Latest in the Field of Jazz Music
Written by: Marc-Andre Seguin & JazzGuitarLessons.net
When somebody asks who you’ve been listening to lately, they quite often expect the answer to be one of the tried and true performers of the jazz genre or at least someone they have heard of. But sometimes the answer is often unexpected and may pique one’s curiosity, but it is always great when someone has been listening to an artist you have never heard of.
Performers in jazz or any genre for that matter have a huge disadvantage initially establishing themselves as artists and it is often difficult to get their name out there even in today’s age of information.
As a listener of music, sitting down to really get to know a new artist through their music is oddly difficult as well today, as there are just too many snippets of music and no real artistic identity to see. How can we get around these listening blocks?
Well, we can start right here. Let’s take a look at a few of the latest in the field of jazz music.
If you are looking for somebody to sonically shake things up a bit, this guy and his guitar will undoubtedly take you there. He is establishing himself as an artist in his own right with two of his own releases to date with his trio. He has been holding down the guitar sounds as Esperanza Spalding’s sideman for a while but his own albums have soared on their own through a rich electric guitar soundscape that is quite inviting and varied in content once you get there.
Check out his latest album, “Preverbal”.
Christian Sands is an American jazz pianist who has been recording since 2002 and played with the famous bassist Christian McBride on and off since that time in one of McBride’s bands.
Check out the song, “Freefall”.
He is an American jazz pianist that has been recording since 1977.
Alongside his own performing career, Kenny Werner has written several pieces for large ensembles and orchestras, primarily in Europe.
He has published a book, “Effortless Mastery-Liberating the Master Musician Within” that has garnered some attention.
Mike Field is a Canadian Trumpet player, vocalist and composer. He has been garnering international attention with his beautifully tight musical performances often interspersed with humorous stories told through music.
He delivers an energetic and positive performance with band members, often locally acquired in each area he performs, and all of whom display cohesiveness around Fields’ center of gravity, delivering a tight and wonderful listening experience.
Check out our post about the Alabama Jazz Music Hall of Fame
He is a jazz saxophonist and composer of note that has been releasing albums since 1993 as leader. He has also played on numerous ventures as a sideman with some great performers of today.
Check out his album, “Walking Shadows” presenting a collection of vintage and newer jazz ballads.
She is an American jazz bassist and vocalist playing jazz fusion, bossa nova, neo soul, and R&B.
Esperanza Spalding is an intriguing artist placing her bass playing skills center stage along with her vocals but yet perfectly blending with the other musicians.
Her Brazilian flavoured tendencies lend a welcoming sonic space for many of her performances.
Jazzmeia Horn is a jazz singer and songwriter who sings jazz standards as well as songs from other genres.
She is a dynamic artist with incredible vocal stylings and control and has met great acclaim so far in her young career.
Her first album, “A Social Call” is a must-listen and nominated for a 2018 Grammy.
John Scofield is an American jazz-rock guitarist and composer. There is no doubt he has fused some genres, particularly rock and blues into his flavour-able mix of jazz, rock, bebop, fusion, funk, blues and soul that has earned him international recognition. He has played with some of the greats of yesterday such as Miles Davis and other artists of today over his active career since the 70’s through today.
He is a guitarist that has forged his own signature sound and it will be well worth your while to check out more than a few of his numerous and vastly enjoyable recordings.
No one has done more in recent times than Pat Metheny to energize jazz with new soundscapes and guitar stylings infusing his particular phrasings and sound into the now time of jazz. He is an artist that has so influenced others that certain musical and vocally harmonized phrasings of his, compliment the harmonies and rhythms of other performers very naturally.
He was one of the first to use a synthesized guitar sound in his artistic endeavours as well as other non-regular types of guitars such as 12 strings.
Brad Mehldau is a jazz pianist, composer and arranger playing mostly in the jazz post-bob stylings, while also pleasingly experimenting with inclusions of pop, rock and classical music into his predominantly-controlled center of jazz. This emanation of sound and styles has sonically represented itself into the playing of others placing Mehldau firmly into the big leagues of jazz.
This jazz bassist and record producer has played with seemingly almost everyone. He has had a stellar career as a sideman let alone his own great work as leader. He is one of the most recorded musicians of his generation.
He currently has five active bands going and numerous other jazz ventures.
He is a true virtuoso and sought after musician who has helped many younger artists in learning and playing jazz.
There are just so many great artists to listen to in the jazz world today. It is enlightening and inspirational to hear how the genre of jazz continues to move forward through the artistry of the above people and many others.
I urge you to check out some of the work of these artists and give them a listen and hope that this post has helped you find a new favourite album to enjoy.
About the Author
Marc-Andre Seguin is the webmaster, “brains behind” and teacher on JazzGuitarLessons.net, the #1 online resource for learning how to play jazz guitar. He draws from his experience both as a professional jazz guitarist and professional jazz teacher to help thousands of people from all around the world learn the craft of jazz guitar.