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New Jazz Releases

Rhino | Spotify
Joni Mitchell at the Newport Folk Festival | High Pulp, Album: “Days in the Desert” | Ezra Collective, Album: “Where I’m Meant to Be”

There have been several notable new jazz releases during the month of July.

At the Newport Folk Festival in 2022, Joni Mitchell gave her first full-length performance in 22 years. The recording, <em>At Newport</em>, is out July 28.
Nina Westervelt
Courtesy of the artist
At the Newport Folk Festival in 2022, Joni Mitchell gave her first full-length performance in 22 years. The recording, At Newport, is out July 28.

As previously covered by KTEP, Joni Mitchell returned to the Newport Folk Festival after first performing there in 1969, more than 50 years ago. Listening to the album, you can tell that Mitchell, who vanished from the spotlight after she suffered an aneurysm in 2015, is enjoying herself onstage surrounded by musicians like Brandi Carlile. You can also tell that the audience is delighted by Mitchell’s return to the stage. It is an enlightening and amazing listen.

Another intriguing release is from Los Angeles-based experimental jazz group High Pulp, with their new album entitled, “Days in the Desert”. The album features guests James Brandon Lewis, Brandee Younger, MonoNeon, and more! Right from the start, High Pulp’s ability to blend horn parts with synthesizers makes for a magnificent and engaging listen.

The song, “Robert Pollard”, starts as an ambient tune that finds itself suddenly changing into a sax ensemble combined with swirling echo effects.

The latest album track, “Fatigue”, cements a slow syncopated drum groove played by band founder Bobby Granfelt amongst the backdrop of warm modular synthesizers and various brass swells. The experimentation alone is intriguing and makes it worth listening to. It is amazing how many instruments are blended in terrific harmony.

The newest album from Ezra Collective, “Where I’m Meant to Be”, takes elements of worldbeat, jazz, and soul to create a wonderful palette of sound. On “Togetherness”, the fifth track on the record features saxophonist James Mollison playing saxophone with the rest of the band laying down a beat reminiscent of reggae and R&B.

Vocalist Emeli Sandé sings on the lowkey “Siesta”. Her smooth voice builds with intensity as a funk drum beat sneaks into the mix, played by Femi Koleoso. Overall, it’s a very relaxing and thorough output from Ezra Collective.

These releases are the newest and most captivating releases from the jazz genre. Whether you’re looking for something relaxing, experimental, or classic, these releases will transport you and are worth checking out.

August 16, 2023