Drummer Allison Miller, a go-to choice for jazz heavies and arena-level singer-songwriters alike, has made time to cultivate her own working band in the past few years. Boom Tic Boom features some of her favorite female instrumentalists in pianist Myra Melford and violinist Jenny Scheinman, as well as a long-running partner-in-crime in bassist Todd Sickafoose, and it interprets her jaunty tunes with plenty of headroom for any onomatopoeia from her percussion palette.
Ever since he started becoming one of the best alto saxophone players in the world, Miguel Zenón has drawn influence from his upbringing in Puerto Rico. Folk melodies, forms and rhythms have inspired many of his technically astounding yet immediately gratifying works. So it makes sense that he's giving back. He's launched an initiative called Caravana Cultural, presenting free jazz concerts and lectures on the island. His latest album Oye!!! was recorded live in San Juan with Puerto Rican musicians.
It's hard to find another band that's stayed as true to its vision as Low. Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker have been making Low records for 20 years now, and just released their 10th full-length album, The Invisible Way.