So it looks like Bandcamp (already the most musician-friendly online sales platform out there) is once again waiving its fees for 24 hours on Friday 5/1, so artists get 100% of the proceeds – and if you want to buy $100 of folks’ music (and/or a combination of that and online lessons, etc.) and make a request for my Musician-Aid Requests series, that would be a perfect time to do it.
Having already published this blog post last time around (spotlighting contributors to my Love Right project), I thought this time around I’d shine a light on some of the musicians who have participated in the Jazz Up Close series that Resonant Motion, Inc. puts on. This also gives me some selfish comfort, as this year’s roster (not yet announced) is in some limbo awaiting the unfolding of the pandemic. And again, note that this is a Bandcamp-centered list, so while I still encourage you to check out the music of Freddie Bryant, Monnette Sudler, Steve Wilson, Godwin Louis, Rogerio Boccato, Robby Ameen, Joseph Daley, I won’t be linking to them on this particular list. And several Love Right contributors also overlap with the Jazz Up Close “family,” so check out the previous list for music by Johnathan Blake, Nadje Noordhuis, Caroline Davis. Amanda Monaco, Sunny Jain, Kris Allen, Amanda Monaco, Ike Sturm, Chris Dingman, and Curtis Nowosad (Jazz Up Close 2020!). Most of this music is self-released (so the artist gets all the dough), with a handful of label releases as noted (again, less direct artist support but still helping organizations that help artists – it’s not like an Exxon bailout here).
Without any further ado, here is another armful of music to check out.
Erica von Kleist and DeWitt Fleming, Jr. aka “Sax & Taps,” whose new album recorded live at Dizzy’s Club in NYC is a wonderful piece of work. These two are “on tap” (oops) for 2020, fingers crossed!
Another duo lined up for 2020 is the Grammy-nominated duo of singer/songwriter/pianist Nicole Zuraitis and her husband, drummer/composer Dan Pugach. They are both accomplished bandleaders, and Nicole’s most recent solo release (to date) is Hive Mind on Dot Time Records.
All four of last year’s artists, meanwhile (with the theme of musical storytelling) are represented on Bandcamp in some form. Drummer/composer Sanah Kadoura is a Lebanese-Canadian drummer/composer whose debut album Hawk Eyes depicts her recovery from a traumatic brain injury.
Joe Locke is one of my all-time favorite artists in all of music, and playing him was every bit the treat I might have expected. He has a good number of records on multiple labels on his Bandcamp store, so much good music there.
You can also find the two most recent records (both of them moving works of art) by bass clarinetist, composer, and social activist Todd Marcus.
And there are several albums by drummer/composer Gerald Cleaver, including Live at Firehouse 12 on Sunnyside Records (documenting the band that made me fall in love with Gerald’s music), Life in the Sugar Candle Mines by his group Black Host, and most recently Signs, his new solo electronics album on 577 Records.
In 2018, as we explored spirituality in jazz, we welcomed the MAE.SUN project, devoted to mining inspiration from the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh. It is the brainchild (and, I suppose, spirit-child) of saxophonist/composer Hailey Niswanger, who has some of her older solo music also available.
You can find several albums by 2017 (when we explored cross-cultural hybrids) guest Meg Okura here, including two with the brilliant violinist/composer’s Pan-Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble with the NPO trio, which also features her husband Sam Newsome (the influential soprano saxophonist who joined her at Jazz Up Close in 2017) and piano virtuoso Jean-Michel Pilc.
Meanwhile, all the way back in 2015, we were privileged to host Victor Lewis, a grand master of the drums and a mentor to fellow Jazz Up Close guests Gerald and Johnathan. On Bandcamp you can find his album Family Portrait on Sledgehammer Blues (a reissue from the original on the Audioquest label).
also worth noting are the available albums by several Jazz Up Close sidepeople, including the fabulous vocalists Tammy Scheffer (a guest with Amanda Monaco in 2018) and Melissa Stylianou (who visited us the same year with Ike Sturm and who is well represented on the Anzic label with her albums No Regrets and Silent Movie as well as the recordings of the vocal trio she co-leads, Dutchess), as well as virtuostic saxophonist Sam Dillon (a member of Sanah’s quartet last year).