I threw together this list upon a) hearing of the announcement that Bandcamp (already the most musician-friendly online sales platform) would be waiving its fees for 24 hours on Friday 3/20 (so artists get 100% of the proceeds), and b) getting a request from a friend, independent of this announcement, looking to support some independent musicians in this time. I could literally keep working on this until Friday has come and gone (though the list will remain relevant past then), so instead I’m using the semi-arbitrary metric of hyping people who contributed to my forthcoming Love Right double-album, some of them also more broadly part of the Resonant Motion, Inc. family. I don’t have time for my usual waxing poetic (or at least using lots of words) but will at least try to provide a little context for those unfamiliar with a given artist. And note that this is focused on Bandcamp, thus not including Jen Allen (both her great new quartet album and our collaborative album Raise Up by Trio 149) Joshua Kwassman, Johnnie Gilmore, Dave Kopperman, Rogerio Boccato, Anne Boccato (via the Asaran Earth Trio), Daphne Gampel, Taylor Simone, Freddie Bryant, Norman Johnson, Josh Roseman, Isaac Monts, and still other artists/friends who record as sidepeople.

Enjoy any or all of the links below – these are some wonderful musicians and people, and while it wasn’t my specific intention to spotlight my former students, the number of folks here who fit that bill is a little overwhelming, in a good way.

Also, this ain’t about me, but if you WANT to support my own records on Bandcamp, your options include the Rock and the Redemption by the Noah Baerman Resonance Ensemble (with all THOSE proceeds, like those of Love Right, going to support the Claire’s Continuum initiative) and the recent release Reach Out by Envisage Collective (as well as my obscure one-man-band singer-songwriter EP under the pseudonym Are You Sure?)

Here goes:

Mel Hsu – the last two albums by this wonderful and unique cellist-singer-songwriter came out on RMI Records

Trot Fox – Claire, Gabe, Declan, and Nate’s amazing neo-soul (but more than that) group, with three singles available (two of them for charitable causes) representing some of Claire’s best work.

Chris Dingman – one of the baddest vibraphonists and composers on the planet and fellow co-founder of Envisage Collective – all his albums are lovely, and the brand new one is a doozy.

Amanda Monaco – guitarist/composer/one of my oldest musical friends, with her new LP Pirkei Avot, Vol. II out now on RMI Records – spring for the vinyl if you can.

Kris Allen – one of the baddest alto saxophonists and composers on the planet and fellow co-founder of Envisage Collective – you can find his two excellent TRR-released albums here.

Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem – with all due respect to all other folksy-Americana groups, this is my favorite, and not just because Rani and percussionist Scott Kessel are such lovely humans.

Jess Best – a brilliant singer and eclectic songwriter who has gone on to release more music since, but her first two are on Bandcamp (both albums are lovely, the 1st one, Gone Baby, was an early RMI Records release).

Sean Clapis – wonderful, versatile jazz guitarist; he has done two records for RMI Records, Almost Free, sadf Unseen River, and I also highly recommend his new one, Abbey Road Sessions.

Matt Forker – talented and deep-thinking young jazz/new music guitarist and composer, whose In Pursuit of Morning is the newest title in the RMI Records catalog

Best Mann – while I first knew Nate as a drummer (and an exceptional one), his work as a producer, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist is stunning on this project.

Nadje Noordhuis – in addition to her stellar work on the Envisage Collective record, Nadje’s powerful yet ethereal work is represented on several albums of her own.

Tyshawn Sorey – to call Prof. Sorey eclectic is like calling the grass green, but it’s true. Currently I am particularly enjoying his drumming, composing, and bandleading on his latest, Unfiltered, a digital-only extended work for his super-intense, young sextet.

West End Blend – this tight, horn-laden soul band features the vocals of Erica T. Bryan

Ike Sturm – a phenomenal bassist and an essential contributor to Envisage Collective, Ike’s work as a composer, bandleader, and curator can be heard in his environmental-focused duo Endless Field and on his own fairly recent album. 

The Lost Tribe – this is only the beginning for this creative group led by percussionist/ethnomusicologist Jocelyn Pleasant, using traditional West African sounds mixed with various other element.

Johnathan Blake – an utterly wonderful drummer and an underrated composer and bandleader – his Trion was one of my favorites of last year, and The Eleventh Hour is a heck of a record too.

Caroline Davis – eclectic, soulful, and prolific, Caroline’s compositions, saxophone work, and sometimes also singing are all potent (and, not for nothing, she’s a wonderful scholar on the DL as well).

Curtis Nowosad – several of this wonderful drummer’s records are available, and you need to check out his latest, eponymous album, a fiery and socially conscious work of beauty

Sparkplug – a charter member of my Resonance Ensemble, Bill Carbone also started this uber-funky band to pay tribute to his former employer, guitarist Melvin Sparks.

Cindertalk – does the sound of great singer-songwriter work with tuned glass sound interesting to you? Well it is, and you will not regret checking out Jonny Rodgers

Garth. – also a contributor to Rock and the Redemption, his work as an R&B singer is spot on.

Spencer H – it made me very happy to hear Spencer step into the spotlight with this album – he’s a great supportive musician on keyboards and saxophone, but he can also write and sing in a pop-soul vein like nobody’s business! And I got to guest on one of these tunes as well, which was a hoot.

Great Time – I met drummer Donnie Spackman through his work with Jess Best’s band, and his own group is funky and catchy as heck.

Jasmine Lovell-Smith – the first time I heard Jasmine’s compositions and soprano saxophone work, it was clear she had a truly distinct musical vision, and her two albums fully validate that (and, extra fun .

Wet Leather – this is a great example of tight, super-happening new wave rock music, well-executed in the hands of guitarist/singer/songwriter Matt Bernstein

TORCH – this is a lovely amalgam of jazz and contemporary classical music co-led (and featuring trumpet and some compositions) by my old pal, Dr. Brian Chin

Sybling – a quirky, fun new project by vocalist Mariana Quinn-Makwaia (also the frontwoman in Smoke and Sugar and, along with Jess and Claire, prominent on Mel’s i was a phoenix record above)

also, technically Sunny Jain’s brand new Wild Wild East, Wayne Escoffery’s recent Vortex, and Jimmy Greene’s modern classic Mission Statement are through labels (as opposed to the money going directly to these artists) but a) these are fabulous independent record labels (it’s not like the money would go to Smith and Wesson or whatever) and b) the albums are brilliant.

Comment away below on other albums on Bandcamp that you think people should be checking out by lovely humans you know!

One Responses

  • Thank you, Noah, for all the ways you brighten this world, and our community. This is a fabulous list of music as a starting point for those seeking music, and your comments and links are ever-helpful, enjoyable and worth the time to read. I feel for all the musicians losing their livelihood, and hope we can all pull together to survive. Blessings to you always, keep on shining!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *