Jazz: Winter 2024

Monarch Jazz Recommendations

ETHAN IVERSON
Technically Acceptable

Ethan Iverson’s latest album showcases his versatility as a pianist and bandleader steering two distinct trios through a compelling musical journey. The synergy with bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Simón Wilson on one hand and the dynamic interplay with Simón Wilson and drummer Vinnie Sperrazza on the other highlights Iverson’s ability to navigate diverse rhythmic landscapes. The album’s standout feature is Iverson’s original compositions, which offer a fresh and captivating perspective on contemporary jazz. His pianistic prowess, combined with the cohesive chemistry of both trios, creates a rich, sonic tapestry that captivates listeners with its innovation and emotive depth.

KEYON HARROLD
Foreverland

Keyon Harrold’s Foreverland is a poignant exploration of positivity, love, loss, and vulnerability woven together into a tapestry of musical brilliance. The album beautifully captures the essence of human emotions, with Harrold’s piano serving as a conduit for soul-stirring narratives. The inclusion of special guests, including the dynamic Common, adds a layer of high-octane energy and diversity to the project. Each track unfolds like a heartfelt story, immersing the listener in a range of emotions. Harrold’s ability to blend introspective moments with the vibrant contributions of collaborators makes Foreverland a compelling and emotionally resonant musical experience that transcends genres and leaves a lasting impression.

ULYSSES OWENS JR.
A New Beat

Ulysses Owens Jr. unveils the dynamic prowess of the next jazz generation in A New Beat, his latest ensemble venture, Generation Y. This album is a thrilling exploration of modern jazz, seamlessly blending tradition with innovation. Owens, a masterful drummer, leads a cadre of emerging talents through a sonic journey that showcases their technical brilliance and imaginative improvisation. The synergy within Generation Y is palpable as each musician contributes distinct colors to the collective canvas. From inventive compositions to spirited solos, A New Beat captures the spirit of contemporary jazz, affirming Owens’s role as a torchbearer for the genre’s evolving landscape.

ADAM BALDYCH & LESZEK MOZDZER
Passacaglia

Leszek Możdżer and Adam Baldych create a harmonious blend of classical and contemporary jazz. Released in 2019, their album showcases a remarkable synergy, with Bałdych’s virtuosic violin complementing Możdżer’s expressive piano. The title track, “Passacaglia,” exemplifies their prowess, weaving intricate musical dialogues and showcasing their improvisational skills. The duo effortlessly navigates through diverse emotions, from melancholy to exuberance, creating a captivating sonic journey. The album, characterized by its technical brilliance and emotional depth, establishes Bałdych and Możdżer as a formidable pair in the jazz scene, leaving a lasting impression on listeners with their inventive interpretations and collaborative artistry.

KINGA GLYK
Real Life

Real Life, the latest album by bassist and composer Kinga Głyk, showcases her exceptional talent and musical versatility. With a dynamic fusion of jazz, funk, and soul, Głyk demonstrates virtuosity on the bass, delivering intricate melodies and captivating rhythms. The album’s diverse tracks explore various moods and emotions, from upbeat and lively compositions to soulful and introspective moments. Głyk’s compositions are both technically impressive and emotionally resonant, supported by a stellar ensemble of musicians. Real Life is a testament to Głyk’s mastery of her craft and offers a compelling and enjoyable listening experience for fans of contemporary jazz and beyond.