There are a number of albums on the horizon or available now that everyone might be interested in. So in order of release please check out the following:
Brian Landrus – For Us
Brian’s new release features one hell of a band (Fred Hersch – piano, Drew Gress – bass, Billy Hart – drums, Michael Rodriguez – trumpet) as well as Brian playing his usual baritone and a host of other instruments. The album also features some string writing. What I’ve heard so far sounds excellent! So fans of modern writing for the baritone should definitely check this one out. Its available now, grab a copy here from Brian’s website.
Gary Smulyan – Our Contrafacts
Gary’s next album is another trio recording. I am very much looking forward to this one, which is a follow up to his last trio recording “Alternative Contrafacts“ that I enjoyed very much. Gary excels at trio playing – he is a master of harmony and the chordless setting really allows him to dictate all of the harmony very freely.
The album has listed release date of June 2020, but it looks like it might be available already? Head over to Gary’s site to check it out.
Ronnie Cuber – Four, Straight Street
Finding information on Ronnie can be hard these days. He doesn’t have a working website, and the record company (SteepleChase) that he has put some recordings out on doesn’t either. He’s also approaching 80 (78 as of now) and hasn’t been seen out performing as much, certainly not in the US. But he does seem to have produced a few recordings recently. The two most recent are “Four” and “Straight Street“, I believe from 2019. Fans of Ronnie will enjoy these as its still a powerful baritonist with a big sound and lots of edge.
However, I have to say this is not peak Ronnie Cuber. I don’t say this to be harsh, the man has played more baritone than pretty much anyone else alive. But I do want to warn fans to perhaps temper their expectations, and know that there are other recordings of Ronnie that better capture his incredible playing. Having grown up listening to him constantly, and even taken some (very strange) lessons with him, I’m glad we have more recordings of him even if they aren’t going to go down in history as his best.