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2019 Highlight: Joel Ross

Back in March came news that a new name gets a big break on Blue Note with the singing of Chicago-born New York-based vibraphonist Joel Ross. With playing credits already gained with the likes of Makaya McCraven and as a member of Marquis Hill’s …

Published: 14 Nov 2019. Updated: 5 months.

Back in March came news that a new name gets a big break on Blue Note with the singing of Chicago-born New York-based vibraphonist Joel Ross.

With playing credits already gained with the likes of Makaya McCraven and as a member of Marquis Hill’s band Ross debuted for the label with his album KingMaker.

Ross began on drums as a young child later switching to vibes. He has completed a two-year fellowship with the Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet in California.

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2019 Highlight: Janek Gwizdala

Maybe it is John Patitucci producing, maybe it is a new much more mature sound but for whatever reason there is a lot less bombast, a lot more expressiveness and some great tunes all factored in. Gwizdala has gathered a fine band around him on The …

Published: 14 Nov 2019. Updated: 6 months.

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Maybe it is John Patitucci producing, maybe it is a new much more mature sound but for whatever reason there is a lot less bombast, a lot more expressiveness and some great tunes all factored in. Gwizdala has gathered a fine band around him on The Union (issued on his own label Gwizmon Productions) with Clarence Penn on drums, Philip Dizack on trumpet, and Ruslan Sirota (who appeared with Gwizdala on the excellent Bob Reynolds album Quartet) on piano.

On ‘The End of the Story’ there is a pared back almost-Steve Rodby Metheny-esque feel to the tender ballad and this track is at the heart of the album which relies for a lot of its best effects on a thoughtful, more meditative and less-is-more mentality. In a sea of music this is the kind of message in a bottle we all need that defies the odds to reach out and communicate. SG