John Murph http://kttz.org en Sonnymoon: The Sunnier Side Of Mortality http://kttz.org/post/sonnymoon-sunnier-side-mortality Singing about one's imminent death requires a certain level of delicacy, because it's way too easy to dive into melodramatic gloom. But Sonnymoon's "Just Before Dawn" — in which Anna Wise's ethereal vocals float across Dane Orr's palpitating soundscape as she contemplates mortality — takes on a more hopeful, universal tone. "Every night, you should have someone to hold," Wise sings, "to tell you that you did okay when your mind is against you."<p>After a moment of silence midway through the song, the sparse ambience blossoms into a beautiful, electronically enhanced string arrangement. Tue, 22 May 2012 11:03:00 +0000 John Murph 3727 at http://kttz.org Sonnymoon: The Sunnier Side Of Mortality Scott Tixier: Sketches Of Michael Jackson http://kttz.org/post/scott-tixier-sketches-michael-jackson Soon after <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/16782748/michael-jackson">Michael Jackson</a>'s death in 2009, many of his songs popped up on jazz albums. Tue, 08 May 2012 11:03:00 +0000 John Murph 2829 at http://kttz.org Scott Tixier: Sketches Of Michael Jackson Alfredo Rodriguez: 21st-Century Chamber Music http://kttz.org/post/alfredo-rodriguez-21st-century-chamber-music Like many musicians who've come through Cuba's music conservatory, 26-year-old pianist <a href="http://www.npr.org/2012/04/14/150521987/alfredo-rodriguez-crossing-the-border-to-meet-a-legend">Alfredo Rodríguez</a> displays ferocious virtuosity on his splendid debut, Sounds of Space. Underneath all the firepower, though, lies a remarkable composer who knows how to pull back from the razzle-dazzle and play a piece that's more memorable for its melody and arrangement than for his awe-inspiring technique.<p>His enchanting "Fog" practically qualifies as 21st-century chamber music. Wed, 02 May 2012 11:03:00 +0000 John Murph 2452 at http://kttz.org Alfredo Rodriguez: 21st-Century Chamber Music Kenny Garrett: Sketches Of Pharoah Sanders http://kttz.org/post/kenny-garrett-sketches-pharoah-sanders On <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15398179/kenny-garrett">Kenny Garrett</a>'s enthralling new album, <em>Seeds From the Underground, </em>the iconic alto saxophonist pays tribute to some of his significant lodestars. While he doesn't name any specific musician as the touchstone for "Welcome Earth Song," the track unquestionably recalls Pharoah Sanders' majestic Impulse! Records sound.<p>It makes sense that Sanders appeared on Garrett's two previous discs, 2006's <em>Beyond the Wall </em>and 2008's <em>Sketches of MD</em>, and toured with Garrett. Tue, 24 Apr 2012 11:03:00 +0000 John Murph 1898 at http://kttz.org Kenny Garrett: Sketches Of Pharoah Sanders Johnathan Blake: The Ultimate Modernist http://kttz.org/post/johnathan-blake-ultimate-modernist Johnathan Blake is the ultimate modernist. As a drummer, he's as comfortable steering ensembles led by jazz veterans such as trumpeter <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/17177151/tom-harrell">Tom Harrell</a> and saxophonist <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/18227135/oliver-lake">Oliver Lake</a> as he is providing the pulse beneath rapper Q-Tip and deep-house diva Monday Michiru. Mon, 16 Apr 2012 11:00:00 +0000 John Murph 1342 at http://kttz.org Johnathan Blake: The Ultimate Modernist