[Music] – Jeff Gburek – The Thought That Comes Between (Works Based On Diverse Pianos 2017)

Jeff Gburek’s first release of the year isn’t quite finished yet, and to be honest, I hope it simply grows and mutates. For those of you who can appreciate minimalist piano performances in the manner of some of Arvo Pärt’s best works, this release comes highly recommended. For the best effect, consider using a good pair of headphones or a 5.1 surround sound system to hear how gorgeous the separation of sound is handled.

[Music] Verneri Pohjola – Pekka

I’m absolutely pleased to announce an upcoming album by Finnish trumpeter Verneri Pohjola, titled Pekka. For those of you whose age hovers between 45 and 70 and were card-carrying members of the magic-hat-and-bunny-slippers brigade of prog rock aficionados, you will remember the legendary bassist Pekka Pohjola, who performed with such bands as Wigwam and collaborated with Mike Oldfield, among many others.

Verneri’s album will be a tribute to his father’s memory, and judging by the quality of the track being shared at the moment, it’s quite a lovely tribute.

[Music] Girma Bèyènè & Akalé Wubé – Enkèn Yèlélèbesh

Girma Bèyènè was one of the leading lights of Ethio-jazz during the 1960s and 1970s, before the rotten Deng ruined music for decades. He moved on to Washington D.C. and continued to make music with fellow Ethiopian ex-pats. He ended up getting asked by French band Akalé Wubé to come out of retirement and sing, and this groovy cut is but one of the tracks they paired up with. Their collaboration album is available on Bandcamp.

[Music] The Orchestra of Mirrored Reflections – Dead Beat

This has to be the release of 2017, as least as far as March!

Our friends The Orchestra of Mirrored Reflections have graced our blog once before, in April of 2016 for a review of an incredible live performance in Odessa. The band return with a new, seven-track album which is as rich, dark and sumptuous as anything released by groups like the Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, Bohren & der Club of Gore and other such acts. In fact, I’d be willing to say that the beauty of this album surpasses these stalwarts.

The album consists of smoky jazz that sits somewhere between fusion and trip-hop. The guitar playing is minimal, gentle, but totally in keeping with the darkness of the music. The drumming, however, is what makes the release for me. It is sparse, minimal, with singular beats, serving as a wonderful linchpin to the rest of the instrumentation floating above.

After such a splendid release, we wait more magic from the band