I really enjoyed the four part mini-series that ran on the Documentary Channel last month, Icons Among Us: Jazz in the Present Tense, which focused on the quiet revolution currently underway in jazz, and the wide and range of musicians who fall into that generation; everyone from Soulive to Bill Frisell to Trombone Shorty to Dakah. So taking a cue from the filmmakers, this week’s stormy Monday focuses on some of the best and brightest pianists on the scene today, the cats forging a new world and ethos for jazz.
The mix opens with Europe’s E.S.T., Esbjorn Svensson Trio doing A Picture of Doris Traveling with Boris – unfortunately yesterday was the first anniversary of Svensson’s tragic death in a diving accident, but the music lives on. Following that is a long track featuring the great iconoclast Jason Moran playing as part of the Charles Lloyd Quartet, easily one of the best cross generational groups in jazz today. Booker’s Garden gives a good sense of the balance his percussive sparseness and melodic flow.
Moving on, Robert Glasper’s double cover of Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage and Radiohead’s Everything in It’s Right Place is a pretty stellar feat, a simultaneous, seamless movement through both tunes. And it’s would be a shame to let such a mix go by with out including a man best known for his electric keys, but whose piano playing is just as mesmerizing: John Medeski, with his cohorts, crushing 7 Deadlies. As always, enjoy!