Give Now  »

wfiu logo
WFIU Public Radio

wtiu logo
WTIU Public Television

Choose which station to support!

Indiana Public Media | WFIU - NPR | WTIU - PBS

Noon Edition

Recent Releases 2019, Part 2

Read Transcript
Hide Transcript

Transcript

Welcome to Afterglow, I’m your host, Mark Chilla.

On this week’s show, I’m taking a step back from my usual historical inquiries into the music of the Great American Songbook to explore something more recent. I’ll be taking a look at some new recordings released in the past six months from some of the best jazz and traditional pop vocalists. I think it’s something I think you’ll enjoy. Coming up, we’ll hear new music from some singers I’ve featured in the past, like Kurt Elling, Jazzmeia Horn, and Harry Connick Jr. Plus, we’ll hear from a couple of newer voices to my program, including Sara Gazarek, Veronica Swift, and Casey Abrams.

It’s a roundup of Recent Releases for the second half of 2019, coming up next on Afterglow

<music - Jazzmeia Horn, "Free Your Mind">

Singer Jazzmeia Horn from her sophomore album for Concord Records titled Love & Liberation, released in August of this year. We just heard her performing an original song called “Free Your Mind.” More from Horn later in the program [:14]


Mark Chilla here on Afterglow. On this show, I’m taking a close look at some of the best new releases in the world of vocal jazz and traditional pop. Coming up, we’ll hear new music from Kurt Elling, Harry Connick Jr, and the New York Voices.

First, I want to feature music from what’s quickly becoming my favorite album of the past year, the first record from the duo known as Rachael and Vilray. You might know Rachael Price as the soulful lead singer of the group Lake Street Dive, a group of four musicians who met at the New England Conservatory and perform new music with a throwback 60s and 70s pop sound. 

Guitarist and singer Vilray also comes from that class at the New England Conservatory, but his style is more rooted in earlier jazz. Together, Rachael and Vilray make music that evokes the jazz sound of the 1930s and 40s, with a bit of the spare, warbling guitar and vocal sound of the 1950s group The Fleetwoods. You may have heard them perform on a recent episode of the NPR program Live From Here with Chris Thile.

The songs on their album are kind of short, so I’ll feature two. Their music is simple and honest, with a direct style that makes you appreciate their voices and melodies.

Here’s Rachael and Vilray with their cheeky original song “Let’s Make Love On This Plane,” on Afterglow

<music - Rachael and Vilray, "Let’s Make Love On This Plane">

<music - Rachael and Vilray, "Without A Thought for My Heart">

The marvelous duo Rachael and Vilray, featuring Rachael Price of the band Lake Street Dive and guitarist-singer-and songwriter Vilray, performing two original songs from their debut album for Nonesuch Records. We just heard “Without A Thought for My Heart” and “Let’s Make Love On This Plane.”

Another album I’d like to feature this hour is the album Thirsty Ghost by jazz singer Sara Gazarek. Gazarek has been recording for well over a decade now, but I have yet to feature her music on this program. She currently teaches jazz at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, where she also earned her degree. Her latest album is a mature, masterful statement, inspired by heartbreak and featuring interesting covers of jazz standards and songs by Dolly Parton and Sam Smith. 

I’ll play one of her jazz standards now. This is singer Sara Gazarek with the classic Hoagy Carmichael tune “I Get Along Without You Very Well,” on Afterglow.

<music - Sara Gazarek, "I Get Along Without You Very Well">

Singer Sara Gazarek with the heartbreaking Hoagy Carmichael standard “I Get Along Without You Very Well.” That’s from Gazarek’s latest record called Thirsty Ghost.

Another singer that I’ve never featured on the program before is Veronica Swift, who has a new album out for Mack Avenue Records called Confessions. In 2015, Swift received second prize at the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocal Competition (losing out to another artist I’m featuring this hour, Jazzmeia Horn). Although she’s been recording since she was 9 years old, this latest record is her major-label debut at the still young age of 24. Swift is remarkably confident and assured, and proves she can swing and shout like the great jazz singers of the past. The album features another young gun in the jazz world, Emmett Cohen, on piano.

I’ll play a song now from that record that doubles as a proper introduction for the talented newcomer. This is Veronica Swift with the André and Dory Previn song “You’re Gonna Hear From Me,” on Afterglow.

<music - Veronica Swift, "You’re Gonna Hear From Me">

Veronica Swift, a 24-year-old singer on her major-label debut album called Confessions, for Mack Avenue Records. That was the Andre Previn song “You’re Gonna Hear From Me.”

I’ll turn now to another new record from someone who’s been in the spotlight for almost a decade, but who is now starting to make a turn towards jazz. If you’re a network television fan, you might be familiar with singer and bassist Casey Abrams as a finalist from the tenth season of American Idol in 2011. At the time, he was a 20-year-old smoky-voiced soul singer, who focused mainly on classic R&B and blues, plus a couple of standards. Now, nearly a decade later, Abrams is moving more towards the world of jazz, on a brand new record appropriately titled Jazz. His high, raspy vocals are still blues-inspired here, but the material is focused on jazz standards from the past. I hope for the sake of the jazz fans that this change in direction for Abrams is more permanent than temporary.

Here’s a jazz-blues standard from the 1930s, this is Casey Abrams with “Why Don’t You Do Right,” on Afterglow.

<music - Casey Abrams, "Why Don’t You Do Right">

Singer and bassist Casey Abrams, from American Idol fame, now making a turn towards jazz. That’s from his newest record, appropriately titled Jazz, and the standard “Why Don’t You Do Right.” 

I’ll turn my attention now to a new record from someone more familiar to the Afterglow audience, jazz singer Kurt Elling. Elling’s newest release is a live recording from January of this year at the Birdland Jazz Club in New York. Elling had a brief residency there, performing with trumpeter James Morrison. Elling has this old-school jazz cat persona that just emanates from every pore, especially in his live performances.

Here’s a standard from that live record now. This is Kurt Elling and James Morrison with “September in the Rain,” on Afterglow.

<music - Kurt Elling and James Morrison, "September In The Rain (Live)">

Kurt Elling and trumpeter James Morrison, live at Birdland, with the Harry Warren and Al Dubin song “September In The Rain.” That’s from their latest record called Live In New York.

Coming up after a short break, we’ll hear from some more recent releases in vocal jazz. 

<music - Charlie Ballentine, "Strange Idea">

Production support for Afterglow comes from Soma Coffee House and Juice bar, specializing in juices, espressos and Fair Trade Organic Coffee. Serving from downtown at Kirkwood and Grant and on the corner of third and Jordan. Online at I Heart Soma dot com

And from Stephen R Miller C P A, in downtown Bloomington at Graham Plaza, offering personal and small business income tax preparation and financial reporting. Helping clients reach financial goals for over thirty years. 8-1-2 - 3-3-2 - 0-5-5-7

I’m Mark Chilla, and you’re listening to Afterglow

<music - Tucker Brothers feat. Amanda Gardier, "Sundancing">


Welcome back to Afterglow, I’m Mark Chilla. We’ve been exploring some recent releases in the world of vocal jazz this hour. And I want to turn my attention now towards singer Jazzmeia Horn, the winner of the 2015 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocal Competition. Horn’s latest record is called Love & Liberation, and it’s her second release. I’m not a betting man, but I bet this will show up in the Best Jazz Vocal category when Grammy Nominations are announced next week, and might even be a shoo-in for the prize come January. We’ll see.

After her first release in 2017, Jazzmeia Horn hit the road touring, and honing her already substantial skills. This next record is even more personal, featuring original songs alongside a handful of traditional standards.

I want to play now one of those traditional numbers, which shows off her finely-tuned jazz sound reminiscent of the best of Sarah Vaughan and Betty Carter. This is Jazzmeia Horn with “I Thought About You,” on Afterglow.

<music - Jazzmeia Horn, "I Thought About You">

Singer Jazzmeia Horn with the Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Mercer song “I Thought About You.” That’s from her sophomore album called Love and Liberation.

The next new album I want to feature comes from the jazz wunderkind, Jacob Collier, and the second installment of his epic four-part album project called Djesse

It’s hard to categorize a musician like Jacob Collier. His sound is derived clearly from a diverse array of sources, including the jazz fusion of Herbie Hancock, the 70s R&B of Stevie Wonder, the esoteric 20th-century classical music of Benjamin Britten and Ben Johnston, and the lo-fi hip hop of J Dilla. But really, Collier’s music is defined by his own curiosity and his seemingly limitless musical skill, which pushes the boundaries of rhythm, tempo, and pitch with odd meters, irregular groupings, and microtonality. As impenetrable as his music is at times, Collier’s infectious enthusiasm makes his music strangely inviting.

The song I want to play from the album is one of his most soulful, a collaboration with the young R&B singer-songwriter (and fellow Brit) Lianne La Havas. Here is Jacob Collier with the original song “Feel,” on Afterglow.

<music - Jacob Collier (feat. Lianne La Havas), "Feel">

Jacob Collier featuring singer Lianne La Havas, and the song “Feel.” That comes from Collier’s latest release titled Djesse, Vol. 2

And now for something completely different: the latest from singer Harry Connick, Jr. Connick has been around for decades—he’s one of the people responsible for inspiring the new wave of traditional pop revival. His latest record called True Love is a big band record, taking a close look at the songs of Cole Porter. Connick’s piano playing largely takes a backseat to highlight both his singing and arranging. Yes, Connick does all of his own arrangements. Both his singing and arranging evoke the best of 1950s and 60s Sinatra, proving again why Harry Connick Jr. is still in the upper echelon of Great American Songbook interpreters.

Here’s Harry Connick Jr performing the Cole Porter tune “Anything Goes,” on Afterglow.

<music - Harry Connick, Jr., "Anything Goes">

Harry Connick, Jr., singing, arranging, playing piano, and conducting, from his latest record called True Love: A Celebration of Cole Porter. That was the Porter tune “Anything Goes.”

Another lovely album that just came out recently is the album Somewhere by vocalist Peter Eldridge and pianist Kenny Werner. Both Eldridge and Werner are notable jazz educators today, and you may also know Eldridge as the bass vocalist in the jazz group the New York Voices.

Rather than having a resonate, nasal punch like Kurt Elling, or a throaty drawl like Harry Connick, Eldridge’s voice is light, raspy, and endlessly warm. He sounds like a wool sweater feels. Both Eldridge and Werner contributed songs to the album, and I’m going to feature on written by Werner, with lyrics by Donnie Demers. 

This is Peter Eldridge and Kenny Werners with “I’m So Glad You’re Mine,” on Afterglow

<music - Peter Eldridge, "I’m So Glad You’re Mine">

Singer Peter Eldridge of the group the New York Voices and pianist Kenny Werner with Werner’s original tune “I’m So Glad You’re Mine.” That’s from their latest record called Somewhere.

Speaking of the New York Voices, Eldridge and crew also have a brand new record out this year titled Reminiscing In Tempo. The quartet has been together for over three decades now, and this record in a way feels like a retrospective rather than a step in a new direction. And I don’t mean that as a slight at all because the New York Voices have always been the epitome of a jazz vocal ensemble since they first stepped onto the scene. Part of the reason I say that is because some of the songs on the album, like this next one, have been part of their live performances for years but have never made it onto a record until now.

To close off this hour of new music, here is the New York Voices with their original arrangement of the Beatles’ “In My Life,” on Afterglow.

<music - New York Voices, "In My Life">

The New York Voices performing the Lennon/McCartney song “In My Life,” arranged by the group’s tenor Darmon Meader. That’s from their latest record called Reminiscing In Tempo.

<music - Joshua Espinoza Trio, "In My Life">

The Joshua Espinoza Trio in the background, and thanks for tuning in to this edition of Afterglow, exploring some recent releases for the second half of 2019.


Afterglow is part of the educational mission of Indiana University, and produced by WFIU Public Radio in beautiful Bloomington, Indiana. The executive producer is John Bailey.

Production support for Afterglow comes from Soma Coffee House and Juice bar, specializing in juices, espressos and Fair Trade Organic Coffee. Serving from downtown at Kirkwood and Grant and on the corner of third and Jordan. Online at I Heart Soma dot com

And from Stephen R Miller C P A, in downtown Bloomington at Graham Plaza, offering personal and small business income tax preparation and financial reporting. Helping clients reach financial goals for over thirty years. 8-1-2 - 3-3-2 - 0-5-5-7

Playlists for this and other Afterglow programs are available on our website. That’s at indianapublicmedia.org/afterglow.

I’m Mark Chilla, and join me next week for our mix of Vocal Jazz and popular song from the Great American Songbook, here on Afterglow

Jazzmeia Horn

Jazzmeia Horn's sophomore album "Love & Liberation" features originals alongside standards (Album Cover)

On this week’s show, I’m taking a step back from my usual historical inquiries into the music of the Great American Songbook to explore something more recent. I’ll be taking a look at some new recordings released in the past six months from some of the best jazz and traditional pop vocalists. I think it’s something I think you’ll enjoy.

In this program, we’ll hear new music from some singers I’ve featured in the past, like Kurt Elling, Jazzmeia Horn, and Harry Connick Jr. Plus, we’ll hear from a couple of newer voices to my program, including Sara Gazarek, Veronica Swift, and Casey Abrams.

And don't forget to check out Part 1 of our recent releases episode, featuring new music from the first half of 2019, including new albums by Norah JonesCyrille Aimée, and the Tierney Sutton Band.


Albums featured on this broadcast:

  • Jazzmeia Horn, Love & Liberation (Concord Jazz, 2019)
  • Rachael & Vilray, Rachel & Vilray (Nonesuch, 2019)
  • Sara Gazarek, Thirsty Ghost (Sara Gazarek, 2019)
  • Veronica Swift, Confessions (Mack Avenue, 2019)
  • Casey Abrams, Jazz (Chesky, 2019)
  • Kurt Elling and James Morrison, Live In New York (New Prescription, 2019)
  • Jacob Collier, Djesse Vol. 2 (Decca, 2019)
  • Harry Connick, Jr., True Love: A Celebration of Cole Porter (Verve, 2019)
  • Peter Eldridge and Kenny Werner, Somewhere (Rosebud, 2019)
  • New York Voices, Reminiscing In Tempo (Origin, 2019)

Instrumental music beds from these albums:

Music Heard On This Episode

Loading...
Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Afterglow

About The Host