The Jazz.com Blog
June 30, 2008 · 1 comment
Some of the best CDs of 2008 are releases you might be afraid to buy. The cover to Reptetís Chicken or Beef? is unsavory enough to turn loyal burger-meisters into vegans. And todayís Song of the Day comes from a CD with the unappetizing title The Birth of Hip Bop,and featuring cover art vaguely reminiscent of what a kindergartener brings home from school.
But at jazz.com, we donít judge CDs by their covers. We even gave a listen to Chicken or Beef, because we know some of the best jazz today comes in strange packaging. For example, my favorite CD last month arrived courtesy of a little known vocalist performing the Joe Raposo songbook.
You donít know Joe Raposo? Ah, you are showing your years, my friend. Mr. Raposo wrote his most famous songs for Sesame Street, Electric Company and other children's TV fare from the post-Romper-Room era. Okay, I didnít recognize the name myself until I encountered this CD, but now I am a committed Raposo-nista, and an even bigger fan of singer Yoon Sun Choi.
But we also have some familiar faces in our featured tracks for June. We gave the nod to new CDs from old friends to our turntable (or is it a turn-drawer these days?) such as Cassandra Wilson, Vijay Iyer and even Sergio Mendes. We also took a liking to new tracks from Brian Blade, Martial Solal and George Schuller. And (sad to say) there were a hundred or so CDs we checked out this month that did not make the cut.
In other words, we try to do the hard work for you, tasting the less appetizing dishes to find the culinary masterpieces you might otherwise miss. Five times each week, jazz.com highlights a Song of the Day, drawn from the best of the current crop of releases. We hunt far and wide for the finest new tracks, covering not just well known artists and major labels, but also listening to small indie releases and self-produced CDs, as well as deserving overseas projects too often neglected by the US-based jazz media. (Did I mention that our featured tracks this month cover the music of four continents?) Sometimes we even dip into world fusion or blues or (horrors!) classical music CDs that we believe would be of interest to jazz fans. But for the most part, we like our music hot and swinging and shaken (not stirred).
Below are links to the reviews for all the tracks selected as Song of the Day during the month of June. Click here, for a complete list of all the recordings featured as Song of the Day since the inception of jazz.com.
Tracks Featured as Song of the Day: June 2008
Too Blue Lou & the Groove: Blue in Green
Wadada Leo Smith: Rosa Parks
Mario Pavone: Hello Again
Reptet: Danger Notes
Franco Ambrosetti: Frasi
Orchestra Baobab: Pape Ndiaye
Sean O'Bryan Smith: Tapestry
Gene Bertoncini: You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To
Robin Nolan: Once in a While
Sergio Mendes: The Look of Love
Ben Wolfe: No Pat No
Cassandra Wilson: Lover Come Back to Me
Vijay Iyer: Comin' Up
Don Immel: Long Way Home
Yoon Sun Choi: Somebody Come and Play
Gary Morgan & Panamericana!: Moragatu
David SŠnchez: Manto Azul
Martial Solal: Here's That Rainy Day
George Schuller: The Survivors' Suite
Brian Blade: Omni
Jamie Baum: Solace
Andreas ÷berg: Uptown Downtown
This blog entry posted by Ted Gioia