Between The Cracks: Essential Releases You Need To Hear

With so much good music coming through thick and fast, it’s easy for albums to drop online and go overlooked. Each week we select new records from across the musical soundscape that requires your attention. Happy listening – and don’t forget to hit the links and support the artists.


Jason Nazary – Spring Collection

Recorded at home, this new album from Jason Nazary finds him impeccably crafting some deliciously sparkly solo cuts and working long distance with stellar collaborators like Jaimie Branch, David Leon, Ramon Landolt, Matt Mitchell, and Grey McMurray, and Michael Coleman. Fresh, innovative electronic jazz and a great listen from start to finish.


John Carroll Kirby – Septet

Composer and keyboardist John Carroll Kirby is back with a new album titled Septet. The LP was recorded live in the studio with Kirby on keys, Tracy Wannomae and Logan Hone on woodwinds, Nick Mancini on vibraphone, John Paul Maramba on bass, and David Leach percussion, and Deantoni Parks on drums. A lovely and varied project offering plenty of listening pleasure for fans of Herbie Hancock, Weather Report, and Floating Points. Grab the vinyl for the three bonus dubs.


sneaky jesus – Joseph Riddle

The full-length debut of sneaky jesus offers a heady trip through the rich legacy of Polish jazz, combining it with breakbeat-oriented styles of UK and US jazz with ideas derived from punk and funk. Clocking in at 46 minutes, including the epic 27-minute closing number, Joseph Riddle is an outstanding four-track LP that showcases one of Poland’s brightest emerging jazz music talent. 


Bunn Debrett Quintet – Bunn Debrett Quintet

Goddamn! This album from the founding members of 90s Acid Jazz band Mother Earth is deep. Drummer and percussionist Stephen Bunn (Bunny) and guitarist and keys player Jon deBrett map an absorbing selection of spiritual music that features a host of talented friends such as Tenesha the Wordsmith, Nathan Haines, Tamar Osborn (Collocutor), Alan Barnes (The Tommy Chase Quartet) and more. If you want to grab the limited edition vinyl, be quick because there are only a few left! 


Jan Van de Engel – Streams

Greek drummer and composer Jan Van de Engel, aka Yiannis Angelopoulos’ new album, can be summed up in two words: pure bliss. Recorded live Streams is a master class of spontaneous compositions and improvisations. The album flows refreshingly as the water that showers Jan Van on the cover art – enlisting the renowned talents of musicians Paraskevas Kitsos (bass), Vangelos Stefanopoulos (piano), and Fotis Siotas (violin); this is deeply spiritual music at its very best. Very recommended!


Athletic Progression – cloud high in dreams, but heavy in the air

This versatile trio blends experimental hip-hop, jazz, electronic, and beats, highlighting their gift of drifting between genres. The largely instrumental album features rapper/poet Brother Portrait who supplies his potent lyricism and easygoing flow on one cut. This new album showcases the trio’s growth as a band and is arguably their most vital and most unique work to date.



Ron Everett – The Glitter of the City

Jazzman’s Holy Grail series unearths a real treasure. Until now, Ron Everett’s ‘Glitter Of The City’ was available only as a private pressing in 1977. Thanks to Jazzman bringing this album to back life, its wonderful mix of blues, soul, funk, and jazz will deservedly reach a wider audience. Complete with restored artwork, audio, liner notes, and photographs, it also includes three bonus, previously unreleased tracks. Don’t miss out on this must-have vinyl release.



Nailah Hunter – Quietude

L.A.’s afro-futurist fantasy harpist/vocalist/composer Nailah Hunter presents awaited new material via the minimalist hi-fi Quietude EP of cover songs. ‘Come Wander’ – the cult-folk tune from the famous last episode of The Twilight Zone, ‘Guinevere’ – the often-overlooked medieval ode from psych-folk icon Donovan, and ‘Talk Show Host’ – a Radiohead b-side stripped to the bare essentials and powerfully retold.


Wildflower – Better Times

Wildflower land on Mafalda’s Tropic of Love Music for their new EP. Each of the project’s four songs has a colour reference suggestive of mood tone and internal balance. Once again, the trio of Idris Rahman, Leon Brichard, and Tom Skinner go globe-trotting with sounds from around the world weaved into their free-spirited jazz grooves. Brilliant stuff!


Various Artists / Matteo Boyero – Lobi Remix vol 1

Showcasing music from the Loropeni Djoro festival, WAHEVER Records label head Matteo Boyero drops off a remix EP. Across six tracks, Boyero combines traditional West African instruments and grooves from the Lobi country with analogue drum machines and synths. Profits will be used to buy a drum machine to bring to Loropeni in a cultural exchange.


Label Love – Matsuli Music

The Beaters – Harari

Gideon Nxumalo – Gideon Plays

Spirits Rejoice – African Spaces

Mzansi Afro Jazz & Roots – Matsuli Label Sampler

CF Smith

Permeating your ears with good music.

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