Music News 9/23/2021



Helen Sung with the Harlem Quartet, QUARTET + (Sunnyside, $16.98) – Pianist Helen Sung showcases pieces by some of the great women artist/composers of jazz: Mary Lou Williams, Geri Allen, Carla Bley, Toshiko Akiyoshi, and Marian McPartland. Ms. Sung intersperses these with her new tunes played by her quartet (saxophonist and flutist John Ellis, bassist David Wong, and drummer Kendrick Scott), augmented by the Harlem String Quartet.  

The Cookers, LOOK OUT! (Gearbox, $14.98) – The all-star group—Billy Harper and Donald Harrison on saxophones, Eddie Henderson and David Weiss on trumpets, George Cables on piano, Cecil McBee on bass, and Billy Hart on drums—team up again for their sixth release. All of the Cookers are leaders and veterans of some of the most iconic groups of the last 50 years. Enjoy!

Esperanza Spalding, SONGWRIGHTS APOTHECARY LAB (Concord, $16.98) – Esperanza Spalding’s new ongoing project exploring music’s therapeutic possibilities. “The Songwrights Apothecary Lab is a curated portal of new work that is growing out of Ms. Spalding’s collaborative practice over the past years, exploring how songwriters might meaningfully incorporate therapeutic practices and knowledge into their process and production. The researchers and practitioners that partook in the labs specialize in fields ranging from neuroscience and music therapy to psychology and ethnomusicology.”  

Henry Threadgill & Zooid, POOF (Pi, $16.98) – Composer Henry Threadgill’s  new set of compositions for his long-running group, Zooid, with Liberty Ellman on guitar, Christopher Hoffman on cello, Jose Davila on tuba, and Elliot Humberto Kavee on drums, along with the leader on alto sax and flutes.

Chick Corea Akoustic Band, LIVE (Concord, 2 CDs, $20.98) – The first release after Chick Corea’s death earlier this year is a live date from January of 2018 where he reunited his acoustic trio with John Patitucci on bass and Dave Weckl on drums. The Akoustic Band (and the concurrent Electric Band) was a trio that had a working relationship of over 30 years.

Big Bands

David Sanford Big Band, A PRAYER FOR LESTER BOWIE (Greenleaf, $14.99) – Composer and arranger David Sanford’s New York-based large ensemble. The title tune is a tribute to the late trumpeter, Lester Bowie, featuring the composer, Hugh Ragin, on trumpet solos. 

Arturo O’Farrill, DREAMING IN LIONS (Blue Note, $13.98) – Pianist, composer and bandleader Arturo O’Farrill fronts his 10-piece Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble in two multi-movement suites written for the Malpaso Dance Company of Cuba.


I’LL BE YOUR MIRROR: A Tribute to The Velvet Underground & Nico (Verve, $14.98) – A song-by-song tribute to the Velvet Underground’s first album. It features Sharon Van Etten (“Femme Fatale”), Courtney Barnett (“I’ll Be Your Mirror”), Michael Stipe (“Sunday Morning”), Kurt Vile & the Violators (“Run Run Run”), Iggy Pop & Matt Sweeney, Matt Berninger of The National, King Princess, Fontaines D.C. and more.