. 24. Blue Note. (Monifa Brown)

joanna chattman

David Sanford Big Band

In the realm of contemporary classical music, David Sanford is known as an extravagant talent: a Guggenheim fellow for composition, recipient of the prestigious Rome Prize, creator of works performed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Society of Lincoln Center, among others. Jazz audiences don’t know Sanford quite as well — but that may change on the basis of his impressive new album, A Prayer For Lester Bowie, which tweaks the conventions of modern big band orchestration while setting a stage for soloists like trumpeter Hugh Ragin and tenor saxophonist Anna Webber. Sept. 24. Greenleaf. (Chinen)

Jared Schonig

Jared Schonig has worked extensively as a touring sideman, a session drummer, and a pit engine in Broadway productions like The Color Purple. His two new albums — Two Takes Vol. 1: Quintet and Two Takes Vol. 2: Big Band — decisively put him forward as a bandleader, with eight original tunes rendered in both combo and large group settings. The quintet has Marquis Hill on trumpet, Godwin Louis on alto saxophone, Luis Perdomo on piano and Matt Clohesy on bass; the big band enlarges Schonig’s themes with charts by some of the leading orchestrators of our time, like Jim McNeely, Darcy James Argue, Mike Holober and Miho Hazama. Sept 24. Anzic. Album-release engagement at Birdland on Oct. 17. (Chinen)

Henry Threadgill’s Zooid

Zooid — composer and multi-reedist Henry Threadgill’s main creative vehicle for 20 years and counting — is as dynamic, versatile and evocative as ever. Out the gate, Poof delivers the contrapuntal and hypnotic landscapes fans will know and love. This is a band to listen to with your eyes closed. They also tap into some sensitive and yearning moment on the title track, during which a textual blanket is laid by Jose Davila’s tuba and Christopher Hoffman’s cello, eventually making room for Threadgill’s alto saxophone to stretch out. Sept. 24. Pi Recordings. (Ariff)

Eunhye Jeong

A pianist who draws both from the traditional Korean music of her heritage and the expansive language of the improvised avant-garde, Eunhye Jeong explores a range of sonic possibilities on Nolda, her latest solo recital. There’s some Cecil Taylor in her approach, but to invoke such handy comparisons does this music a disservice. Worth noting, too, that the album’s title is a Korean word that translates as “play.” Sept. 24. ESP-Disk. (Chinen)


Angel City Jazz Festival

After upping the online festival ante in 2020 with a 360-degree virtual reality experience, the Angel City Jazz Festival returns in person to venues across the Los Angeles area. The self-proclaimed “most adventurous jazz festival” in L.A. will present premier contemporary jazz trendsetters — from Jamie Baum’s Septet+1 and the Mark Dresser 5 to Los Angeles’ own Pan African Peoples Arkestra — for an of-the-now West Coast celebration. Oct. 1-15, Los Angeles. (Smith)


Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga

Our leading Odd Couple of the American Songbook first convened a decade ago for Duets II, which made Tony Bennett the oldest living artist ever to debut an album at No. 1. He repeated the feat with Cheek to Cheek, their first full-scale collaboration, in 2014. Over the seven years since, Lady Gaga has performed at the Super Bowl, won an Academy Award, and otherwise secured her stature as an incandescent force in pop culture. Bennett has racked up a couple more Grammys — but also announced that he has been living with Alzheimer’s, which finally put a halt to his performing career, and had some effect on the recording of Love For Sale, an album of songs by his beloved Cole Porter. But the warm, frolicsome chemistry between Bennett and Gaga is fully intact on the album, which gives a white-glove treatment to some of Porter’s best-known songs. Oct. 1. Streamline/Columbia/Interscope. (Chinen)

Walter Bishop, Jr.'s 4th Cycle

Pianist Walter Bishop Jr. quickly established himself as a central figure of the 1950s bebop movement. As it turns out — based on Keeper of My Soul, his 1973 release for the Black Jazz label — he was poised to become a leader of the jazz-funk movement too. Whether on acoustic piano, Fender Rhodes or Hammond organ, he focuses his energy into a wide and deep pocket. His groove chemistry with bassist Gerald Brown, drummer Bahir Hassan and percussionist Shakir Abdulla on “Summertime” is unwavering. And on “Those Who Chant,” Bishop propels then-23-year-old saxophonist Ronnie Laws into some of his most untethered and adventurous playing on record. Oct. 1. BlackJazz / Real Gone Music. (Bryant)

Michael Brecker

Beloved tenor legend and gentle giant Michael Brecker, who left the world prematurely in 2007, is the subject of veteran jazz journalist Bill Milkowski’s eighth book, Ode to a Tenor Titan. “For those of us coming of age in the 1970s,” Milkowski declares, “Brecker stood as a transcendent figure. He was our Trane.” With an impassioned foreword penned by Michael’s older brother, trumpeter Randy Brecker, this page-turner features interviews with bassist Dave Holland, guitarist Steve Khan, saxophonist Dave Liebman and trumpeter Randy Sandke among others, notably including Michael’s widow, Susan. Oct. 1. Backbeat Books. (Brown)

The Daptone Super Soul Revue

Recorded over three electric nights at The Apollo Theater in 2014, LIVE! At the Apollo offers a beautiful snapshot of Daptone Records’ A Team of groove torchbearers, in all their glory. The three- LP package, which features a 48-page book of photographs, includes performances from contemporary Afrobeat outfit Antibalas, R&B group Saun & Starr, and — of course— the late, great Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings. Oct. 1. Daptone. (Smith)

Joe Farnsworth

City of Sounds is a follow up to drummer Joe Farnsworth’s 2020 release, Time to Swing. Though the album title has changed, the agenda and stellar personnel remain the same. NEA Jazz Master Kenny Barron and acclaimed bassist Peter Washington join Farnsworth to re-investigate songbook classics like “Moonlight in Vermont” and “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top” with a masterfully swinging drive. The album also introduces three new Farnsworth compositions: a blues (“City of Sounds”) a bossa (“Ojos Carinosos”) and one based on the form of Miles Davis’ “So What” (“No Fills”). On the latter of these, Farnsworth pays the most sensitive attention to dynamics while never letting up on the intensity. Oct. 1. Smoke Sessions. (Bryant)

Katherine Brook

Matthew Stevens

When guitarist Matthew Stevens broke his elbow just before Thanksgiving in 2020, he didn’t stop playing. He healed and hunkered down at his wife’s family’s house in Pittsburgh — and in January, using a simple two-microphone setup, he created Pittsburgh. The tunes reveal themselves like a solo recital of original music, without overdubs. They’re sketches, each piece establishing a own mood — from the intricate Bach-infused chorale of “Can Am” to pieces like “Blue Blues,” where Stevens effortlessly converses with himself between multiple registers. Oct. 1. Whirlwind Recordings. (Ariff)

Miki Yamanaka

Pianist Miki Yamanaka couldn’t play a song poorly if you put her in a movie and paid her to do it. You can hear this integrity on her new album, Stairway to the Stars. And unless you read the liner notes, it might take three songs before you realize: there are no drums. The groove is set and maintained by her piano and Orlando Fleming’s bass. Add in Mark Turner on tenor sax and the chemistry takes classic standards and reintroduces them like fresh mint. Oct. 1. Outside in Music. (Crocker)


It’s Arthur Verocai season. The Brazilian jazz fusionist with orchestral chops is finally getting his due worldwide. The latest band to summon his services: the millennial jazz-crossover act from Toronto known as BADBADNOTGOOD. The video for “Beside April,” the latest single from their forthcoming album, Talk Memory, features an assembly of characters running to the backdrop of a cragged mountain range well above tree line. It’s revealed they are chasing a brilliant white horse — an homage to Eadweard Muybridge’s “The Horse in Motion,” credited as the first motion picture. Other musical contributors on the album include Karriem Riggins, Terrace Martin, Laraaji, and Brandee Younger. Oct. 8. XL Recordings. (Rentner)

Lena Bloch & Feathery

Russian-born tenor saxophonist Lena Bloch, a prominent acolyte of the Tristano School, incorporates folkloric elements of Eastern European and Middle Eastern music on Rose of Lifta. It’s the latest effort by her Feathery quartet, with pianist Russ Lossing, bassist Cameron Brown, and drummer Billy Mintz. Oct. 8. Fresh Sound New Talent. (Chinen)

John Coltrane - A Love Supreme, Pt. IV - Psalm (Live In Seattle / Visualizer)

John Coltrane

Since the startling announcement of its imminent release, A Love Supreme: Live in Seattle has quickly topped our list of the most highly anticipated albums of 2021. So here’s what you need to know. It’s one of only two available live recordings of John Coltrane’s iconic suite, recorded at The Penthouse in Seattle on Oct. 2, 1965. It features the classic Coltrane Quartet with a few earnest interlopers — tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, alto saxophonist Carlos Ward second bassist Donald "Rafael" Garrett. The physical release features illuminating notes by Lewis Porter and Ashley Kahn. And yes, it is a fresh astonishment. The excitement is fully warranted. Oct. 8. Impulse! (Chinen)

Joshua Crumbly

Julliard-trained bass and synth artist Joshua Crumbly made his second album, ForEver, with the help of drummer Jay Bellerose. Crumbly says the impetus behind this go-it-alone approach was inspired by Shahzad Ismaily, another impressive DIY electric bassist deeply entrenched in many fields of sound. The music on ForEver achieves commendable range — a mixture of ambient and thoughtful grooves with a tinge of spookiness reminiscent of a Twin Peaks soundtrack. Oct. 8. figureight. (Rentner)

Milford Graves

Multi-disciplinary artist and natural scientist Milford Graves left us too soon, well before we could appropriately acknowledge his creative genius. Thankfully, Mark Christman at Ars Nova Workshop curated Milford Graves: A Mind-Body Deal at the ICA in Philadelphia last year, while the artist was still with us. Now comes a follow-up: Milford Graves: Fundamental Frequency, which aggregates all the polymath’s creative pursuits in an exhibition at Artists Space in Lower Manhattan. Most of us knew Graves as a radical percussionist who strayed from predictive beat patterns. This exhibition will certainly showcase that in music, film, and photography, but will also delve into his other creative passions, such as martial arts, holistic medicine, and his scientific study of the human heart. Oct. 8 through Jan. 8, 2022. Artists Space. (Rentner)

Mari Amita


Piano firebrand Hiromi has responded to the pandemic with creative punches — look no further than her exuberant performance at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics. Her resilience can also be found on Silver Lining Suite, featuring a string quartet with jazz chops. The resulting ensemble, which she calls The Piano Quintet, is her vessel — a soaring starship that propels her piano heroics into the stratosphere. Titles such as “Isolation” and “Uncertainty” may hint toward a dismal headspace, but these compositions are joyous and ebullient, nodding at times towards Erroll Garner. Hiromi will perform album-release shows at Sony Hall on Oct. 7 and 8. Silver Lining Suite comes out on Oct. 8 on Telarc. (Rentner)

Jeff Lederer’s Sunwatcher Quartet

Eightfold Path, by Jeff Lederer’s Sunwatcher Quartet, is a jewel of an album inspired by Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings and writings. Like many, Lederer had time for reflection in the summer of 2020. Not only are his eight melodies brilliantly recorded, but the compositions also reflect a multitude of emotions — flowing from a skillfully cohesive unit that realized the material mostly with first takes. The quartet features organist and pianist Jamie Saft, who engineered the album on the lawn of his recording studio, along with drummer Matt Wilson and bassist Steve Swallow. Oct. 8. Little(i)music. (Bryant)

Enrico Rava

The noted trumpeter-composer Enrico Rava has also been a prolific mentor, helping to shape the sound of the modern Italian jazz scene. Edizione Speciale, recorded live at the Middelheim Festival in Antwerp, features an ensemble of gifted younger players, including Giovanni Guidi on piano, Francesco Bearzatti on tenor saxophone, and Francesco Diodati on guitar. Oct. 8. ECM. (Chinen)

Craig Taborn

Shadow Plays is a new solo piano recital by the inveterate searcher Craig Taborn, recorded in concert at the Konzerthaus in Vienna in March 2020. Judging by the sterling precedent set by Avenging Angel, an album in the same format from a decade ago, this will be a sonic experience both expansive in scope and interior in scale, with a deep spirit of inquiry. Oct. 8. ECM. (Chinen)

courtesy of the artist

Marcin Wasilewski Trio

For many listeners, the personnel in the Marcin Wasilewski Trio — Wasilewski on piano, Slawomir Kurkiewicz on bass, Michal Miskiewicz on drums — first appeared on the radar as a rhythm section for their fellow Polish improviser, the late trumpeter Tomasz Stanko. In the 20 years since they began that association, the trio has ripened into its own sound. En Attendant is their seventh album for ECM, and along with original pieces, it has distinctive treatments of tunes by Carla Bley (“Vashkar”), J.S. Bach (“Goldberg Variations, Var. 25”) and The Doors (“Riders on the Storm”). Oct. 9. ECM. (Chinen)

Earshot Jazz Festival

Seattle’s Earshot Jazz Festival, organized by the nonprofit of the same name, returns for a sprawling hybrid in-person/virtual celebration this fall. The 33rd annual presentation will showcase fresh voices (vocalist Samara Joy, saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins, trumpeter Giveton Gelin) as well as veteran headliners (Chucho Valdés, Dianne Reeves, Joe Lovano) at venues across the Emerald City. Oct. 13 through Nov. 7. Earshot Jazz. (Smith)

Other Minds Festival

The Other Minds Festival has earned its reputation for ambitious programming in an experimental vein — and its 25th edition, rescheduled from April 2020, is no exception. Over four nights, it will feature performances by AACM icons, like Roscoe Mitchell, Anthony Braxton and Wadada Leo Smith; next-generation explorers, like Myra Melford and William Parker; younger category-exploders, like Ambrose Akinmusire, Mary Halvorson and Tyshawn Sorey; and all-purpose wildcards, like Elliott Sharp and King Britt. The fest is slated to take place in person, but also available as a livestream. Oct. 14-19. Taube Atrium Theater, San Francisco. (Chinen)

Whit Dickey, William Parker, Matthew Shipp

It would be almost impossible to trace all the lines of intersection between drummer Whit Dickey, bassist William Parker and pianist Matthew Shipp over the last 30 years. But there’s one convergence that stands apart: Circular Temple, an album by Shipp released in 1992, featuring Parker and Dickey as his partners in tumultuous transformation. Village Mothership is the first studio album since then to feature the three as a trio — now working as a collective, with a lot more mileage individually and in colloquy. Oct. 15. TAO Forms. (Chinen)

Montréal Jazz Trio

Montréal is home to the world’s largest jazz festival, so naturally it produces some of the finest jazz talent north of the 49th parallel. Three gentlemen symbolize that excellence in the Montréal Jazz Trio: Steve Amirault (piano), Adrian Vedady (bass) and Jim Doxas (drums). Their self-titled debut blends a mix of originals and standards, with Amirault contributing four of his own harmonious gems. It’s Montreal jazz at the highest level. Oct 15. Odd Sound. (Geledi)

Nick Sanders

A pianist originally from New Orleans and based for the last decade or so in New York, Nick Sanders favors a mode of flowing articulacy, blending state-of-the-art jazz techniques with a strong foundation in classical music. His first solo piano album, Phantoms of Memory, features compositions inspired by masters like Debussy, Prokofiev and Chopin. Oct. 15. Sunnyside. (Chinen)

Sara Schoenbeck

If the bassoon represents one of the last frontiers for improvised music, Sara Schoenbeck is our Lewis and our Clark. After distinguishing herself in a range of chamber-like settings, often with partners like pianists Wayne Horvitz and Robin Holcomb, she will step out this fall with Duos. Along with the aforementioned, her partners in exploration include guitarist Nels Cline, bassist Mark Dresser, cellist Peggy Lee, and three unrelated Mitchells: Roscoe (saxophone), Nicole (flute) and Matt (piano). Oct. 15. Pyroclastic. (Chinen)

Edward Simon

Last year the unerringly tasteful Venezuelan pianist Edward Simon acknowledged a personal milestone with 25 Years, a compilation of tracks from across his career. His next step as a recording artist will be Solo Live — his first-ever solo piano album, including tender interpretations of material by Thelonious Monk (“Monk’s Mood,” “Monk’s Dream”) and Billy Strayhorn (“Lush Life”). Oct. 15. Ridgeway. (Chinen)

Wadada Leo Smith

It’s not as if 2021 were lacking for new music by Wadada Leo Smith: the eminent and ever-valiant trumpeter-composer has already released two 3-CD sets this year, Trumpet (a solo opus) and Sacred Ceremonies (featuring Bill Laswell and the late Milford Graves). Now we’re about to see two more major drops: A Love Sonnet for Billie Holiday, featuring the spectacular lineup of Smith, pianist Vijay Iyer and drummer Jack DeJohnette; and The Chicago Symphonies, a 4-CD set of performances by Smith’s Great Lakes Quartet, with DeJohnette, John Lindberg on bass and Henry Threadgill and Johnathan Haffner on saxophones. Oct. 15. TUM. (Chinen)

Yuma Uesaka and Marilyn Crispell

Streamscaptures a first-time musical encounter between multi-reedist Yuma Uesaka and pianist Marilyn Crispell, packed with unexpected details and aglow with shared intuition. Recorded near Crispell’s home in Woodstock, N.Y., it features a balance of free improvisations and pieces by Uesaka, who drew inspiration from his partner’s previous track record of duologue, notably with Joseph Jarman and Anthony Braxton. Oct. 15. Not Two / Polyfold. (Chinen)

The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong All Stars

A Gift to Popscontains one of the most jubilant and varied celebrations of the music of Louis Armstrong. Played by an all-star collective, this album’s arrangements and energy are as high-spirited as Pops himself. Look no further than a version of “The Peanut Vendor,” arranged by Nicholas Payton, that reconvenes trumpeter Wynton Marsalis with trombonist Wyclife Gordon, bassist Reginal Veal, and drummer Herlin Riley plus saxophonist Roderick Paulin and pianist Courtney Bryan. The driving groove that results is one formed exclusively from the hearts and hands of New Orleans’ finest. Oct. 15. Verve. (Bryant)

courtesy of the artist

Melanie Charles

Not all tribute albums should be treated equally. Y’all Don’t (Really) Care About Black Women finds vocalist Melanie Charles radically reimagining jazz classics for a psychedelic dance floor. She samples at length from original sessions by the likes of Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan and Marlena Shaw — exploding that material into modern-day trap beats and deep house grooves. The listening experience track by track is so compelling that it leaves me wondering what’s going to happen next. (Quick aside: she sounds closer to Dinah Washington than anyone would have expected.) Oct. 22. Verve. (Rentner)

Kazemde George

Saxophonist and composer Kazemde George makes his debut as a leader with I Insistan album whose title is meant to evoke Max Roach’s We Insist! Freedom Now Suite. The music, often swinging even as it smolders, conveys something about George’s bond with the jazz tradition, as well as his firsthand research in Afro-Cuban traditions. And it introduces a smart young band with Sami Stevens on vocals, Isaac Wilson on piano and Wurlitzer, Tyrone Allen II on bass and Adam Arruda on drums. Oct. 22. Greenleaf. (Chinen)

Gordon Grdina

A player of often-dazzling capabilities on various stringed instruments, Gordon Grdina inaugurates his own label with two scintillating releases. Pendulum is a solo recital, incorporating musical languages both Arabic and European, for classical guitar and oud. And Klotski is the first studio album by his band Square Peg, with Mat Maneri on viola, Shahzad Ismaily on bass and Moog, and Christian Lillinger on drums. Oct. 22. Attaboygirl. (Chinen)

Lionel Loueke

Originally released only on vinyl in 2018, Close Your Eyesis a reintroduction of classics ranging from John Coltrane’s “Countdown” to Henry Mancini’s “Moon River.” It begins with guitarist Lionel Loueke embossing his signature groove on Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints,” aptly solidified by Reuben Rogers’ bass and Eric Harland’s drums. This album is a sterling offering of gratitude and reverence for the greats that have shaped Loueke’s sound print. Oct. 22. Sounderscore. (Faircloth)

Orquesta Akokán

The high-octane sound of Cuban mambo is largely inseparable from the tradition of cultural exchange between Havana and New York. Orquesta Akokán honors both on its second album, 16 Rayos, recorded at Egrem Studios with a blended ensemble of musicians — notably vocalist and composer José “Pepito” Gómez, producer and guitarist Jacob Plasse and pianist and arranger Michael Eckroth. Featured guests include the legendary guarachera Xiomara Valdés and powerful rumba singer Pedro “Tata” Francisco Almeida Barriel. Oct. 22. Daptone. (Chinen)

Artifacts Trio: Nicole Mitchell, Mike Reed, Tomeka Reid
Liina Raud
Artifacts Trio: Nicole Mitchell, Mike Reed, Tomeka Reid

Artifacts Trio

Flutist Nicole Mitchell, cellist Tomeka Reid and drummer Mike Reed made their first statement as Artifacts Trio in 2015, with Artifacts, an act of radical repertory in celebration of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. With their second release, …and then there’s this, these three AACM members expand the frame to include their own compositions, as well as a loving take on pieces by Roscoe Mitchell and Muhal Richard Abrams. Oct. 29. Astral Spirits. (Chinen)

Johnathan Blake

A first-call drummer for Kenny Barron, Tom Harrell and Pharoah Sanders (among others), Johnathan Blake scores a home run with his Blue Note debut, Homeward Bound. The arresting eight-track set opens with the primordial heartbeat of solo drums, setting the scene for the quintet Blake calls Pentad, with alto saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins, vibraphonist Joel Ross, pianist David Virelles and bassist Dezron Douglas. Blake draws inspiration from an array of sources: “Homeward Bound” bears a dedication to the memory of saxophonist Jimmy Greene’s daughter, Ana Grace, while “Steppin’ Out” reimagines the Joe Jackson hit. The music hits straight to the heart. Oct. 29. Blue Note. (Brown)

Ian Hippolyte

Theon Cross

Tuba maestro Theon Cross is equally adept with a guttural growl, a brisk ostinato or a thrumming drone — a range that has been integral to the sound of the insurgent London scene, with Sons of Kemet and behind the likes of saxophonist Nubya Garcia. On his raucous new album Intra-I (meaning “Within Self”), Cross harnesses dub and dancehall rhythms while exploring a larger swath of music from the Afro-Caribbean Diaspora. Among his partners in this expedition are Garcia, drummer Moses Boyd, and rapper Little Simz. Oct. 29. New Soil / Marathon. (Chinen)

Sylvie Courvoisier and Mary Halvorson

Pianist Sylvie Courvoisier and guitarist Mary Halvorson have collaborated as a duo before, on a fine 2017 album, Crop Circles. But where that effort revolved around repurposed material, their second, Searching for the Disappeared Hour, features music composed expressly for the occasion. As you’d expect from two of our most rigorous minds, it’s an outing defined by generous give-and-take over constantly shifting ground. Oct. 29. Pyroclastic. (Chinen)

Ember with Orrin Evans

If the name “Ember” doesn’t ring a bell, it’s still possible that you know one or more of its component parts: saxophonist Caleb Curtis, bassist Noah Garabedian, drummer Vinnie Sperrazza. These three openminded musicians, active on the Brooklyn scene, released their first collective album a few years ago. For their latest, No One is Any One, they called on pianist Orrin Evans for some reinforcements — knowing that he’d bring some fire and finesse without upending the chamber-like rapport of the band. Oct. 29. Sunnyside. (Chinen)

Miles Okazaki, right, and Dan Weiss performing at National Sawdust in Brooklyn.
John Rogers
Miles Okazaki, right, and Dan Weiss performing at National Sawdust in Brooklyn.

Miles Okazaki and Dan Weiss

Guitarist Miles Okazaki and drummer Dan Weiss first met in 1997, as students at the Manhattan School of Music. They’ve since worked in a range of contexts together, including a pair of Okazaki’s albums — but Music For Drums and Guitar captures them in the most direct form of exchange we’ve heard. The result of a commission from John Zorn, it comprises two suites: “The Memory Palace,” by Okazaki, and “Middlegame,” by Weiss. This music is hyperacute and superdynamic, with myriad strategies at play. Oct. 29. Cygnus. (Chinen)

Nicholas Payton

Smoke Sessions represents the realization of a dream for multi-instrumentalist Nicholas Payton. In his youth, he marveled at the work of saxophonist George Coleman and bassist Ron Carter on the Miles Davis album Four & More. Both Coleman and Carter appear on his new album, along with drummer Karriem Riggins — and together these four musicians display a comprehensive mastery of the Black American musical experience. The opening tune, “Hangin’ and a Jivin’,” is a good time, indeed. Its bluesy melody and buoyant rhythm foreshadow a program of originals and arrangements that provide the perfect common ground for this multi-generational band to shine brightly. Oct. 29. Smoke Sessions. (Bryant)

Jamire Williams

As a beatmaker and sonic catalyst, Jamire Williams has made his mark alongside elders like Dr. Lonnie Smith as well as peers like Ben Williams. His first outing as a leader was an involving solo drum meditation, /////// Effectual, released in 2016. His second, But Only After You Have Suffered, ups the ante in every way — sketching an impressionistic sonic canvas with well over a dozen collaborators, including Corey King and Jawwaad Taylor on vocals, Josh Johnson on Mellotron and synths, Jason Moran on piano and Sam Gendel on alto saxophone. Oct. 29. International Anthem. (Chinen)


Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers

Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers were well documented on record during the late 1950s and early ‘60s. But their first tour of Japan, early in 1961, matched their most blazing sounds with their most appreciative audiences, as we hear on a newly unearthed gem, First Flight to Tokyo: The Lost 1961 Recordings. The rhythm team of Blakey, pianist Bobby Timmons and bassist Jymie Merritt burns brightly behind trumpeter Lee Morgan and saxophonist Wayne Shorter — arguably, the frontline that best presents the band’s ethos in full. Nov. 5. Blue Note. (Bryant)

Alexis Cole

We’ve all heard otherwise fine singers who probably shouldn’t scat or sing with a big band. Luckily for us listeners, the “Canary In Combat Boots,” Alexis Cole, is not that singer. She’s an actual U.S. Army veteran, and vocalist with West Point’s Jazz Knights for years. On her new album, Sky Blossom: Songs From My Tour of Duty, she swings delightfully on pieces like “Joy Spring” and “All Blues,” demonstrates her bilingual abilities on Jobim’s “Triste,” and closes with the moving “American Anthem,” accompanied only by piano. Although she’s now out of uniform, Cole is one veteran who knows what these songs are all about. Nov. 5. Zoho. (Delp)

Remy Le Boeuf

Alto saxophonist and composer Remy Le Boeuf scaled up his ambitions as an orchestrator a few years ago, creating the acclaimed album Assembly of Shadows. He expands on the concept with a dynamic follow-up, Architecture of Storms, which vividly illustrates his creative breadth, including an affinity for atmospheric indie-rock. (The title track features Julia Easterlin singing lyrics by Sara Pirkle, and there’s a cover of Bon Iver’s “Minnesota, WI.”) Nov. 5. SoundSpore. (Chinen)

Matthew Shipp

Matthew Ship’s Codebreaker occupies a unique space in the world of solo piano recordings. Shipp is addressing the topic of what comes next with a combination of pulse, mystery, adventure, and the suggestion of infinity. With the album’s longest tune clocking in at just over five minutes, Shipp’s scope and attack on songs like “Disc,” “Code Swing” and “Suspended” are highly concentrated and expository. When the pieces come to an end, they often suggest more questions. Sometimes the following piece gives an answer, sometimes not. Codebreaker reveals new information on each successive listen. Nov. 5. Tao Forms. (Bryant)

TD James Moody Jazz Festival

The TD James Moody Jazz Festival goes big for its 10th annual edition, opening with the Django Festival Allstars (Nov. 5) and closing with the Maria Schneider Orchestra (Nov. 21). And there’s a lot happening between those bookends, including the Don Braden Septet, in a WBGO Kids Jazz matinee (Nov. 7); a performance of The Movement Revisited, by NJPAC Jazz Advisor Christian McBride (Nov. 11); and the powerhouse combination of Dianne Reeves with Artemis (Nov. 13). Nov. 5-21, New Jersey Performing Arts Center. (Walker)

The Bill Charlap Trio: Kenny Washington, Charlap, Peter Washington.
Keith Major
The Bill Charlap Trio: Kenny Washington, Charlap, Peter Washington.

Bill Charlap Trio

Street of Dreams marks the 24th anniversary of the Bill Charlap Trio — their synergy instantly apparent when they formed in 1997. For Charlap, bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington, this album feels like both a post-pandemic reunion and a nostalgia-inducing vignette of the old New York jazz scene — where you could walk into a smoke-filled club and pull an all-nighter listening to classics from the American songbook and beyond. Nov. 12. Blue Note. (Faircloth)

Joe Fiedler

The trombonist, music director and staff arranger for Sesame Street, Joe Fiedler brings his Open Sesame project back for another album of lighthearted and playful yet intricate arrangements that stroll down the vast history of Sesame’s songbook. Trumpeter Steven Bernstein and vocalist Miles Griffith round out Fiedler’s group for a bouncing collection of grown-up-sounding numbers for the music fan and child at heart. Nov. 12. Multiphonics Music. (Trevor Smith)

Tony Malaby

When tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby released Sabino in 2000, he was known as a sparkplug sideman for the likes of Marty Ehrlich, Satoko Fujii and Guillermo Klein. The album, whose title references a canyon near his native Tucson, Ariz., put him out front with a rhythm team of guitarist Marc Ducret, bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Tom Rainey. More than two decades later, Malaby has an expansive track record as a solo artist, and his Sabino quartet has changed personnel just slightly, swapping Ben Monder in on guitar. Its next album is sure to be a step forward. Nov. 12. Pyroclastic. (Chinen)

The Adam O'Farrill Quartet: Walter Stinson, Zack O'Farrill, Xavier Del Castillo, and O'Farrill.
Alex Joseph
The Adam O'Farrill Quartet: Walter Stinson, Zack O'Farrill, Xavier Del Castillo, and O'Farrill.

Adam O’Farrill and Stranger Days

What to say about trumpeter Adam O’Farrill? Well, he’s the grandson of legendary Cuban arranger and bandleader Chico O’Farrill. He’s the son of Grammy-winning pianist and bandleader Arturo O’Farrill (who appears elsewhere in this Fall Preview). And while in the past he’s shown his ability to swing on trumpet, here Adam follows his grandfather and father by expanding to new musical altitudes. You’ll find it all on his new recording Visions of Your Other. Nov. 12. Biophilia. (Crocker)


It’s no secret that the music scene was hit hard when the pandemic took over the world. Shows, festivals, concerts, even recording sessions all came to a screeching halt, leaving many to wonder how they would provide for themselves and their families. RELIEF, a benefit for the Jazz Musicians Foundation of America’s Musicians Emergency Fund, is a compilation featuring some of jazz’s leading players (Herbie Hancock, Christian McBride and more), bringing that “healing feeling” to support some of their friends in need. Hearing Cécile McLorin Salvant sing about some “Easy Come, Easy Go Blues” will make you sway as you remember these times are temporary. Speaking of relief, you’ll find some in Joshua Redman’s “Facts” (and not your local news department every hour on the hour). And Jon Batiste’s version of “Sweet Lorraine” will make you remember all that’s right and good in life. Nov. 12. Mack Avenue. (Nicole Sweeney)

SWR Big Band

This top-flight German ensemble originally set about making the music on Bird Lives for a Charlie Parker centennial concert last year. A pandemic delay thwarted that plan, but also gave a pair of co-arrangers — Swedish saxophonist Magnus Lindgren and American pianist John Beasley — more time to steep their ambitions. The result is a sweeping tribute peppered with notable guests on sax: among them, Charles McPherson, Joe Lovano, Chris Potter, Tia Fuller and Miguel Zenon. Nov. 12. ACT Music. (Chinen)

Wynton Marsalis with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra

Frederick P. Rose Hall, the home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, went dark along with the rest of New York City in the spring of 2020 — but the organization and its artistic director, Wynton Marsalis, kept the pilot light on. Now we’re seeing a gradual return to form: Dizzy’s Club has reopened to live audiences, and the 2021-2022 concert season will resume this fall. Its kickoff is “Wynton at 60,” a birthday retrospective of highlights from Marsalis’ voluminous output, performed both by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and some breakaway small groups. Nov. 18-20. Rose Hall. (Chinen)

Makaya McCraven
Michael McDermott
Makaya McCraven

Makaya McCraven

No musician today is better suited for sampling Blue Note Records than Makaya McCraven. The beat scientist and bandleader has made a career out of taking recorded improvised music and chopping it up to create entirely new compositions. Deciphering the Message feels like a sequel to acclaimed producer Madlib’s 2003 album Shades of Blue — and just like Madlib, McCraven not only reworks the original tapes but adds additional elements featuring his usual Chicago cohort: vibraphonist Joel Ross, saxophonist Greg Ward and bassist Junius Paul. Head nodding: guaranteed. Nov. 19. Blue Note. (Ariff)

Abdullah Ibrahim

Pianist and South African jazz guru Abdullah Ibrahim proved his enduring vitality as a composer-bandleader as recently as 2019, when he released an acclaimed album titled The Balance. With his latest, Solotude, he returns to the format that has been a calling card for well over 50 years — at least since Reflections, which he recorded in 1965. A lead single, “Blue Bolero,” captures the air of watchful serenity at the heart of the album, and at the center of Ibrahim’s solo practice. Nov. 26. Gearbox. (Chinen)

Oscar Peterson

Pianist Oscar Peterson — whose trio helped cement him as the preeminent shredder on the keys in the 1950s — leveled up to a touring quartet at the end of the 1970s. By ‘87, Peterson, guitarist Joe Pass, bassist Dave Young and drummer Martin Drew had fine-tuned the OP4 into an unstoppable swing machine, as heard on the forthcoming live release A Time For Love: The Oscar Peterson Quartet — Live in Helsinki, 1987. Nov. 26. Two Lions/Mack Avenue. (Smith)