© 2023 WBGO
WBGO New Record Spine Header
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Goldings Bernstein Stewart, Mark Turner, Gerald Clayton, Roxy Coss light up Take Five

Larry Goldings, Peter Bernstein and Bill Stewart, "United"

Larry Goldings, Peter Bernstein and Bill Stewart, "United"

Pianist and organist Larry Goldings, guitarist Peter Bernstein and drummer Bill Stewart have been functioning as an equilateral triangle for the last 30 years — and can credibly claim not only a rare longevity in the realm of Hammond B-3 organ trios, but also an exceedingly fine rapport. That much was already true when WBGO captured the band at The Village Vanguard back in 2013, and it's certainly on display throughout Perpetual Pendulum, which Smoke Sessions Records will release this Friday. I wrote the album's liner notes, so I'll refrain from further endorsement — except to say that the opening track is a Wayne Shorter tune, and I feel as if I've heard it somewhere before.

Perpetual Pendulum is due out Friday from Smoke Sessions; preorder here.

Mark Turner Quartet, "Lincoln Heights"

Lincoln Heights

It has been eight years since ECM released Lathe of Heaven — a scintillating twist on the pianoless quartet lineage, and one of Mark Turner's most satisfying albums. Now Turner, a brilliant tenor saxophonist who has never rushed any facet of his artistry, is about to release a sophisticated sequel: Return From the Stars, with Jason Palmer on trumpet, Jonathan Pinson on drums and Joe Martin, the only holdover, on bass. Martin takes the first solo, a knockout, on a backbeat waltz called "Lincoln Heights"; the only other solo is by Pinson, over the form. In both instances, Turner and Palmer maintain a drifting commentary, smartly inverting the hierarchy of frontline and support.

Gerald Clayton, "Peace Invocation (feat. Charles Lloyd)"

Gerald Clayton - Peace Invocation Ft. Charles Lloyd

Pianist Gerald Clayton has long had a deep and sustaining musical relationship with Charles Lloyd, the tenor saxophonist, flutist and NEA Jazz Master. Clayton was prominently featured on Lloyd's 2020 boxed set 8: Kindred Spirits (Live from the Lobero), and he'll appear on one of Lloyd's three trio releases later this year. The pianist's own forthcoming Blue Note release, Bells on Sand, includes one duet with Lloyd, a piece titled "Peace Invocation" that conveys the luminous beauty and mutual attunement in their lyrical rapport. Clayton is at The Village Vanguard this week, performing music from his new album with the rhythm team that has been his foundation for well over a decade: Joe Sanders on bass, Justin Brown on drums.

Roxy Coss Quintet, "Part I: The Body"

Part I: The Body

Brace for impact before playing the new single by Roxy Coss. "Part I: The Body" opens with a minor-key vamp that seems to imagine King Crimson opening for Hank Mobley. The whiplash is a result of intentional collision: Coss named her album Disparate Parts, after a jumble of emotional textures and experiences she had been through over the last couple of years. "As the project progressed, I went through the life changes of being pregnant and, now, being a new mom," Coss reflects in a press statement, "and felt that concept manifesting itself even more so in my own life." Her quintet — Alex Wintz on guitar, Miki Yamanaka on piano and keyboards, Rick Rosato on bass, and Jimmy Macbride on drums — combines intensity with agility on this shapeshifting tune.

GEORGE, "Proof of Concept"

Who is GEORGE? It's not a who, but a what — or a Who's Who, if you're prefer: an electroacoustic quartet composed of Anna Webber on tenor saxophone and flute, Aurora Nealand on soprano saxophone and vocals, Chiquita Magic on keyboards, and John Hollenbeck on drums and compositions. As the artists suggest, their band name is derived from the common Greek name Georgios, meaning "earthworker." As of now, GEORGE has released just one track for public consumption: a remotely recorded throw-down bearing the literal title "Proof of Concept." It successfully secured a tour that will bring the group to the Big Ears Festival this Sunday, followed by dates in Virginia; an Ars Nova Workshop show in Philly on March 30; and two sets at The Jazz Gallery on April 1. This is a group built for spontaneous combustion; consider yourself forewarned.

A veteran jazz critic and award-winning author, Nate Chinen is editorial director at WBGO and a regular contributor to NPR Music.